Sunday, October 18, 2009

Govt for change in RTI law, activists call it death knell

The The government on Wednesday proposed key amendments in the four-year-old Right to Information Act, which the activists called the death knell for the transparency law. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which administers the law, discussed the proposed changes with Information Commissioners, two days after President Pratibha Patil called for a stop to veracious and frivolous RTI applications. The government has proposed that the reasons for taking any Cabinet decisions should be disclosed only 60 days after the decision has been made. At present, the timeframe is 30 days.

The second amendment proposed by the DoPT is not to allow information regarding issues on which the government is yet to take a final decision. At present, the restriction is applicable only for Cabinet proposals. "It would essentially mean that no file notings will be disclosed," a Central Information Commissioner, who was not willing to be quoted, said. "A person would not be able to seek simple public information like whether a road is being proposed in his or her locality or not". The department also wants to give the Public Information Officers (PIO ) the discretion to decide which RTI application is frivolous. The department has, however, not explained that which form of application can be termed as frivolous.

Complete Article
Instead of simplifying the provosions and making availability of information easier the govt. is reducuing the scopoe of the Act. All of us must it tooth and nail.

Parvati Nivas, Savarkar Road,
Dombivli (East) 421 201
Tel: 0251-2424845/2451288 (M)9819287584  
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