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SC directs state information commissions to conduct hybrid hearings

The Supreme Court on Monday directed all state information commissions (SICs) to establish a hybrid system to hear complaints and appeals under the Right to Information Act.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud ordered that SICs must provide parties the choice to opt for hybrid hearings and share video links on the cause list.

The top court further directed that electronic filing must be made efficient and accessible.State governments have been directed to provide funds for this.

The SC has directed the Department of Personnel and Training to convene a meeting of all state and central information commissioners to prepare a timeline for implementation of its order.

The SC also underscored the fact that the use of technology is no longer a choice but a necessity.

The bench observed that access to justice is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and an essential component of freedom of speech.The Supreme Court noted that the Central Information Commission conducts its proceedings in a hybrid manner, which eases access for citizens. The directions were passed on a public interest litigation aimed at improving the working of the SICs.

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