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RIGHT TO INFORMATION& GOOD GOVERNANCE

RTI : A CITIZEN’s HELPING HAND TO ACHIEVE “GOOD GOVERNANCE”

2013
Silky Gupta, 2nd year student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala. Gurnoor Kaur Mutreja, 2nd year student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala. Address : G-2/193 Gulmohar Colony, Shahpura, Bhopal (M. P.). Contact No. : 09501479949 09988097210 Email id. : 11.silky@gmail.com gurnoormutreja@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

RTI: A citizen’s helping hand to achieve “Good Governance” - Silky Gupta & Gurnoor Kaur Mutreja1
In the present scenario of Democracy, corruption and other malpractices have taken a toll over all the government authorities and have affected its working adversely. There is a global demand for laws to ensure effective working of the government. At such a stage RTI emerged as a saviour and is working as a helping hand for the citizens to attain the global principle of “good governance”. This piece of work has emphasized on the scenario resulting in the upcoming of RTI and the relation of RTI with good governance, important definitions, and applicability of the Act. Indian constitution has guaranteed Right to know to all the citizens under Article 19. This paper will deal with how citizens can use RTI as an effective tool for bringing greater transparency in the government and how citizens’ participation will increase in the functioning of the government. The paper will also discuss the importance of accountability of the people towards the government as an effective step towards good governance. The paper furthermore discusses about maintenance and publication of records, the exemptions, exclusions and when information can be denied under RTI. The paper has discussed the development in laws from Official Secrets Act to the RTI legislations of various states and finally the RTI Act in 2005. A government includes three pillars of executive, legislature and judiciary and to attain the goal of Good governance all the three pillars should work properly hence the paper explains the application of RTI on legislature and judiciary as well. In addition the paper explains that Right to information has not only reduced the corruption level in the government but has also helped in the development of the nation by poverty alleviation, better education and health care services, better economic facilities, empowerment of weaker sections, environmental protection, etc. The paper discusses the impact and need of RTI for good governance and is concluded by suggestions and recommendations to make RTI successful.

1

2nd year student from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, Punjab.

INTRODUCTION
“We live in an age of information, in which the free flow of information and ideas determines the pace of development and well being of the people. The implementation of RTI Act is, therefore, an important milestone in our quest for building an enlightened and at the same time, a prosperous society. Therefore, the exercise of the Right to Information cannot be the privilege of only a few.”

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Valedictory Address at the National Convention on RTI, October 15, 2006 The basic premise behind the right to information is that, since Government is ‘for the people’; it should be open and accountable and should have nothing to conceal from the people it purports to represent. In a responsible Government like ours where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there could be no secrets. The right to know, though not absolute, makes citizens wary when secrecy is claimed for common routine business of administration. Such secrecy is hardly desirable. Information is an antidote to corruption, it limits abuse of discretion, protects civil liberties, it provides consumer information, it provides people’s participation and brings awareness of laws and policies and is the elixir of the media.

According to a paper prepared by the...
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