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Kohima, 18 January (MTNews): In a move towards embracing technology for enhanced transparency and accessibility in the realm of the Right to Information (RTI), the Nagaland Information Commission officially launched the Hybrid Mode of Hearing today at the New Nagaland Commission Complex in Kohima. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Chief Information Commissioner, I Meyionen Jamir.

The Nagaland Information Commission emphasized the pivotal role of technology in ensuring access to justice by introducing a hybrid mode of hearing for all litigants. According to a DIPR report, this innovative approach allows applicants and appellants the flexibility to choose between physical and virtual hearings, depending on their preferences. The hybrid mode aims to streamline the process of filing complaints and appeals through electronic means, ensuring a seamless experience for all litigants.

The commission has established two studios dedicated to conducting virtual hearings of appeals and complaints through video conferencing. This development is particularly significant for individuals residing in remote areas, as it eliminates the need for them to travel to the commission’s headquarters in Kohima. Now, litigants can actively participate in hearings from the comfort of their homes.

Applicants have the option to attend hearings either through physical presence or by utilizing popular video conferencing platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, or Bharat VC. Additionally, citizens can make use of video conference studios available at the National Information Centre in all district headquarters.

In compliance with a directive from the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the commission has integrated an online filing facility for second appeals and complaints through the e-service portal (formerly known as the e-district project). Interested individuals can access the portal at www.service.nagaland.gov.in to register and submit their appeals and complaints online.

To streamline the process further, the commission has compiled the email addresses and mobile numbers of First Appellate Authorities (FAA), Public Information Officers (PIO), and Assistant Public Information Officers (APIO) of all public authorities in the state. This compilation enables the commission to notify the relevant authorities when second appeals or complaints are filed online through the designated portal/link.

While filing online appeals or complaints, applicants are required to upload their RTI applications or first appeals, ensuring that the documents reach the rightful public authority. The commission emphasizes that physical filing of second appeals and complaints will continue alongside the virtual mode.

The launch of the Hybrid Hearing in Nagaland was marked by a virtual hearing of the second appeal with the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Zunheboto, showcasing the commission’s commitment to leveraging technology for a more inclusive and accessible justice system. This marks a significant leap forward in the pursuit of a more efficient and citizen-friendly RTI mechanism in the state of Nagaland.

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