MP State The RTI Initiator
MP State was the No 1 in introducing RTI bill in its Assembly. Much before the RTI Act been finally adopted and enacted in 2005.
Madhya Pradesh was one of the first states in India to actively engage in securing the right to information for the public. In October 1996, the Commissioner of Bilaspur Division, Mr Harsh Mander, issued executive orders to give people in the districts of Bilaspur, Raigarh and Sarguja the right to scrutinise government records pertaining to the public distribution system.
In May 1997, at the same time that Tamil Nadu and Goa were passing right to information laws, the Madhya Pradesh Government also drafted a Right to Information Bill. On 30th April 1998 the assembly passed the bill by voice vote. Significantly, after passing the Bill in the State Assembly, the Government chose to send the Bill to the President of India for assent. Unfortunately, it appears that due to a disagreement about whether the states or the Centre have competence to enact right to information laws, Presidential assent was denied to the Bill and it was shelved.
As a solution, the State Government issued a number of Executive Orders from February 1998 which operated to allow access to information from close to 50 departments. The series of Executive Orders have been compiled by the Department of General Administration in a book titled 'Janane Ka Haq'. The Executive Orders specifically identified a number of topics on which Departments were required to provide information to the public. The Orders also provided for appeals on non-disclosure decisions and penalties in accordance with the MP Civil Services Conduct Rules 1965 and the MP Civil Services Classification Control and Appeal Act 1966.
Despite the existence of the Executive Orders, the Madhya Pradesh Government in 2003 again decided to pursue legislation on the right to information in order to set up a more comprehensive access to information regime. Ultimately, on 24 January 2003 the Madhya Pradesh Jankari Ki Swatantrata Adhiniyam 2002 received the assent of the Governor and on 31 January 2003 was published in the Madhya Pradesh Gazette.
I feel proud being an Indian and also being a part of the state called MP...
...The Right Informed