An appeal to save Indian democracy. Save Right to Information Act 2005 – noting is an adjunct to the file – The RTI would be a dead instrument without the note file coming under its ambit.
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 22, 2006
To: Prime Minister of IndiaDr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
Sub: An appeal to save Indian democracy.
I am appalled to learn that the Cabinet has approved an amendment to exempt file notings and cabinet papers from disclosure under the Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005. I am shocked that a progressive UPA government that fathered the Act has chosen to take this retrograde step and kill the act in its infancy.
In the last few years, RTI has emerged as a very effective tool in the hands of a common man to check corruption, fight injustice and make governance transparent. The proposed amendments would blunt RTI’s effectiveness. This will prevent people from knowing why a particular decision was taken and who said what in that decision making process. It will prevent people from knowing why no action was taken on their applications and who the guilty officials were. In effect, the Government would end up protecting the corrupt and dishonest officials.
It is strange that at almost the same time when your cabinet was approving such retrograde amendments, you were making a speech on how RTI could improve governance. In your speech, you stated “This Act, by promoting transparency, can be a vital instrument for cutting down corruption and ensuring that goals set for improved public service delivery can be met.”
Would you kindly explain as to how would transparency be promoted by exempting file notings? How would service delivery improve if you protect the identity of guilty officials? One gets a feeling you’re your speeches are mere rhetoric and the Government does not mean what it says.
Mr O P Kejariwal, Member Central Information Commission, recently said that “Information minus the file notings amount to taking the life out of the RTI Act”.
The Act is just 10 months old. The Government should have given at least a few years before attempting to amend it. Nine state governments have RTI Acts for the last seven years or more. File notings were being given under those Acts. No bureaucrat in any of these states felt threatened the way bureaucrats working directly under you seem to be feeling.
It was hoped that your government would strengthen the Act and not take the life out of it, within one year of its coming into existence.
I therefore demand that the Right to Information Act, 2005 not be tampered with. Let the government of India not be held hostage by its Babus!
Please do not remove the note file from the purview of the RTI.
The RTI would be a dead instrument without the note file coming under its ambit.
The common man would not be empowered if the note file is kept out of the purview of the RTI. It is as good as killing the spirit of and spirit behind the RTI !
noting is an adjunct to the file
extending transparency to notings could actually give cover to an official
note file should not be exempted from RTI Act 2005
IT’S OUR RIGHT. An inalienable right has been conferred on citizens.
`Right to Information Act will empower common people’
The legislative intent is clear; we are entitled to know how our money is spent.
The onus is on us to make the Act work.
In effect, therefore, the right conferred on the citizen is an exhaustive one.
It allows him to assess and examine every government decision,
to study the reasons recorded by the government for taking a
to utilise information so gathered to ensure that
government acts in a transparent and just
the preamble to the Act puts it well when it says, “democracy requires an
informed citizenry and transparency of information”
and adds these
“are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to
hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the
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