Srinagar: Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir Monday said the Right to Information Act (RTI) is a very important weapon in the hands of citizens to ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government run institutions.
“RTI is also a best weapon in the hands of lawyers who can extract the factual information from any of the public funded institutions and other government agencies for pleading their cases proficiently in the Court of law,” Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said in his Presidential address during the Skill Development Workshop organised by the Department of Law, CUK, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) at Nowgam-I academic block of the university.
Dean School of Legal Studies, Dr. Sheikh Showkat, J&K RTI Movement, Chairperson, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, CHRI Programme Officer, Shikha Chibbar, CHRI, Coordinator, Venkatesh Nayak, faculty members, research scholar and students were also present during the workshop.
Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said that RTI could be used by masses in a best possible way to get the grievance redressed in any government department. He however added the RTI Act has also been misused by certain individuals to fulfill their vested interests.
CUK Vice-Chancellor said the varsity has earlier conducted several workshops to sensitize the students of the varsity about the RTI Act and its benefits.
Dean and Head, School of Legal Studies, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain in his welcome address said the Supreme Court in its judgments have acknowledged Right to Information as part and parcel of the freedom of expression, adding that Right to have information, Right to sharing information and Right to express information is included in it. He said that RTI could be utilized for redress of grievances, research purposes and knowing the affairs of the State, adding that all such issues would be thoroughly deliberated during the workshop.
Dr. Showkat Hussain said the RTI has proved to be a very important tool in the domain of public life and academics. He said that following the implementation of the RTI Act, the government institutions were putting all the information on their websites in order to ensure transparency in their functioning.
Later, presentations on the salient features of the J&K RTI were made and procedures for seeking and obtaining information were discussed threadbare.
Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Hilal Ahmad conducted the programme proceedings while as Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Gulafroz Jan, proposed the vote of thanks. (KNS)