Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Pressure works, Govt climbs down on plan to keep file notings secret

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 20, 2006

Pressure works, Govt climbs down on plan to keep file notings secret

Express News Service

http://www.indianexpress.com/sunday/story/11030.html

Posted online: Sunday, August 20, 2006 at 0000 hrs

Amendment Bill won’t be brought this session, wider consultations needed: UPA

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 19:Faced with a slew of representations against the move to change the Right to Information Act to keep file notings secret—except in select social sector projects—the government has put on hold its plans for bringing in the amendment Bill in the current session of Parliament.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said that in view of the issues raised, “wider consultations” had become imperative.

The rethink followed the number of representations made to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the need for amendments.

As reported by The Indian Express yesterday, Sonia is said to have sent a message to the Government expressing her reservations about the decision.

It is against this backdrop that the Government has decided to keep the RTI amendment Bill in abeyance.

The debate over file notings has been a long one. In 2004, when the NDA was in power, all file notings were exempted from the purview of the Bill, a decision that was supported by all political parties.

There was little change in this point of view when the UPA government assumed office. Even when it came to the social development sector, the general public in the USA, Canada and the UK had no access to file notings.

In India too, problems cropped up in the implementatation of the Act. Officials cited the case of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board which has refused to give details of notings of valuers while responding to RTI applications.

The Left parties have also now opposed any amendments to the RTI Act.

editor@expressindia.com

One Response to “Pressure works, Govt climbs down on plan to keep file notings secret”

  1. ramesh wasudeo said

    it is understood that even the PM does not have power to go against the cabinet decision. the bill therefore could only be deferred and not cancelled.

    however, the PM has accepted need for wider consultations with the stake holders before itis pressed. that is a welcome decision.

    main problemnow is additional demand by supreme court to autonomy in RTI – avoiding final authority of ICs and CIC. this is a ciase to worry about.

    perhaps the CIC will also need to take a bench decision in some cases with his ICs in important cases.

    rw

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