Monday, October 26, 2009

'Changes to RTI Act will make it toothless'

This is the second time in the past four years that the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which has made a difference to the lives of millions of ordinary people, is under the threat of becoming toothless. This time around, the Centre has proposed several amendments to the sunshine act, including denial of information about file notings where decision is yet to be taken and adding clauses that allow a public information officer (PIO) to deny information by deeming it as frivolous or vexatious in nature. Former city-based RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi, who is now the Central Information Commissioner, Delhi, emphasised that the RTI Act must not be touched as its provisions empower citizens to procure information without delay and harassment from state officials. "Any kind of change will only cause confusion and it will be used as a ploy by PIOs to deny information.''

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