Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Comments on the amendment to 2.(i) of RTI Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 4, 2006

From: Dwijendra nath Guru <dnguru@gmail.com>
To: AID Volunteers Group – Save RTI Campaign <rti-vol@aidindia.org>
Date: Aug 3, 2006 8:57 AM
Subject: [Rti-vol] Comments on the amendment to 2.(i)

Proposed Amendment : In Section 2 clause (i) subclause (d) the
following shall be substituted; namely :- “(d) Any other material
produced by a computer or any other device, but does not include, for
the purpose of the sub clause (a), file noting except substantial file
notings on plans, schemes, programmes of the Central Government or a
State Government, as the case may be, that relate to development and
social issues;”

Comments:
(1) Unlike the RTIA 2005, the disclosure of the file notings under
this amendment is being ‘allowed’ through an exception in the law. As
we have come to know from other sources of information, the RTIA came
to be known as that and not as a freedom of information act, because
the intent was to recognise the right of people to know. So the
amendement is an attempt at not just saving the (un)intented inept
babu, but also an attempt to stiffle the spirit of the RTIA.

(2) Note that only the exception on the file notings is applicable
only to “substantial file notings on…” – _substantial_ ?? Who
decides which noting is substantial? A few lines of scribbled notings
can reveal the whole essence of the project status. But because it is
only a few lines, it is not substantial and so the PIO could easily
decide to exercise this clause.

(3) In RTIA 2005, in defining the various terms in section 2., clause
(f) states: ” “information” means any material in any form ….
relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public
authority under any law for the being in force;” With the proposed
amendment, file notings will only be released if they pertain to
plans, schemes, programmes of the Central Government or a State
Government. So with this amendment, the govt. (and if passed in the
parliament, our MPs too) are saying that the RTI might have considered
you, a member of the general public, as equal to a public authority,
but we are showing you that you are not equal. You are a serf and dont
have any right to know what we the ruling class think or say through
our notes.

Effectively, as suspected, the amendement arms a babu with enough
clauses to deny any and all file notings on one basis or the other.

./dwiji

PS: I shall share my thoughts on the amendments to section 8 later in
the day …


===========================
Dwijendra Nath Guru

612-803-0296 (C), 651-224-3596 (H)
612-625-4015 (L), 612-624-2043 (O)
==========================
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