New Delhi, Dec 6 (PTI) The Central Information Commission, which had over 35,000 cases before it at the start of 2016-17, has cleared a large part of the backlog and by February 2018 will only have to deal with cases filed this year, Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur said here today.

Mathur said from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, 9,000 cases had been cleared.

“We had a pendency of about 35,000 cases as on April 1, 2016. On March 31, 2017, we had a pendency of 26,000 cases.

What is more important is we had about 6,000 cases pending from 2015, from 2009, from 2010 etc. We have managed to clear them,” he said.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the annual convention of the Commission, he said from February 2018, it would only hear cases filed in 2017.

Mathur said courts have been trying to tackle backlogs, but being a smaller organisation, the CIC has been able to deal with the problem of pending cases.

“All the filings have been done on the computer. Hearings can be done on the computer and video conferencing.

Registration is done within 48 hours. We have started an email and sms facility to keep track of appeals and complaints,” he said.

Mathur said it had also started the process of a transparency audit.

With the help of a public interaction system, 3,500 queries of people had been answered, he said.

The Commission has started a new interface wherein public authorities can see on its website cases pending against them to ensure that they come prepared for a hearing.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.