Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Anna Hazare protests RTI amendments

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 22, 2006

Anna Hazare protests RTI amendments

NDTV Correspondent
http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?slug=

Anna+Hazare+protests+RTI+amendments&id=90502&category=National

Saturday, July 22, 2006 (New Delhi):

Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to return his Padma Vibhushan if the government brings amendments to the Right to Information Act.

This week the government decided to weaken one of its biggest achievements by exempting bureaucratic notings from the act.

There has been widespread outrage at this proposed move with many saying this move will render the act lifeless.

One Response to “Anna Hazare protests RTI amendments”

  1. P.K. Aditya, Chandigarh said

    There seems to be a little misunderstanding regarding Cabinet having approved amendment of the RTI Act. An Act does not get amended if the Cabinet decides that it should be amended. What it implies is that the Government proposes to initiate due process of amendment, namely present the proposed amended version before both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in the form of a Bill. It may alternatively introduce the amendment by way of an Ordinance, under prescribed procedure.

    There is yet another aspect of the ‘amendment’. It deserves to be noted that under the proposed amendment file notings would be excluded in case of files related to “few areas”. What these areas are has not yet been clarified. It would worth while to get a list of these ‘areas’ from the CPIO of the Ministry of Parliamentry Affairs. For instance, if these areas are more or less identical to sensitive areas listed in section 8 of the Act, this would hardly mean any amendment at all. If uncalled for areas are included, these can be questioned when the Bill is introduced in Parliament.

    The main matter of concern should be not this decision of the Cabinet, to exclude ‘few areas’, but that the Department of Personnel and Training had blatantly altered the definition of ‘information’ by excluding all sort of file notings from the purview of the RTI Act, and not made any correction in spite of the CIC having decided to the contrary in the well known Satyapaul vs. TCIL case, dated January 31, 2006, and relied upon in two morw cases in May 2006. DOPT should be made the target and all possible efforts made to force DOPT to revert to the original definition of ‘information’ till such time that the Act is modified in a legal manner.

    I would even suggest that a special button should be named “DOPT” on this website and viewers encouraged to give their views with regard to the highhandedness of the DOPT.

    P.K. Aditya, Chandigarh

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