Hyderabad: An RTI activist from Telangana has written to Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) for virtual hearing of appeals and complaints besides setting up paperless online e-filling system.

SQ Masood, an RTI activist, in his representation said people are facing many difficulties while attending the physical hearings of their appeal and complaints at the Telangana State Information Commission due to COVID-19.

"Applicants and respondents coming from different districts of Telangana are suffering a lot. They have to travel a long distance to attend the hearings, and filing appeals and complaints," he said.

Masood added that the COVID-19 crisis has taught them how justice could be made easier, affordable, and efficient through virtual mode. "The advantages of virtual hearings have come to light because of the Supreme Court and High Courts. They conducted judicial work by virtual hearings," he said.

Masood also requested the commission to implement recommendations of the e-committee of the Supreme Court that offers excellent advantages of video conferencing technology in the Justice delivery system. "Choice should be given to the applicants and respondents whether they wish to appear physically or virtually," he said.

Advantage of Virtual Hearing

According to the activist, applicants and respondents need not travel distance to appear before the Courts and Commissions. "Justice Delivery would become more efficient, faster and inexpensive. Applicants from small towns would not lose time for appearance and the crowds at the commission could be thinner," he said.

He said a paperless online e-filing system for appeals and complaints can be set up along with updates through SMS alert.

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