STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Instead of providing simple information about implementation of Right to Information Act in Union Territory of Ladakh, the Officer in the Union Home Ministry preferred to dodge an RTI query on the subject. Beena Yadav, CPIO, Central Public Information Officer and Director (Ladakh) of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Department under the Union Home Ministry while rejecting plea of RTI Activist, Raman Sharma on the subject, writes (in her rejection letter) ‘As far as, the undersigned CPIO is concerned, the information may be treated as nil. It is to inform that under RTI Act 2005, the CPIO is obligated to provide only such information which is available and held by the public authority or is under control of the public authority. However, the information sought by you might be available with UT of Ladakh’. The CPIO further advised the applicant to approach UT of Ladakh for getting the requisite information in her letter, dated December 6, 2019. Earlier, Sharma in his online RTI application dated December 3, 2019 to the Union Home Ministry had asked for providing certified copies of RTI Rules as framed by Government of Union Territory Ladakh as mandated under Section 27 read with Section 2.A of Right to Information Act 2005 and a copy of list showing names and designation of all Public Information Officers of Ladakh UT as designated under Section 5 of Right to Information Act 2005. It is pertinent to mention here that under Section 95 and 96 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, from appointed day i.e., October 31, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act 2019 has been repealed as falling under table 3 of fifth schedule of JK Reorganisation Act 2019 and RTI Act 2005 (Central Act) has been applicable to Union territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. “Section 27 and 2 of RTI Act 2005 puts an obligation on every State and Union Territory government to make rules for proper implementation of Right to Information Act and it was reason for seeking such information from the Union Home Ministry,” Sharma said while reacting over RTI rejection order of MHA. He also informed that under Section 6(3) of RTI Act 2005, it was responsibility of the concerned PIO to transfer RTI application to UT of Ladakh, if the officer was not having such information with her. He also intimated to file a review appeal again the order of CPIO before the 1st Appellate Authority.
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