Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who believes in disseminating government information for the welfare of the people and the Right to Information (RTI) Act-2009, but sources said that the right is being denied and fake information is being handed down.
Several hundred information seekers lodged complaints with the Information Commission (IC) between 2009 and 2019 for redress.IC sources said they received 2,212 such complaints from 2009 to 2017. Of them, it accepted 1,431 for hearing. A total of 31 percent complaints were lodged by journalists from different media houses.
The IC handed down its decision on 1,124 complaints. The number of complaints filed with the IC in 2018 and the current year was not available, but it took decision on 301 complaints until now.
The IC ordered the authorities concerned to provide information against many applications.
Information Commissioner Suraiya Begum told the Daily Sun the tendency of non-providing information still prevails among the information providers.
“It seems they think providing information is a waste of time along with other problems, but they must end this practice,” she said, admitting the gross misconducts in work by some officials.
Suriya added, “However, the commission has taken actions against many officers for this misconduct and action will continue against the law violators.”Sources in the IC said that ABM Mahmudul Hasan, son of Mofiz Uddin of Nalbaid at Koliarchar in Kishoreganj, sought information from deputy commissioner of Family Planning Office of the district and member secretary of third and fourth classes of employees’ recruitment committee on October 15 in 2018.
Mahmudul in his application sought information about the written test marks for himself and his friend Aminul Islam about the recruitment examination held at Kishoreganj Government Boys High School on March 23 as well as those of the viva tests they had appeared and held at the district administration office on May 16 last year.
On October 18 that year, Dr Rawshan Akhter Jahan, assistant director of Family Planning Office, in a written statement declined to provide the information. He then appealed with director general of Family Planning Directorate on November 1 for getting justice. After the appeal was made, he was provided with fake information. After that, he lodged complaint with IC on January 14 in 2019.
On February 12 this year, a three-member IC panel led by Chief Information Commissioner Martuza Ahmed disposed of the matter.
On July 24 in 2018, Mohammad Farhad Hossain Fuad, journalist of the Daily Ajkerbarta, applied with Waakaf Administrator Inspector of Barishal district and the assigned officer under RTI Alhaj Abdullah for the number of enlisted Waakaf properties in number two Kashipur Union and Barishal City Corporation until July 23 last year.
But he was not given that information. Later, he appealed to Abdul Kuddus, assistant administrator of Wakaf Administration Office, October 15 and complained with Information Commission on January 24 in 2019.
The IC rejected the complaint on February 12 after hearing.