The right to information law of J&K implemented in 2009 was considered to be one of the strongest legislation in the history of Jammu and Kashmir to increase transparency and accountability in public offices. After the abrogation of Article 370 and conversion of Jammu and Kashmir state into Union territory, in August 2019 the RTI act 2005 which is an Indian law came into force – however, due to the lack of a commission locally the activists have been raising questions over the delay in responses to RTI queries by local public departments. As per Mushtaq Ahmad, an activist associated with J&K RTI Movement, a group of transparency advocates, the public authorities often delay responses and show reluctance. Activists demand that a bench of the commission shall be established in Kashmir so that the law functions properly.
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Editor - Kashmir Unheard