Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Despite right, little access to info – Delhi RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 9, 2006

Despite right, little access to info
[ Friday, June 02, 2006 12:48:42 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


NEW DELHI: If you thought the Right to Information Acts had brought about transparency in the functioning of Delhi government departments, well, think again.

Four years after the Delhi RTI Act came into force and a year after the Centre notified its own legislation, 75% of applicants seeking information from city government organisations are denied access to it.

And, these are the findings of Public Grievances Commission (PGC), the appellate body for RTI Act. PGC says that a majority of applicants are refused information or misguided with incomplete replies because departments want to brush most matters under the carpet. Many of those denied information then file appeals with PGC.

According to PGC statistics, at least 50% of applicants are provided the relevant information after they file appeals – that is, when officials of the department concerned find the threat of the appellate body looming large.

In a majority of such cases, the departments try to give their written replies even before the first hearing of the appeal.

MCD has been the worst offender in suppressing information. Since 2002-03, when Delhi RTI Act was implemented, PGC has received 709 appeals for information, of which 623 have been dealt with.

MCD tops the list of 59 government departments and organisations with as many as 241 appeals made against it, that is 38.68% of all applications filed.


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