Security for information seeker

Read more below

By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Kohima
  • Published 12.06.09
  •  

Kohima, June 12: The Nagaland Information Commission has directed the government to provide adequate security to Y. Ekyimo Kikon, an employee in the directorate of employment department, who had sought information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Kikon had sought information from the Pangti village council in Wokha district about the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Thereafter, the council threatened Kikon with dire consequences if he did not withdraw his application, for-cing him to seek help from the information panel for his safety. Kikon said the Pangti village council had grossly misused the scheme meant for the rural people and that when he sought the information about the status of the scheme, the council had threatened to expel him from the village.

“He requested the commission to intervene in order to prevent any untoward incident in future while seeking information under the RTI Act”, said P. Talitemjen Ao, the chief information commissioner.

Ao said Kikon sought information about the NREGS in exercise of rights under Section 3 of the act and according to provisions of Section 6.

“The commission has examined the matter carefully. Pangti village council is duly constituted under the Nagaland Village Council Act, 1978, and hence it is also a public authority,” Ao said.

“The commission is constrained to take a serious view of this illegal obstruction by a legally constituted body and threat to information seekers,” he said.

The commission also directed the district administration and the state government to immediately warn the Pangti village council that it was acting against the law of the land.

Kikon, who had sought information about the names and card holders of the NREGS, scheme and programme, etc allegedly received an “unsatisfactory” reply from the public information officer of the District Rural Development Agency at Wokha.

The commission said many officers often produced false and incomplete information to the people.

“The commission finds that many officers of the departments are not well conversant with the Act in attending to the applications,” the chief information commissioner, said.

The commission also directed the Metsubo Jamir, the director of rural development department to immediately furnish the detailed information to Kikon.