Sunday, January 15, 2012

[HumJanenge] CIC to list all pending cases on website

CIC to list all pending cases on website

NEW DELHI: With complaints of arbitrariness in hearing of cases piling up, the Central Information Commission last week began listing out pending cases before each commissioner on its website. Cases pending before chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra and information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi have already been uploaded while the other commissioners are likely to follow soon. This is the first time that an information commission has displayed at least a partial list of cases pending before it.

Speaking about the move, Mishra said, "This is an added advantage to the public. Other commissioners will also put up their list of pending cases but we have not set a time frame." CIC has a pendency of 22,000 cases with about 2,500 cases added every month.

The decision was prompted by an RTI application that sought information on the status of a case filed a year ago. Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said that in replying to the decision, the commission realized that the case was over a year old and was inadvertently left out of the cause list.

"I realized that if a mistake had been made in one case, it could have been made in some others as well. A careful search of 2010 cases revealed another 110 cases which had been forgotten and missed completely," Gandhi said.

In fact, one of the cases related to the widow of a government employee and her struggle to get pension that only ended 17 years later.

The 'List of pending cases' has been displayed on the CIC website and will be updated every month. Gandhi said, "CIC is only six years old and this will be an opportunity for us to correct mistakes and also reassure citizens that there is fairness in taking up their cases. In most commissions and judicial bodies, citizens suspect arbitrariness and corruption in the listing of cases. The simple act of listing all pending cases publicly will go a long way in restoring citizens' confidence in these institutions, and also act as self- regulating check."

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