BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE IN BUREAUCRACY WOULD BE WELCOME.
The main question is: Whether it is the RTI Act 2005, passed by the Parliament, being called the best instrument for behavioural change, or the distorted version presented by the DOPT on the official websites, which seems to be in the process of being rubber-stamped through Cabinet proposed amendment. Public will most welcome a change of behaviour on the part of certain coterie of officers, who wish to seek the back of the official version of the RTI Act.
These officers should be asked to carefully think whether: ‘the government can claim privilege to not disclose all sort of file notings, from public, when settled law, under Art.74(2) of the Constitution and sec.123 of the Evidence Act, allows it only in case of such Affairs of State, as are reasonably well defined under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act’. The procedure for claiming privilege has been honed over the last fifty years, and stood test of time. Whose point can it be that: the RTI 2005 was promulgated to deprive citizens of the right to such information which was already available under existing laws?
The Government should first change its behaviour and order the obnoxious alteration done in definition of ‘information’ under the RTI Act, as presented on the websites. Let the matter be properly and freely discussed in the Parliament, and only after that the final version displayed on the websites. Why perpetuate an illegality?