Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Saving our Right To Information

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 1, 2006

A request to all freedom loving Citizens, and organisations in India. NCPRI is  proposing that groups and organisations send emails/letters to all MPs as per the following draft. Various organisations, or groups of individuals  in the Country could send similar letters to MPs in their area, and try and persuade them to issue letters supporting our position. Personal meetings would help. It is necessary that we ask our elected representatives to behave responsibly in discharging their duty towards us. This is one issue in which they are either with us, or against us.

Dear        ,
Citizens of India are very distressed at the Cabinet decision to curtail our New-found Freedom in the Right To Information Act 22 of 2005.
We have just started using this act, and see the immense empowerment to us which will convert India into a true participatory democracy.
The Cabinet decision to amend the most important Act which allows Citizens to monitor and improve Governance, by disallowing File Notings is a Citizen-unfriendly act and strikes at the roots of our Freedom. For your convenience we are giving our major objections to this proposed change in the Act:
1. Putting file notings in the realm of exemptions will make  the Act weaker. There are a lot of instances where honest officers have
recorded their objections to illegal proposals, and the higher officers/Ministers have overruled them, which would come to light. What we
have percieved as Right To Information is being sought to be converted to Right To Corruption. The significance of the proposed amendment
to the Act coming soon after an All-India Antibribery Campaign using RTI is not lost on us.
2.. The move smacks of arrogance of power and arbitrariness. The Government has made no attempt to disclose to the Public, what great harm
has accrued to governance in the last few months, which could not be covered under the present exemptions under Section 8.
3. It makes a mockery of over nine months (from August 2004 to May 2005) of a consultative-deliberative process between Beaureucrats,  Ministers, a Parliamentary Committee and Citizens, by an arbitrary decision of the cabinet. This is violative of the basic principles of transparency and democracy.

We have tolerated enough illegal activities and arbitrariness by all those who are charged with upholding them. We demand that our elected representatives declare if they wish to join us in protesting this move. The Citizens demand that you write to the leaders of your party outlining your opposition to this dilution of the Citizens rights by 13 August, and share a copy of your letter with Citizens. If we do not recieve a message from you by August 14 from any of the MPs, we shall assume that they are against Public Interest and are favouring an attack on our freedom. We will publicise the names of MPs who support our freedom , and those who oppose it.
We the Citizens demand an answer and will not be willing to assume that you are indifferent to a matter which concerns us deeply. We believe the survival of our democracy depends critically on this Right, and do not want any dilution of our valued Right.
We await your attention to a cause which is very importnant and dear to us.
Yours truly,

022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.


2 Responses to “Saving our Right To Information”

  1. ramesh wasudeo said

    let us find and specify which files should be shilded for their notings and take up matter with govt to exclude those only which are of sensitive nature and are of interest for vested interests and of little value to ordinary citizens.

    we will then be doing a positive act and not register general protest


  2. Dhirendra Krishna said

    Defination of “Information” in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act includes “opinion” and “advise”. File notings are a part of “records”, which contain opinion and advise, rendered by officers at various levels. Therefore the law, as it stands, is quite clear. It can not be diluted unless the RTI Act is ammended by the Parliament.

    Such an amendment to RTI Act would change the defination of “information”. I hope that the Parliament and the President of India would not allow the law to be changed, in view of the mounting pressure from the public.

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