Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

RTI Act amendment is to shield corrupt bureaucrats: Aruna Roy, Anna Hazare, Sandeep Pandey, Shailesh Gandhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 26, 2006

RTI Act amendment is to shield corrupt bureaucrats: Aruna Roy

By Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Social activist Aruna Roy has termed the
government’s decision to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act excluding
file notings from its purview as an attempt by corrupt bureaucrats to save
their empire.

The government has not furnished any reason on why they want to amend the
RTI Act. It looks like a deliberate attempt to take away the teeth from its
provisions,’ Roy here said Wednesday.

According to the amendment, file notings, other than for social and
developmental projects, cannot be disclosed.

File notings are expressions of opinion by officers handling projects. While
moving the file of a project or policy decision, bureaucrats put down their
remarks on the file, which play a vital role in deciding the future of the
project or policy.

Roy also said activists were planning a nationwide campaign against the
move.

‘During the ongoing monsoon session of parliament we are going to stage a
number of protests, dharnas, cyber campaigns and our signature campaign has
already started in several states across the country,’ she added.

Roy was with other eminent social activists protesting the amendment.

Sandeep Pandey, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, remarked the amendment would
curtail the power of the law by at least 25 percent.

Sailesh Gandhi, national convenor of the RTI movement in India, said: The
amendment is a mockery of democracy and the effort is a classic example of
converting right to information to right to corruption.’

Veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare reiterated his decision to return his Padma
Bhushan award unless the government rolled back its decision.

‘We are living in a democracy and people have every right to know what the
bureaucrats and politicians are doing with their money.

‘If the government does not take back its decision on file notings I will
return the award. I am sending a memorandum to the prime minister and if
there is no progress, I will return my award on Aug 9 near Rajghat,’ Hazare
said.

The RTI Act of 2005 is a watershed legislation for Indian democracy. A
crucial law for the promotion of transparency and accountability from the
government, the law allows citizens to demand information (in the form of
records, documents, samples, orders etc) from the government regarding any
government department or office.

The provision of a penalty clause also reduces the chances of denial of
granting information or giving incomplete information on part of government
officials.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

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3 Responses to “RTI Act amendment is to shield corrupt bureaucrats: Aruna Roy, Anna Hazare, Sandeep Pandey, Shailesh Gandhi”

  1. ramesh wasudeo said

    rather than taking away rightto inspect files and file notingsby citizens, the govt could do well by seeking to include certain clauses in exclusion section 8 of the act.

    the govt is trying to convert right ti infoin to right to corruption.

    rw

  2. S.K.Kapur said

    Dear Members
    I am only four years old with delhi rti and rti05.
    I fully agree with the petitioners and have signed the petition also.

    I however find that Section 4 has not been been applied by most of the offices, many other entities have not bothered to be covered like Societies, Co-operative Societies, NGOs, Trusts and most of the State and Central Govt. Offices. My recent visit to the Senior Supt. Post Offices at Mall Road, Delhi one of the designated Post offices to receive the applications was as ill informed about the Act and its implimentation as his staff. There was signage and no one, even his secy was aware of the Act.
    Bravo
    A big effort is needed for this also so that ultimately it is the Govt employed staff is awakened will be most helpful and help the emplimentation.
    A few days back I read about a scam discovered by Income tax team about the payoff by the wine industry to the tune of 379 crores of rupees. Nest day the news was that all the staff of the team had been transferred to the remote and obscure places as punishment.
    What I am trying to say is that I did not hear a whimper in this forum.

    Sorry Sir, I am really sorry.

  3. Manoj k. kamra said

    Sir,

    My comments are only subjective based on my bitter experience of more than 50 applications and desired information received in only few cases due to lack of fear of penality among PIOs,replying in negligent and false.Rest are in follow up process in I,II appeals in central,state information commissions.
    —————————————————————–

    Such voice needs to be immediately raised to impose penality on PIOs who are deliberately flouting the act.We indians donot satisfy with glass 90% full and enjoy it.
    If this available 90% enjoyed well by enforcing penality on guilty PIOs,there will be huge masses supporting for file notings.

    In my opinion,stress should only be on penality ,if it cannot be ,then what will we achieve ultimately.

    There is usual reply by most of the PIOs that information is confidential (without referring section 8&9),you can appeal our appellate authority(time pass of 1 month at AA,then very likely cic will
    uphold AA or rare cases instruct PIO to provide documents without any penality,disciplinary action,time pass of 4-5 months).

    Thus after waiting for average 6 months for ordinary information ,without imposing penality, in most of applications,expecting notesheet is futile and unnecessary.

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