Rti Act

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  • Topic: Human rights, Government of India, Parliament
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  • Published : January 31, 2011
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RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT IN INDIA

Parvathi Nambiar
Roll no. 2067
Number of words: 2,302

Introduction
For a democratic republic like India, it is necessary to have citizens who are well informed and for the fundamental clarity in functioning of the Government, there needs to be transparency of information. Till now, the people could only criticize the incompetency and ineffectiveness of the Government and be silent watchers. But now, we have the right to question the Government, inspect their work, inspect their files, take copies of government documents and make them responsible for every step taken by them. The Parliament of India has passed a law that makes the common man of the country the ruler in the real sense. This law is known as Right to Information.

This paper attempts on explaining the Right to Information Act passed on the 12th of October 2005. This has been done through elucidating the procedure for application for RTI and its ramification on the economy and the concentration of corruption in India. This paper highlights the positive impact of RTI in India and how it has helped India improve the economic stability.

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI)
RTI Act was enacted by the Indian Parliament as, “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 therewith or incidental thereto.” (Gazette of India, Section II, No. 22, 2005)

Initially, the RTI Laws came into force in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) between 1997 and 2002. But now J&K has its own RTI Act, 2009.

This Act empowers the citizens of our country to actively participate in the governance of the society and give a consistent reply to corruption. RTI Act enables the common man to closely monitor the functioning of all the departments under the purview of either the Central or State government or any other body that is created as per Constitution of India or by an Act of Parliament or Act of State legislature. Although the level of discretion in case of certain information, like the utilization of the financial resources by the Government or any sensitive information, for that matter, also needs to be maintained. Therefore, this Act is necessary in balancing the rights of the State as well as its people.

Right to Information is a fundamental human right and a requirement for the comprehension of other human rights: civil and political rights such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights such as right to adequate food, right to water, right to highest attainable standard of health, right to education. Right to Information has become a friend in need, making life easier and honorable for common people. Transparency helps and benefits the common man greatly by protecting their rights and dignity. Information indefatigably supports their struggle for survival. Any step to strengthen this will eventually help in increasing the stability of the country’s democratic framework.

Reach of RTI
The Act covers the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, where J&K Right to Information Act is applicable. Laws passed by the Parliament are not automatically applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir unless endorsed by the state's legislature. It is applicable to all constitutional authorities, including the executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or body established or constituted by an act of Parliament or a state legislature. It is also defined in the Act that bodies or authorities established or constituted by order or notification of...
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