Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Act a blow to graft: Pandey

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 7, 2006

Act a blow to graft: Pandey
HT Correspondent
Sitapur, July 5


MAGSAYSAY AWARD winner Sandeep Pandey said enforcement of the Right to Information had dealt a blow to officials and politicians indulging in corruption.

Addressing complainants at a camp in Vikas Bhawan, he said earlier officials could conceal information on the pretext of official secrets etc. But the, Right to Information Act, which was enacted and implemented in October 2005, had now given the people a strong weapon to fight corruption. He gave credit to former IAS officer Aruna and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for bringing this Act to the country. Thanks to the Act, ‘nothing is secret now’, he said.

Talking about the situation in Sitapur, he said some officials were still resisting furnishing information. Many of them did not even appoint information officials in their department. Even in those departments where officials had been appointed, there was a reluctance to disclose their identity.

Pandey said it was now the right of every citizen to seek information about anything, whether it concerned him or not.

Enforcement of the RTI had brought to light many cases of corrupt practices and dilly-dallying. He said the time was ripe to make effective use of this potent weapon against corruption.

Pandey, along with organisers of the camp, disclosed that a dozen departments were yet to appoint information officials.

They said some officials were denying information to public who submitted applications on plain paper. At this, the CDO directed all departmental heads to either accept applications on plain paper, or make available a proforma. The CDO said names of the officials providing information should be specified as well as the names of those depositing money for providing information to the public at prominent places. He also circulated a specimen copy of receipt being issued by DDO to complainants for depositing money under the RTI.

The DDO promised there would be a centralised nodal officer for guiding complainants, if officials did not accept applications from the public.


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