A total of 19,233 complaints and appeals were pending with the Central Information Commission (CIC) as of April 1, the government said on Wednesday.
Four posts of information commissioners in the transparency watchdog were lying vacant, against the sanctioned strength of 10, according to a written reply given by Union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha.
There was a pendency of 29,213 complaints in 2021-22, 38,116 in 2020-21, 35,178 in 2019-20 and 29,655 in 2018-19, he said.
According to Section 12(3) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, the Central Information Commission shall consist of the chief information commissioner and such number of information commissioners, not exceeding 10, as may be deemed necessary.
“At present, four information commissioners apart from the chief information commissioner are in position in the CIC,” Singh said.
Filling up of vacancies of information commissioners in the state information commissions is the subject matter of the respective state governments, the minister said.
The government has taken a series of steps, which include “capacity building through training and issuing of guidelines” for public information officers and first appellate authorities, so as to enable them to supply information/ dispose of first appeals effectively, resulting in less number of appeals to the Information Commission, Singh said.