Right to Information Act 2005 (Used or Misused)
THE PASSAGE of the Indian Right to Information Act 2005 replacing Freedom of Information Act, 2002, is a landmark piece of legislation that could change the relationship of the citizen with the state. It is one of the best-drafted RTI laws in the world.
(There are 55 countries that have comprehensive laws to protect the citizens right to information.). The right to access information and dissemination of such information will equip citizens to fight corruption, inefficiency, and the arbitrary use of power in a democratic scenario.
Aim of RTI Act
It provides right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.
The passing of the Right to Information Act has been welcomed from all quarters of the society as it is a significant step towards establishing a regime that guarantees citizens right to know. Provisions of the Act that assign specific time limit for providing the information sought and serious penalties for non-compliance would go a long way in increasing transparency and accountability in the government departments.
RTI . Is it an instrument for settling scores and blackmailing?.
Just around two years after the act has come into effect; i feel that many for serving vested interests are misusing the act.
There are instances where many for settling scores or taking revenge against some person are used the RTI Act. The most critical of these relate to two cases where Central Information Commission (CIC) reprimanded information seekers for 'harassing' public authorities.
Safeguards have been built in within the Act to ensure that the right is not misused. RTI Act section 8 clearly spells out the reasons to deny the information only if it is found it there are chances that the act is being misused.
I feel that the act need to be used to the maximum but with utmost care and sincerity because its misuse can be more damaging.
How to prevent misuse of RTI Act
Every right has to have checks built in to prevent its unbridled sway.
1. Provide information in websites, newspapers, magazines, journals e.t.c . When information is available to the public without difficulty its misuse is limited.
2. The authorities will also have to ensure that the applicant does not use the information for purposes other than intended.
3. Enlighten citizens on RTI Act and its uses.
Let us use the Act and not misuse it