In a landmark order, the Kerala State Information Commission has made attempts to make government business and dealings more transparent. Lifting the ‘iron curtain’ over state cabinet’s decisions, the Kerala Information Commission has ordered that all decisions by the state government, once finalized in the cabinet, to be available to public via the RTI Act.
The Chief Information Commissioner Vinson M Paul has asked the government to provide the details of the agendas and minutes regarding the controversial decisions made by the previous Oommen Chandy Cabinet in 10 days. The commission has also asked the government to publish the future decisions on its official website. “The details of all cabinet decisions should be given once the procedures regarding those decisions are completed. It also should be considered seriously to upload the cabinet decisions on the government website,” the Commission observed.
This step was taken after a complaint by RTI activist D B Binu against the decision of state government denying him copies of cabinet decisions taken from January 1 to March 12 under the RTI act. Some of these decisions, which were made in haste and allegedly favoured business houses, had contributed to the defeat of the Congress-led UDF in the recently concluded Assembly elections.
Though taken against Chandy’s UDF government, this order is even more crucial for the current Pinarayi government as D B Binu points, “The commission order is particularly crucial as the current Pinarayi government’s has wound up the post-Cabinet media briefing, denying the public the only source of information about the Cabinet’s decisions,” Binu said.