Kashmir Observer: Srinagar: Saturday, April 22, 2017.
An Application vide number JKRTIF/2017/003 Dated: 03/03/2017 was filed by Chairman J&K RTI Foundation Engineer Irfan Banka despatched via speed post on 09-03-2017 which was received by concerned PIO Department of Health and Medical Education.
The Application was filed to check the malfunctioning of the Hospitals in the state and make public the deviation of actual ratio of caesarean deliveries from the international norms.
WHO says that the ratio of caesarean to normal deliveries must not be greater than 10-15 percent, but it seems that it is something different in the state and hence the application was filed.
Under RTI rules, even if the PIO needed to transfer application, the information must have been dispatched to the applicant within thirty five days from the date of receipt of application; but unfortunately, the PIO Department of Health and Medical Education J&K shows non-serious approach towards RTI Law as he did not respond with a specific reply. Instead he sent a letter No: HD/Coord/RTI/11/2017 dated: 27.03.2017 that was dispatched on 08-04-2017 via speed post and received by the applicant on 20-04-2017.
The letter contents says “An application under Section 6(1) of the J&K RTI Act 2009 filed by Satish Jain S/o Sh Chanan Shah Jain R/o Colonel’s Colony, Opp Airport, Rani Bagh, Satwari, Jammu has been received by this department on 27.03.2017” The reply is totally false and irrelevant and is addressed to somebody else just to deceive and mislead the applicant.
“I had sought only three points of information asking for Hospital-wise ratio number of caesarian deliveries in J&K and the ratio of caesarean to normal deliveries as per norms/rules. I believe that the ratio here is very much deviated from the international norms set by WHO and it should not be more than 10-15 percent. Hence this application was filed. The hospitals are in thirst of seeking reputation instead of caring about the health of patients. I believe that the department is misleading me and thinks the applicant will tire before filing complaint in J&K SIC” said the applicant Er. Irfan Banka who is the Chairman, J&K RTI Foundation.
Er Banka further added that “On ground level more that 95 percent applicants are dropped at the PIO level only in rural areas and due to the non-awareness of the appeal and complaint process added by misleading, false and irrelevant replies by PIO’s the applicants get tired and lose faith in power of RTI.
The commission must penalize such officers and recommend disciplinary action against erring PIO’s so as to strengthen the Act in the state which could also reduce number of appeals and complaints.”