Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Activists protest RTI amendments, PMO clarifies

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 27, 2006

Activists protest RTI amendments, PMO clarifies

Manu Sharma

Watch story Activists protest RTI amendments, PMO clarifies

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 (New Delhi):

The people, who campaigned extensively for Right to Information law, have accused the government of shielding the bureaucrats by changing the act and exempting notes made by them.

The activists are bitterly disappointed and they took their fight to the President, forcing the Prime Minister’s office to issue a clarification.

Anti-corruption activist, Anna Hazare has taken the battle to protect the right to information to the government’s doorstep.

The protest comes just a week after the government effectively weakened the law by exempting certain file notings from public scrutiny.

But almost simultaneously, the Prime Minister’s officer reacted sharply to the growing protests stating that the criticism of the amendments is based on incomplete knowledge.

The PMO has said that file notings of all plans, schemes and programmes of the government that relate to development and social issues can be disclosed.

However, it claims that only a small portion of file notings will be kept confidential.

Upside down

This pertains to information on security, strategic and economic interests and Personnel related matters like examination, assessment and evaluation for recruitment, and disciplinary proceedings.

“It is right of the people to know what is going on. This is what democracy is,” said Anna Hazare, while reacting to the clarifications.

But Aruna Roy, who led the campaign for the right to information, says the government has turned the right to information upside down.

“People have to lead the campaign. Youth, everyone, it is their right,” said Roy.

Although the president dissuaded him from returning his Padma Bhushan in protest, at least for the time being, Hazare and others say the fight is far from over.

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