Stay off the RTI Act: civil society to government

DoPT convenes meet to discuss how to improve implementation


Danish Raza | April 1, 2010

The Right to Information Act is doing fine and does not need any amendments: that was the message from civil society groups to the government at a meeting in the capital on Wednesday.
RTI activists from across the country were in Delhi to hold consultations with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal department for the law, to formulate a strategy towards better implementation of the Act.
But given the speculation that the government is planning to dilute the transparency law, the activists expressed resentment to any kind of amendments to the RTI and gave their suggestions on how to strengthen the Act.
Majority of them said the Act in its present form should be implemented in full spirit and the government should make sure that the public information officers in all the departments were properly trained to handle RTI applications.
Other recommendations include penalty provision for those government departments which do not comply with the orders of the information commissions and action on those government officials who were found to be incapable in releasing information under the Act.
“We told them in clear words that what was required was proper implementation of the Act,” said Bimal Kumar Khemani of the Lucknow-based NGO Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat.
Earlier this month, there were reports that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the Act should not be amended without consulting the stakeholders. The prime minister, according to the reports, favors certain
amendments to the Act, whereas the NGO have been opposed to any "dilution" in it.
This was the first time the government had invited the civil society for consultations on the implementation of the Act.
“It is good that at least they gave us a platform to express our concerns. There was lot of disbelief on the part of civil society for the government. Such meetings would help in dismantling this disbelief,” said Srima Roy, an Orissa-based RTI activist, who attended the meeting.
Hemant Goswami, an RTI activist from Chandigarh, said: “DoPT representatives told us that the meeting was in no way connected to the government’s 'plans to dilute the Act'. The only purpose was to take note of the views of those who were working for the Act.
“I hope they are being honest when they say this,” he added.



Other News

NCP’s Ajit Pawar is LoP in Maharashtra assembly

After the Bharatiya Janta Party orchestrated rebellion in the Shiv Sena partly led by Eknath Shinde who took away with him a majority of MLAs, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government proved majority in the state assembly floor test, crossing  the midway mark (144) getting 164 votes in their favour. The Natio

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter