Commission chief Satyananda Mishra expressed concern saying, "If the pendency continues increasing, the waiting period will also increase. We are very concerned and will have to think of radical ways to tackle the problem. One of the issues that we will discuss is `summary disposal' of cases through just speaking orders to save time."
The CIC has six information commissioners, including its chief, though it has a sanctioned strength of 10. One of the first tasks undertaken by Mishra on taking over was to write to the government asking for more commissioners keeping in view the large number of cases coming to the CIC. However, there has been little progress in ramping up the strength so far.
RTI activists are concerned and have been vocal in their disapproval of the long waiting time. One prominent RTI activist, who did not wish to be named, said, "The hearing for a case where I had sought information took place three months ago and in fact only the formal order had to be issued since I was given the impression that the decision had been taken. However, I have still not heard from the office of the information commissioner.
Prof Rajeev Kumar, formerly with IIT-Kharagpur, said that he had sought information on IIT-Madras in 2010 and only managed to get hearing in September, 2011. "I received the order after three months in December, 2011 and even then the institute gave me only part of the information. It was of no use. Despite the long delay the no penalty was charged. CIC has become infructuous," Kumar said.
Sources said that some cases as old as 2006 were still pending before the Commission with no action being taken.