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Saturday, September 8, 2007

HC frames rules for smooth implementation of Act

TIMES NEWS NETWORK Chandigarh: People facing hurdles while seeking information under the RTI Act can hope for some relief. They can now approach the courts to seek information under RTI. Almost two years after the Act came into force in the country, the HC has framed rules for its smooth implementation in both the states. HC Registrar (rules) SK Garg said the rules have been notified this week by the court and that gazette was being published. The HC rules will determine the fee to be charged from the applicants for providing information and will lay down the procedure to be followed while disclosing information.

Courts to clear-up all applications

Chandigarh: The rules will also decide who will be designated as public information officers, assistant public information officers and appellate authority in various courts of Punjab and Haryana.
Under the provisions of the RTI Act, state government, Vidhan Sabha and the high court are to frame rules for the implementation of the Act. While Punjab government framed rules after the Act came into force, the high court delayed it. The delay in framing the rules resulted in a backlog of hundreds of applications filed under the Act in various courts. After much dilly-dallying, the HC finally set up a committee early this year for framing the rules which submitted its report recently.
A Punjab state information commission officer said the absence of these rules acted as an impediment in providing information to the public as the courts in both the states refused information on this ground. According to a court official, with the HC notifying these rules the courts will start clearing all applications filed under the Act. The court will also post all information, including that on PIOs and APIOs, on its website.
Publication: Times Of India Chandigarh; Date:2007 Aug 31; Section:Front Page; Page Number 1

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