Right to Information – Master key to good governance

“RTI Act one of the most radical pieces of legislation”

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 25, 2006

“RTI Act one of the most radical pieces of legislation”

Staff Reporter


Right to Information Act is pro-development: Arha



INFO CAMPAIGN: Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah (second from right) at the workshop on `Right to Information’ in Hyderabad on Monday. Others seen are (from right): Syed Hasnain and C.D. Arha. — Photo: Satish. H



HYDERABAD: Private institutions that are “substantially-funded” by the Government and those governed by Indian laws are also liable to be covered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, according to Chief Information Commissioner, Government of India, Wajahat Habibullah.

Inaugurating a workshop on `Right to Information’ organised by the Academic Staff College of the University of Hyderabad on Monday, he described the RTI Act as one of the most radical pieces of legislation even if comparisons were drawn with matured democracies.

He said that the implementation of the Act depended upon whether people wanted good governance and were ready to participate in the process of governance. At the same time, the RTI should not be an instrument of humiliating the Government.

Mr. Habibullah said enormous amount of awareness was needed across the country on the Act and how to use it, as very few people made use of its provisions.

He said the Official Secrets Act had always been undemocratic and draconian and the RTI Act would rectify these shortcomings.

Answering a question from the audience about reports of dilution of the RTI provisions, he said that the Commission was only concerned with what the Parliament had passed.

State Chief Information Commissioner C.D. Arha said it was important for Government employees not to view the RTI Act as an adverse legislation that would affect their interests or functioning. “The act is pro-development”, he added.

The University Vice-Chancellor Syed E. Hasnain spoke. P. K. Mohanty, Director, Centre for Good Governance, M. Narayana Rao, Director, Marri Channa Reddy Institute for Human Resources Development, Jayaprakash Narayan, founder Lok Satta and Siddarth Varadarajan, Deputy Editor, The Hindu were among those who participated in various sessions.


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