NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC), that hears appeals from people who have been denied information by government departments, is rattled not only by the rising pendency of appeals, but also from threats it faces while ensuring that RTI Act is implemented by the government departments in letter and spirit.
In a historical order dated July 31, 2014, Information Commissioner M A Khan Yusufi has recorded an unprecedented event when he was threatened by Dr Ajitesh Radhakrishnan, Dy Commissioner & Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) Imports. Radhakrishnan not only threatened Yusufi of making a complaint to Chief Information Commissioner, but also to lodge an FIR against him if decision is not according to his dictum.
Yusufi was hearing an appeal filed by information seeker P Balachander from Chennai, whose request was earlier rejected by the CPIO and later the decision was upheld by the first appellate authority. Yusufi noted that Radhakrishnan appeared before the Commission personally and only made oral submissions. Later, Radhakrishnan submitted an unconditional apology on July 31. The order categorically asked the Customs Dept to either provide the full justification of their plea or in case of failure, provide the complete and categorical information within 30 days.