Govt wakes up to RTI rules

Consults CIC on draft rules


Danish Raza | November 29, 2010

The central government has finally started the process of making a set of rules to implement the right to information (RTI) act.

The government has submitted the draft rules with the central information commission (CIC) which discussed it in an internal meeting on November 16.

“Commission discussed the draft rules and suggested some modifications. The changes as suggested by the commission shall be incorporated and sent to the Government at the earliest,” said the minutes of the CIC meeting.

Information commissioners at the CIC refused to divulge details of the draft rules.

“There is nothing damaging in the draft rules. Civil society will not resist it,” said a senior official in the commission on the condition of anonymity.
Under the RTI act, the government may make rules to carry out the provisions of the act. The rules define, among other things, RTI application fee and cost of obtaining information.

However, the fact that nothing about the new draft rules is in public forum, has drawn flak from the civil society.

“The secrecy surrounding the draft RTI rules is in clear violation of two decisions of the CIC emphasising the duty of public consultation while drafting laws and policies. We don’t know whether the CIC has reminded the DoPT about the imperative of public consultation on these draft RTI rules or not,” said Venkatesh Nayak, programme coordinator, access to information programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.



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