Over the last several days, we have received numerous reports from our network of RTI activists (many of whom are in the Budgam District area) about PIOs receiving stern notices from the State Information Commission in follow-up to complaints and appeals we’ve filed with the SIC.

As a consequence, the PIOs have begun calling the RTI activists and users and begging them to come collect information and withdrawal their complaints & appeals before the SIC.  They have even been sending relatives and neighbors to plead on their behalf.

With respect to these scenarios, we have advised all of our RTI activists (and we advise all RTI users in J&K), NOT to withdrawal any appeals or complaints before the SIC on account of personal pleas from PIOs and their relatives.  Furthermore, we are advising any RTI user who is threatened to immediately contact us & to file a written complaint with the SIC.

We’ve also received reports from PIOs who are pleading that they were pressurized by local political figures not to release requested information.  We have heard that PIOs in Budgam have been threatened with transfers for providing information.

With respect to these scenarios, we have advised all of our RTI activists (and we advise all RTI users in J&K), to bring these instances to our attention.  We are also advising PIOs and government officials that any interference in the RTI process by a politician is itself a violation of the RTI Act, and should be brought to the attention of the SIC.

http://blog.jkrtimovement.org/?paged=3