Hitesh Valeja ,2nd year, Department of Legal Studies and Research, Barkatullah University, Bhopal(M.P.)
Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission, Bhopal
11 July 2017 – 10 August 2017
I applied for internship with an application addressed to Under Secretary of the commission along with the recommendation letter issued by my college and xerox of college identity card.
I submitted my application in the dispatch section as was asked by an employee of the commission , there is no such separate authority to deal with internships. Applications were entertained on first come first serve basis.
I started my internship right from the next day of submitting the application, the commission is situated at arera hills right at the back of district court of Bhopal , the building is overall well-maintained.
Everyday I was required to mark my presence in attendance register in front of Under Secretary of the commission.
After this, I was required to attend the court proceedings of Chief Information Commissioner and after that of other Information Commissioners. In total there were 6 Information Commissioners and a Chief Information Commissioner.
The proceedings in the court of Chief Information Commissioner began at 10:45A.M. and lasted till 12:00 to 12:30 P.M.. After that I attended the proceedings of other Information Commissioners which lasted upto 1:30 P.M.
After this, I was required to collect case files from the personal assistant of Chief Information Commissioner, which was made available to me after asking 3- 4 times and this continued everyday. The material was written in Hindi.
I was allowed to leave by 3:00P.M. However one can leave before this, as there was no such compulsion.
I was asked to purchase and read the bare act of Right to Information Act, 2005 and to discuss my doubts (if any) relating to bare act or court proceedings with Mr. Pandey , who was specially designated to clear doubts of interns.
Later, I interacted with various RTI activists and this was the best part of my internship as these people were highly knowledgeable and also shared there views regarding the discrepancies in government departments.
At the end, I was required to submit my internship report covering my experience, what I learnt and the case laws that I read. This was to be submitted to Mr. Pandey and in return questions were asked by him relating to provisions of RTI act and factual cases designed by him.
The staff there was not at all co-operative except Mr. Pandey. I had to request again and again to read case files, moreover there was no designated place of attendance register, it circulated in the whole commissions’ premises.
There was no accommodation problem for me as I reside in Bhopal itself, however good hostels are available in Mp nagar which is 1-1.5 km far from commission.
At the end a certificate was awarded to me.
I learnt how to file an RTI practically and how the proceedings take place.
There is no need of advocate, the petitioner can represent himself.
I also learnt the procedure of disposal of RTI applications and how the dispute arises.
After a thorough reading of bare act and leading cases, I gained the full knowledge of right to information and the reasons of its enactment.
After interacting with RTI activists I found that even after enactment of this act the working of government departments aren’t transparent.