CIC to hear appeals even if appellant dies

This was decided by the CIC during a meeting held on June 5 and orders issued on June 18, an official statement said on Thursday.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) will continue to decide appeals and complaints even after the death of the complainant or an appellant.

This was decided by the CIC during a meeting held on June 5 and orders issued on June 18, an official statement said on Thursday.

The order assumes significance as the draft RTI Rules publicised by the government in 2017 had mentioned that the "proceedings pending before the commission shall abate on the death of the appellant", which invited the ire of transparency activists who felt that it was diluting the transparency law. The draft was not notified as rules owing to opposition from activists.

"Instances have occurred wherein an appellant/complainant dies before his case is considered by the Central Information Commission. Further action to be taken in such a situation has engaged the attention of the commission," the statement said.

"The commission carefully considered this matter in its meeting held on June 5, 2018, and decided that in case of death of the appellant/complainant, the case will be heard as usual as second appeal/complaint and the decision put up on the website of the commission," it said.

According to the CIC order, the Section 24 of the CIC (Management) Regulations 2007 had stated that the proceedings pending before the commission will abate on the death of the appellant or complainant. However, these regulations were declared ultra vires by the Delhi High Court in 2010.

The CIC in September 2011 decided that if it receives a complaint regarding assault or murder of an information seeker, it will examine the pending RTI applications of the victim and order the concerned departments to publish the requested information suo motu.

"The matter was further discussed in the commission's meeting held on June 5" and the latest decision was taken.

The latest directive assumes significance as some RTI activists have been killed for seeking information related to some potential scams to ensure that the details do not reach public. 

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CIC to hear appeals even if appellant dies

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