RTI Act

deepak mehto
By deepak mehto September 18, 2019 18:08

In News

  • In an important judgment delivered today, the Supreme Court has held that non-governmental organizations [NGO] substantially financed, whether directly or indirectly, by the appropriate government fall within the ambit of ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

About the RTI Act

  • The Right to Information Act, simply known as RTI, is a revolutionary act that aims to promote transparency in government institutions in India.
  • The Act came into existence in 2005, after sustained efforts of anti-corruption activists.
  • It opens government organizations up for scrutiny as a common man can demand any government agency to furnish information.
  • The organization has to provide the asked information within 30 days.
  • All the constitutional authorities come under this Act, making it one of the most powerful laws of the country.

Successes of RTI

  • A number of significant disclosures have been made through the RTI such as the 2G scam, Commonwealth Games and so on.
  • It also led to the demand for several other important rights like the right to employment guarantee, the right to education and the right to food security.
  • The RTI has had the effect of loosening the tight hold of the government and its officials on both the information and instrumentalities of the state.

Problems the RTI is facing

  • Long pendency in most information commissions, some even for a year or more have hampered the successful implementation of the Act.
  • In many cases, errant government officials were not penalized which also contributes to decreasing of confidence in people regarding the Act
  • The appointment of information commissioners in the states has not been up to the mark which seriously undermined the citizen’s trust in information commissions.
  • The absence of enforcement provisions in the law has made the information commissions inefficient.
  • Poor record-keeping makes retrieval of information difficult.
  • The civil service’s indifference and hostility towards the RTI have not subsided.
  • The civil society’s enthusiasm for the RTI has declined.
  • Many individuals have started to use RTI to make a living or settle personal scores, giving it a bad reputation.
  • Failure to digitize records and make proactive disclosure of their information is the ultimate nail in the coffin.
  • The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that gave the government powers to decide salary and service terms of the statutory body head and its members has been seen as an attempt to take away the freedom of these bodies.

Conclusion

  • In the case of personal or innocent information, RTI has proved to be a success, but for contentious or potentially controversial information the Act has failed miserably except for a few examples.
  • RTI has achieved much but clearly but at this point in time it seems to have reached a plateau.
  • There is a need for a second revolution to revive the old energy with which the RTI was started.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ngos-private-bodies-getting-government-funds-fall-within-rti-act-supreme-court/articleshow/71176295.cms

https://onlinerti.com/about-rti

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rti-needs-a-second-revolution/ 

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deepak mehto
By deepak mehto September 18, 2019 18:08