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Take A Decision Over Establishment Of Online RTI Portal In UT In 3 Months: JKL High Court Directs UT's Chief Secretary

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 March 2022 6:03 AM GMT
Take A Decision Over Establishment Of Online RTI Portal In UT In 3 Months: JKL High Court Directs UTs Chief Secretary
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The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court on Thursday directed the Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of J&K to take a decision over the establishment of an RTI portal for the UT of J&K within the period of 90 days.The Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma issued this order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed by Mohammad Tuyyab Malik...

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court on Thursday directed the Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of J&K to take a decision over the establishment of an RTI portal for the UT of J&K within the period of 90 days.

The Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma issued this order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed by Mohammad Tuyyab Malik & Mohammad Khurram Qureshi seeking the court's direction to the government for establishing an online portal for RTI.

Submission made by the petitioners

The petitioners had argued that the establishment of an RTI Portal is essential so that the citizens can file online applications for the purposes of collecting information from any department of the Government.

It was further submitted that the Central Government has already requested all the States/Union Territory Governments to enable the citizens to file online applications for collecting information from the various departments.

According to the petitioners, the Central Government has already developed the source codes required to implement the mechanism by the states and is ready to provide the necessary technical support for the same.

The petitioners highlighted before the court that one of the important provisions i.e. section 7(1) of the RTI Act which states that "information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within 48 hours of the receipt of the request" is not effective under the existing system and it severely affects the life and liberty of citizens.

The petitioners further informed the Court that they have made various representations in this regard but no action has been taken and the online RTI Portal facility is not being made available to the citizens. The last of the representations in this regard was submitted by the petitioners in December 2021 to the Chief Secretary, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the Court considered it appropriate to dispose of the petition with the direction to the Chief Secretary to take a call upon the representation of the petitioners and to pass a speaking order on it, most expeditiously, preferably, within a period of three months.

Before disposing of the plea, the Court made it open for the petitioners to make a fresh comprehensive representation in line with the representation already made so as to request the Chief Secretary to provide the facility of online RTI Portal.

Case title - Mohammad Tuyyab Malik and Another petitioner present in person v. Union Territory of J&K

Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 12

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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