History of Right to Information

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History of Right to Information

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 4
HISTORY OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION

INTRODUCTION:
Right to Information has given a platform to the people to know about the proper functioning and the administration of the government. Before the need for Right to Information emerged, there were other acts such as the Evidence Act and the Official Secrets Act which gave certain privileges to the government to prevent certain documents to be disclosed to the public. As a result the government started using these privileges to serve their own ends. Slowly as time passed, people started questioning the administration of the government. Thus came the need for right to information.

HISTORY OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION:
MAZDOOR KISAN SHAKTI SANGATHAN:
The need for the right to information first emerged when the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), an NGO located at Rajasthan started an organization against corruption by leading the people in asserting their Right to Information asking for copies of bills and vouchers and names of persons who have been paid wages mentioned in muster rolls(list of names of officers) on the construction of schools, dispensaries, small dams and community centres. Though all the projects were completed on paper, the villagers very well knew that the funds have been misappropriated because there were roofless school buildings, dispensaries without walls, dams left incomplete and community centres having no doors and windows. After many efforts the MKSS finally succeeded in getting photocopies of certain relevant documents which made the misappropriation of funds clearly obvious. . In some cases, the muster rolls contained names of persons who either did not exist at all or died years before. This incident is more than sufficient to show the importance of the ability of information for eradicating mal-practices. Later on MKSS organised a Jan Sunwai (People’s hearing), the first ever in the history of Rajasthan. Politicians, administrators, landless labourers, private contractors were all...