<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A round-table conference on ‘RTI Draft Rules 2017 for the Central Information Commission’ saw a variety of suggestions from present at the meet. Organised by and held at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai, the meeting aimed at analysing the impact of the rules of filing RTI applications, second appeals, and complaints. Besides these, discussions were also held on recognising noteworthy provisions and on what can be added to make these provisions more effective.Among those present on the panel were former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Ganghi, State Information Commissioner (Brihanmumbai Bench) Ajit Kumar Jain, former Chairman of Railway Board Vivek Sahai, RTI activists Bhaskar Prabhu and Anil Galgali, lawyer Sandeep Jalan, and journalist Priyanka Kakodkar.”There is a need for more comprehensive RTI rules,” said Jain, adding that while most draft provisions were necessary, the rules need to be more exhaustive. “I am of the opinion that rules should also state that affidavits should be notarised even when public information officers are giving their opinion. The decision of the commission orders should also be reviewed so that factual errors can be corrected,” said Jain, stating that abatement of an application in the case of death of the applicant, should be removed.”Even if that is to happen, the commission should ask the applicant or the authority to provide information on why they withdrew the appeal. If coercion is found to be the reason behind it, the withdrawal should be nullified,” said Gandhi.

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RTI round-table: Varied opinions, advice crop up