School of Law Christ University
Right to information as citizens weapon –myths and realities
Right to information a weapon for citizens – Myths and Realities
Right to information gives the citizens of the country to enquire about the information related to expenditure that is done by the government on various projects. It is a privilege that is given to all the citizens of the country so as to see that the money being provided to the state is used efficiently or not. It is a tool that is provided to the citizens to fight corruption in the country. Right to information act was passed in 2005 since then it has worked effectively and efficiently for only a few organizations. Individuals who file RTI are not provided with complete information and sometimes there are no replies from the concerned departments as well. The act have been passed such a long time ago is still a myth for some people and only a few are able to make full use of it. People in India earlier were not aware of the RTI act been passed through which they could keep a check on government expenditure in various sectors. There are a few organizations that are now making efficient use of this act by filing RTI”s and making a move to fight the corruption in India.
It’s not that RTI is not at all efficient in the country. It has helped many organizations in the fight against corruption. My research paper focuses both on the realities and the myths of RTI in our country and how it has helped the country to fight against corruption. Both advantages and disadvantages of RTI are discussed in the paper.
THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 Came into force on the 12th October, 2005 An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto. The Central RTI Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. All bodies are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government are covered. Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers. Right To Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information Take copies of any government documents Inspect any government documents. Inspect any Government works Take samples of materials of any Government work. Receive request Payment of fee SPIO solicit assistance Provide information Fee payment: In person by paying cash By Post through: Demand Draft, Indian Postal Order, Money orders (only in some states), Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states), Banker’s cheques. Obtaining Information Exemptions Affects the sovereignty and integrity of India Forbidden by any court of law or tribunal Breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature Information related to agencies mentioned in the Second Schedule of the Act Commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property Information from a foreign government. Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries or prosecution of offenders.
Impact of RTI on Indian Society
Greater Transparency: With a view to ensuring maximum disclosure of information regarding government rules, regulations and decisions, every public authority is mandated to maintain all its records. This has increased the interaction between the public authorities and the society .Any person can request any information related to public sectors. Take copies of documents. Inspect documents, works and records. Take certified samples of materials of work. Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video...
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