Over 15,000 appeals and complaints filed by various applicants under the RTI Act are pending with Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission (MPSIC), which is without its chief and others commissioners for over a year.
As many as 15,130 cases -- 13,098 appeals and 2,032 complaints -- under the Right to Information Act were pending with MPSIC, according to data updated till December 31, 2013. The MPSIC had received 30,057 appeals and complaints between 2005 and 2013 of which 14,927 were resolved, it said.
"There are lots of complaints of withholding information relating to corruption by government departments. Many people have filed complaints to MPSIC against denial of information which are pending.
The government is not serious about the issue of transparent governance," said activist Ajay Dubey, who had filed RTI application to access data on pendency.
An aggrieved person can file an appeal or complaint in SIC against government departments for wrongful denial of information. Hearing a PIL filed by Dubey, the high court in January last year had directed the Madhya Pradesh government to fill up the vacant posts of commissioners in the state's transparency watchdog. In its another order last month, the court directed the state government to fill all posts of information commissioners before January 31.
"It is sad that almost an year after the order, the state information commission is without its chief and other commissioners. We want that Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are appointed urgently. It is also necessary to decentralise SIC and have divisional benches after it is constituted to reduce pendency," he said.
At present, the post of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and 10 posts of Information Commissioners (ICs) are lying vacant.
In 2005, the Madhya Pradesh government had appointed T N Shrivastava as CIC who had been superannuated in 2006. The commission was without its CIC between 2006-07. In 2007, P P Tiwari was appointed as CIC and D C Jugran, Iqbal Ahmad and Mahesh Pandey were appointed as ICs, all of whom retired in 2012.
According to the data, the highest number of 2,177 appeals were filed from Naxal-hit Balaghat district, also a tribal area, followed by 1,277 from Bhopal and 1,081 in Seoni districts among others.