Central Information Commission halves pendency of cases in last three years, shows data

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has almost halved the pendency of appeals and complaints with it in the last three years, according to data compiled by the transparency panel.

The panel had 38,116 cases pending before it in 2020-21 which has reduced to 19,233 in 2022-23, officials said referring to tentative figures compiled by the commission on March 31.

The commission handles two kinds of cases — complaints and appeals — filed by RTI applicants against public authorities which deny or delay the furnishing of information.

According to data, the CIC had registered 19,183 cases in 2020-21 and disposed of 17017 cases with a pendency of 38,116 at the end of the year.

Disposal of cases rose to 28,793 in 2021-22 followed by 29,210 in 2022-23 which brought down the number of pending cases to 19,233.

According to the data on the website of the commission on Wednesday, the registry of Chief Information Commissioner Y K Sinha admitted 2,655 cases and disposed of 3,409 cases during 2022-23.

Among the information commissioners, Vanaja N Sarna disposed of 3,843 cases, Suresh Chandra 2,826 cases, Heeralal Samariya 4,069 cases, Saroj Punhani 3,807 cases and Uday Mahurkar 5,523 cases.

The dip in pending cases would translate to lesser time for the cases to come for hearing before the CIC, officials said.

Sources however said that the commission is already running at half the capacity with five posts of information commissioners vacant. The remaining six, including the chief information commissioner, will demit office this year on completion of their tenure, they said.

Chief Information Commissioner YK Sinha, who took charge of the post in November 2020, introduced changes in consultation with his fellow information commissioners wherein repeat applications were bundled together for disposal, sources said.

The commission also started disposing of duplicate applications, in some cases without a hearing, if required.

Highly placed sources said the Commissioners also increased the number of cases being heard per day besides making a “conscious effort” to systematically reduce the pendency.

According to data available on the CIC website on Wednesday, the registry of Sinha has 2,922 pending cases while that of Sarna has 2,324, Chandra has 3,468, Samariya has 3,419, Punhani has 3,607 and Mahurkar has 3,778 pending cases.