In two public interest litigation from 2018 and 2019 aimed at implementing online filing of RTI claims, the Gujarat High Court ordered on August 5 the Principal Secretary of the Department of General Administration (GAD) to file a revised affidavit explaining why RTI’s online application system and fee payment in Gujarat had not been introduced to date.
In June 2019, the state government submitted an affidavit stating that the process for establishing the online filing of RTI applications was underway and is expected to be completed by March 2020.
The court of Justices Vineet Kothari and Umesh Trivedi observed that what the applicants – Bandish Soparkar and Sandip Munjyasara – are looking for “appears to be very simple but fair and in the current era of technological development it seems entirely possible to do so. “.
The division bench ordered that in addition to assigning reasons why the same has not been able to be implemented so far, the state must enumerate a timeline within which online RTI filing can be introduced. Since the implementation process appears straightforward, the court also requested that “the reasons for not doing so may be presented to the court in the affidavit to be filed by the Principal Secretary.”
“It is understood that those interviewed in one of the affidavitsâ¦ have stated that the NIC (National Center for Informatics) is ready to undertake the process even for freeâ¦ there are good reasons to introduce such a system immediately” , noted the court order. .