The Madras High Court asked the Central and State Information Commissions to consider a representation made by journalist Saurav Das for speedy disposal of RTI matters related to covid related issues.
A bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamurthy observed-
“It may be well for the state and the Center to consider whether, particularly during the current covid crisis, the State Information Commission and the Chief Information Commission’s benches raised a case of virtual mode on the prompting to deal with the e-filing system. May. For at least three or four hours with matters relating to covid.”
At the same time, the Bench warned, citizens should not be cautious in drawing the attention of an employee from their main duties only to appear in RTI queries.
Das had moved public interest litigation seeking the formation of additional benches at the state level and central level information commissions to react to Covid related issues.
They reported that since the average waiting time for a case hearing by the CIC and TNSIC is about 2 years, many important epidemiological RTI appeals are not being heard by these commissions on priority and they can be disastrous if there is a normal waiting time is followed.
The Court held that it cannot directly issue a writ of mandamus to make laws or to incorporate amendments. Thus, it appeals to the petitioner to provide an appropriate representation to the Union to submit the relevant provisions to deal with the urgent matters in the appellate provision.