Embracing Accessibility: Flexibility in Appellant Presence for RTI Second Appeals
In the spirit of promoting accessibility and ensuring inclusivity, the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, accommodates modern conveniences in the adjudication process. This article delves into the flexibility granted to appellants concerning their presence during the hearing of second appeals by the Information Commission, shedding light on the alternatives available.
Appellant Presence in Second Appeals:
While the RTI Act envisages the right of appellants to be present during the hearing of second appeals, it acknowledges the challenges posed by geographical distances and varying circumstances. Consequently, the Act provides a pragmatic solution – the appellant is not mandated to be physically present but can choose between two viable options for participation.
Flexibility Through Representation:
Recognizing the practical constraints faced by appellants, the RTI Act permits representation in lieu of personal attendance. Appellants have the option to authorize a duly appointed representative to participate in the hearing on their behalf. This provision ensures that individuals, regardless of their location or personal circumstances, can effectively present their case and engage in the appeals process.
In addition to representation, the Information Commission often leverages technology to enhance accessibility. Appellants can avail themselves of the option to be present virtually through means such as video conferencing, further reducing the need for physical attendance. This technological adaptation aligns with the broader objectives of the RTI Act – to streamline processes and accommodate the diverse needs of citizens.
The flexibility provided regarding appellant presence during the hearing of second appeals exemplifies the responsiveness of the RTI Act to the practical challenges faced by individuals seeking information. Whether present in person, represented by an authorized agent, or participating through technology-enabled platforms, appellants are empowered to engage with the appeals process in a manner that best suits their circumstances. This inclusivity not only aligns with the democratic principles of transparency and accountability but also ensures that the RTI Act remains a dynamic instrument capable of adapting to the evolving needs of a diverse citizenry.