Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also the MoS In-Charge Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT), which is the nodal department for Central Information Commission of India dealing with the Right to Information (RTI) appeals clarified that RTI can be filed locally in the Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, even after the new arrangement comes into existence after the 31-08-2019. He denounced the mischievous rumours that, because J&K will become a Union Territory, the applicant will have to travel to Delhi to file an RTI.
Some of the clarifications in regard to the above were as follows:
Procedures to file an RTI appeal have been immensely simplified and definite timelines have been laid down. This will apply equally as much to Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh after these become Union territories.
The first RTI application is made to the Public Information Officer (PIO) locally and in matters involving “life and liberty”, the time limit for the PIO to provide the information is 48 hours. For the PIO to reply to the application, a timeline of 30 days has been laid down from the date of receipt of the application. For an applicant to make the first appeal after the receipt of PIO’s reply, the first Appellate authority in the form of the designated officer will also be available locally, whether it is the State or Union territory.
In case of the second appeal, the application has to be submitted to the Information Commission and even if the Information Commissioner is not available locally, in case of Union territory, the second appeal can be sent to the Central Information Commission on-line within 90 days from the receipt of the first appeal orders or from the date the orders were to be received.
Facility of making second appeal before the Central Information Commission through portal:
To make the procedure much simpler, an RTI applicant does not have to wait for the office hours and can file his appeal even from his mobile phone anytime during the day or night, at his convenience, and even while sitting at his home or anywhere else.
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
[Press Release dt. 16-09-2019]