Empowering the layman thru law
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 14, 2006
Empowering the layman thru lawNT Bureau
Chennai, July 14:
|Senior advocates Sriram Panchu and Sudha Ramalingam, V V Vasanthi Devi, former,
chairperson, Tamilnadu State Commission for Women, S Ramakrishna, Chief Information
Commissioner of Tamilnadu State Information Commission at ‘the Right to Information’
campaign in the city yesterday.
‘The Right to Information Act (RTI) is a powerful tool which would empower the common people,’ S Ramakrishnan, Chief Information Commissioner of Tamilnadu State Information Commission, has said.
Inaugurating a 15- day camp- cum- clinic organised here yesterday by the ‘Tamilnadu Right to Information Campaign’, Ramakrishnan said, ‘The State Information Commission had received more than 1,000 petitions out of which 900 petitions were disposed of with necessary directions to the authorities concerned’. ‘Mostly, the petitions sought information from public authorities and also redressal of grievances apart from compensation,’ he added.
Explaining about the Act, he said, ‘while using the law, the public should specifically know what, how and where to seek the information and the commission has sent the applications to the departments requesting them to take necessary actions within a fortnight’.
Ramakrishnan also stated that the practice of official secrecy which is pre-dominant in the mindset of the government officials and employees and fear over the RTI Act were the major hurdles to the implementation of the Act.
He further said, ‘the Act should be popularised among the general public and adequate training to officials on enforcing the Act is the need of the hour’.
Addressing the gathering, Sriram Panchu, senior advocate, Madras High Court, said, ‘The Act has actually given an ample opportunity to general populace to know the proceedings of the government. By using the Act public could also expedite the processing of issuance of ration cards, community certificates, land requirements etc’.
V Vasanthi Devi, former, chairperson, Tamilnadu State Commission for Women, said the legislation had bridged gap between the people and government .
She emphasised that government should take necessary action to create awareness among the public about this law. Sudha Ramalingam, advocate and National Council member, People Union of Civil Liberties, was also present.
The Chennai camp- cum- clinic, organised by the RTI, would be on in Bharathiyar Memorial Hall at Triplicane till 25 July.