SCB refuses to answer RTI query on closed roads; CIC issues show-cause notice
HYDERABAD: The controversy surrounding the closure of roads in the Secunderabad Cantonment area doesn’t seem to end anytime soon as even information sought under the Right to Information Act, 2005 by the residents has allegedly been denied.
The repeated question, ‘how many roads were closed by local military authority (LMA)’, was asked by a resident, E Rajesham, under the provisions of the Act. According to Section 258 of the Cantonment Act, 2006, the roads are not to be closed but the LMA has closed roads and information on the closure of roads has not been given till date.
“The deadline under the ‘RTI’ has been over but information has not been given till now. The Cantonment Board’s chief public information officer (CPIO) is misusing the position and his intentions are only to suppress facts,” alleged Rajesham. “The primary responsibility of the CPIO is to give information according to Section 7 (9) of RTI Act 2005. But the CPIO has denied information which can be observed that there has been disproportionate diversion of resources,” the resident added.
Meanwhile, a complaint was lodged with the Central Information Commission (CIC) in New Delhi against the attitude of the board’s CPIO. The CIC responded to the complainant, saying that the CPIO of SCB has not provided a reply to an applicant. The CIC has issued him a show-cause notice.
According to the office of state information commissioner, SCB is not under the state government’s jurisdiction to provide information to petitioners. When contacted, M Sridhar Acharyulu, information commissioner at the Central Information Commission in Delhi, said that the complainant had the right to get the information he wanted under the RTI Act. “The CPIO should provide the information to the petitioner before the deadline. If the board is not responding to the show-cause notice, the petitioner can approach the High Court and file a case,” said Acharyulu.
Repeated attempts to reach the chief executive officer (CEO) of SCB proved futile.