Central Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar said his court disposed of 5,056 RTI, or right to information, appeals in 2021-22, the highest in any year by a commissioner in 16 years of CIC’s history. Citing a ruling on ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, Mahurkar said he “passed landmark judgements without fear or favour”.
The information commissioner had ruled that a manuscript, whether owned by a government or a private body, is a national property as even those who donated to private bodies did it for saving India’s heritage. He said the judgment was lauded by scholars across the globe.
In his order on manuscripts, the former journalist said, he directed the National Manuscript Mission to put all the three lakh manuscripts of private bodies that it had digitised for benefit of researchers to put in the public domain. The order was passed after Mahurkar’s court observed that only 28,000 of them were available in the public domain. He added that the order was “much appreciated by Indologists”.
In a series of tweets, Mahurkar said his office took “creative steps like coordinating with Public Information officers of Union Ministries under my charge.” The commissioner added that he even called “group meetings to know their problems while strictly directing them to ensure” the RTI Act’s objectives of transparency and accountability.
“Thank my office staff led by Dy. Registrar Rakesh Rao who made success possible even at the cost of personal sacrifices The entire staff of CIC also needs to be complimented for its stupendous show in disposing (of) 28903 cases in 2021-2022,” he tweeted.
The Central Information Commission was constituted under the Right to Information Act, 2005, with jurisdiction extending to all Central Public Authorities.
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