Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

RTI users to protest proposed changes on Wednesday

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 9, 2006

RTI users to protest proposed changes on Wednesday

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=195963

Activists say the proposed amendment bill, if passed, will effectively snuff out the power of RTI, which is gaining momentum among citizens: Over 20,000 applications were filed in July during a nationwide campaign.

‘‘If our MPs pass them (the amendments), citizens will be left hunting for what the act actually covers,’’ said Arvind Kejriwal, founder of Parivartan, a Delhi-based NGO that propagates the use of RTI, whose efforts were recently awarded with a Magsasay award.

Kejriwal says the bureaucratic stonewalling has already begun. ‘‘A friend had made a complaint last year after travelling on the railways. Yesterday, in response to an RTI complaint he filed asking to know what had happened of his complaint, the railways PIO said that since the answer was contained in file notings, it could not be given to him,’’ he said.

Pathologist and RTI user G R Vora, who has filed 45 RTI applications, said the state was seeking to cover up its corruption through the amendments.

‘‘A recent application about an illegal gym inside a Sion public garden yielded file notings and minutes that showed civic officials willfully violating the laws,’’ said Vora. ‘‘Such information is crucial to the act.’’

On Wednesday, Vora will join the group protesting the amendments. ‘‘We will be at the maidan from 9 to 11. We will walk around the park to register our anger over the state tampering with our right to know,’’ he added.

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