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27 August, 2007

Arrears piling up in Central Information Commission

The malaise afflicting the judicial system appears to be catching up with the mechanism created under the Right to Information Act too. Within 15 months of its coming into force, arrears of cases have started piling up in the office of the Central Information Commission.

The Act came into force in October 2005. According to information available at the CIC’s website, at the beginning of April 2006, CIC had before it 489 cases. During the month 248 more received and 97 were disposed, leaving arrears of 640. With disposals falling below receipts month after month, the arrears rose steadily and stood at 2,361 in January 2007.

The judiciary has been grappling with the problem of mounting arrears for years. As many as 33,635 cases were pending before the Supreme Court and 3,424,518 before the High Courts at the beginning of 2006.

Social Watch India has cited these figures in the Citizens’ Report on Governance and Development 2007. The report, published by Sage Publications India Private Limited, New Delhi, is priced Rs. 595.

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