Ex-CIC Shailesh Gandhi pushes for Act 21 of 2006 implementation

Mumbai: Former Central Information Commissioner and RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi has launched a campaign to put pressure on the Maharashtra government to effectively implement a decade-old law that deals with improving governance and providing getting better services.

Shailesh Gandhi
Shailesh Gandhi

Speaking with PTI today, Gandhi said, "What can you do to make Government officials accountable to discharge their duties in a time-bound manner? RTI Act alone is not enough. We now have to work together to make Act 21 of 2006 effective."

The Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act is also known as the Act 21 of 2006 and Delays and Transfers Act.

Gandhi, who is now guiding citizens in using RTI responsibly, said, "This Act has the same potential as RTI for getting better services, governance and accountability for citizens. Though an enforceable law, it has not served its purpose because of ignorance of the lawmakers and apathy of government servants."

Gandhi was the first activist to become Central Information Commissioner (CIC) in 2008 and cleared a record number of RTI appeals. He continues to evangelise RTI and Act 21 of 2006 after his stint as CIC.

"I am trying to reactivate the campaign to get government to implement this useful Act and tomorrow I will be conducting the first of a series of workshops for this," the engineer- turned-activist said, adding he was also collecting data on non-compliance of the law.

Gandhi appealed to citizens and fellow activists to come forward and list the instances of non-compliance of the Act.

"I have asked people who may have used this law to register their success or failure. The idea is to collect adequate data in the next few months and then confront Government. If that doesn't work we will go to court," said the IIT-Bombay graduate.

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