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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Activists Critized During RTI Sensitization Workshop Organized by AMU

During the two day (23rd-24th August 2008) Workshop on the theme "Right to Information Regime: Issues and Challenges" organized by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), some of the CPIOs and Appellate Authorities severely criticized the activists filing RTI applications in AMU.

For instance, Prof. I. A. Khan, currently, Dean, Faculty of Law, AMU, mooted the idea of raising the RTI application fee so that less applications are filed. Interestingly, he also wants a clause to be introduced in the Act so that suitable penalty can be imposed on the information seeker if the CPIO feels that information has been sought so as to "harass" the authorities. He also was of the opinion that the RTI Act has been passed in "hurry"!

Another interesting suggestion came from Mr. Iqbal Ali, Principal, AMU Boys' Polytechnic, who wanted "sub-ordinates" to be penalised if they seek information from "superiors". He further went on to say that th RTI Act is a "jhunjuna" (a toy) in the hands of RTI activists and that they were treating CPIOs as "basanti" and themselves as "Gabbar Singh". He was of the opinion that RTI Act was simply being used to harass the information providers by the RTI activists .

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