Right to Information – Master key to good governance

House is allotted to IC Kejriwal

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 4, 2006

House is allotted to Kejriwal

8/4/2006 12:43:26 AM
– By Sonal Kellogg

New Delhi, Aug. 3: A day after filing an application under the Right to Information Act at the ministry of urban development for non-allotment of official residence, information commissioner O.P. Kejriwal got a house allotted to him.

The urban development ministry had not allotted Mr Kejriwal an official residence since the last nine months after he took charge as information commissioner and he was forced to live in government guest houses and at various friends places. Even though he was shown house No. 52 at Lodhi Estate for allotment two months ago, he was not allotted the house.

But as soon as he filed an application under the RTI Act after being fed up with all other efforts, he was allotted the same house he was shown earlier, in just a day.

RTI activists are viewing this as a powerful evidence of the scope of the act and they insist that there should be no amendment to the act as it would just water it down completely and render it ineffective to fight the corruption that it was purported to do.

Commenting on this, RTI activist Aruna Roy said, “If an information commissioner needs the act for action to be taken, you can imagine how much more the common man needs it so the government should not introduce any amendments to the act, especially exemption of ‘file notings’ because only that can tell whose decision it was on a particular matter.”

Another activist, Mr Shekhar Singh of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, was happy that such an high-profile case was solved so effectively when the RTI Act was used.

He said, “This is in keeping with even the common people whose problems have been solved by the use of RTI Act. For example, many people who went to file their applications for delay of issue of passports were instead handed over their passports instead of accepting their applications.”

Mr Singh said it just shows that even at his level, Mr Kejriwal had to file an application under the RTI Act to get his house allotted, what then can be said of the common man who does not have such access.


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