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PSIC RTI Helpline
no. 0172-2864100,
10 AM - 4 PM,
Monday - Friday


RTI APPLICATIONS FOR THE DURATION OF THE CURFEW


The Right to Information is implicit in the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression unequivocally guaranteed in Article 19(1)(a) of India’s Constitution. The Courts have also linked a citizen’s Right to Information with his/her Right to Life and liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. The Right to Information Act is also in sync with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which holds that: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’.


A citizen’s right to information is therefore unbridled, fundamental and inalienable.

There is however, a huge public health crisis confronting the world, India and our state Punjab today. It is more than an ordinary challenge to guarantee citizens access to information in such times, when many public authorities have ceased to function owing to the extended lockdowns/curfews. Others, like the state police, health authorities, local government and municipal bodies, who are at the forefront of battling the emerging global scourge, are, understandably, in no position to respond to citizens’ queries and concerns as stipulated in the Right to Information Act, 2005.


It is equally evident that, with the lockdown/curfew in place, and the suspension of all public transport services, citizens too no longer have the means to approach Public Authorities or attend appeal hearings at First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) and the State Information Commission.


In view of the fact that most (if not all) Public Information Officers (PIOs) and duly designated FAAs, would either be restricted to their homes or engaged in responding to more urgent and pressing duties, the Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC, hereinafter ‘the Commission’) has decided the following:


Given the extraordinary circumstances, only in matters of utmost urgency pertaining to ‘Life and Liberty’, citizens in Punjab can henceforth submit their applications directly to the Commission via e-mail. All such applications will be put up to a specially constituted Double Bench comprising the Chief Information Commissioner, Sh. Suresh Arora and State Information Commissioner, Sh. Asit Jolly. The Double Bench will thereafter issue an appropriate Decision/Order keeping in view the larger public interest.



All other Appeal/Complaint cases pending in the Commission stand adjourned until the duration of the ongoing curfew/lockdown in the state of Punjab.


About PSIC

[Extract from Punjab Government Gazette (Extra), dated the 11th -October, 2005]
GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB
DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(ADMINISTRATlON REFORMS BRANCH)
Notification The 11th October, 2005

No. 2/24/05-IAR/578.- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (I) of Section 15 of the "Right to Information Act, 2005" (Central Act No. 22 of 2005) and all others powers enabling him in this behalf, the Governor of Punjab is pleased to constitute the Punjab State Information Commission to exercise the powers conferred upon and to Perform the functions assigned to it under Chapter IV, V, VI and other provisions of the Act and to appoint Sh. Rajan Kashyap, IAS (Retd.), as State Chief Information Commissioner of the aforesaid Commission.


Case Status
 
Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab

Sh. Suresh Arora, IPS (Retd.),has been administered the oath of Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab under section 15 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and joined the office on 10.07.2019 (AN).

Video Conference facility

The Video Conference facility is available at the Punjab State Information Commission. It was launched by H.E. Governor Punjab, on 3rd March 2011. Initially, the border districts namely Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and Ludhiana were covered through Video Conferencing.

Hearing of the cases is conducted in the office, of the respective Deputy Commissioner. Subsequently, this facility has been extended to three more districts i.e. Jalandhar, Mansa and Sri Mukatsar Sahib in March 2015. In September 2016, one more district i.e. Sangrur has also been added. This facility saves lot of money, time and energy of the complainants, appellants and the public authorities, as they are not required to come to the office of the Commission at Chandigarh to attend the hearing of their cases. This facility has also resulted in early delivery of justice to the parties concerned.

The Video Conference facility from July 2017 has been extended in the remaining 14 districts, namely, Fatehgarh, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Mohali, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Nawasahar, Moga, Faridkot, Patiala, Bathinda, Barnala, Pathankot and Fazilika resulting in coverage of all the 22 districts of Punjab.

 
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