SMS alert in RTI cases to be provided soon

SMS alert in RTI cases to be provided soon

KIC head office in Bangalore also opens video-conference facility

SMS alert in RTI cases to be provided soon

In a citizen-friendly move, the KIC will soon introduce short message service (SMS) to help petitioners track the status of their cases and pursue them.

Come January, petitioners who file complaints before the KIC will receive an SMS stating their case number and the date of hearing of their case.

While the first three SMSes will be sent free of cost, information seekers have to shell out 10 paise per message for subsequent alerts. The SMS service number will be announced in a day or two.

The service will be made available to those who mention their cell phone numbers in their complaint and make a specific request to avail themselves of the facility.

In another move, the KIC head office in Bangalore has opened a video-conference facility for hearing RTI cases from district headquarters. The facility was inaugurated by Chief Secretary S V Ranganath on Wednesday.

Currently, all petitioners and information officers have to physically appear before the commission in Bangalore during hearings.

The SMS service, it is hoped, will put an end to long delays in getting information from public officers.

The KIC’s initiative comes at a time when more and more appeals are being filed before the quasi-judicial body on inordinate delays by public information officers (PIOs) in replying to queries filed under the Right to Information Act.

“Earlier, the appeals before the KIC were being filed by citizens in urban pockets, now we are receiving appeals even from rural areas.

There is a growing awareness among people that their RTI applications cannot be taken for granted,”  Chief State Information Commissioner In Charge H N Krishna told reporters in Bangalore on Wednesday.

The service, he said, will be launched in the first week of January. It will help in streamlining the system of processing the complaints filed by petitioners.