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Thread: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

  1. #1
    C J Karira
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    ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    Ahmedabad, March 17 With activists going on a spree filing applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, the Gujarat Information Commissioner R N Das has made it clear that the Act should not be used as a means to redress grievances.

    Das was addressing a seminar on the RTI Act at the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration (SPIPA) here on Monday, organised at the launching of ‘RTI on Wheels’, a vehicle specially designed to take the Act to the masses. Das pointed out that often applications are filed more in a form of a complaint than a query. “The purpose of the Act is to provide information and not redress grievances,” he said, adding that this was one of the primary reasons why the Act has not been very successful with the judiciary.

    Das further admitted that in a number of cases, the State Information Commission had overstepped its limits to redress the grievances of the applicants, when it should have restricted itself to merely providing information, and such steps were taken in the larger context of public interest.

    “At the end of the day, the Act has to benefit the grassroots people, for whom it was made. At this stage, some amount of redressing of grievances is necessary to create an optimistic environment for the successful implementation of the Act,” Das said, adding that he has even been rapped by the High Court for overstepping his limits. “I admit having done so at times, but then the goal has always been larger public gain and nothing else,” he said.
    Harinseh Pandya from the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP) pointed out that while the Act is gaining popularity across the country, one has to be careful about its usage. “The idea is to usher in the desired change in the system and not to destroy it,” Pandya said, adding that in this context, the Act needs to be viewed more as a tool to work with the system than a weapon to hurt someone.

    As reported by Express News Service on on 18 March 2008:
    Express India :: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

  2. Re: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    Respected Sirs,

    I would like to put few words over this post that: I have come across some RTI applicants who wrote the application for some information and also mentioned the reasons for asking such information (As per the RTI Act reasons for asking information not necessarily be informed).

    If his reasons and information asked to any department it self hearts any body (i.e. this any body means who faces problems when such information is made public) under such circumstances what the applicant has to do?

    The information what the applicant is asking from any PIO, if this it self heart the PIO or the information providing authority what ever may be the reasons, what an applicant can do?

    For example If an applicant is asking information on the Section 4 (1) (b) of RTI act and asking Proactive disclosures and question the department whether information about RTI and PIO, APIO is displayed in all the offices of their department, with this question definately many officers get angry becasue till now only 20 to 40% of offices displayed such information. May be the officers facing practical deficulty in implemtation, but what is the mistake of applicant.

    If any applicant is serious about not to heart any PIO or information providing authority, how can he know that what information asked by him will be hearting the PIO or any body?

    As per my view, If any PA understand the grevience of any RTI applicant, as he can or any officer understand the grevience based on what information has been asked, then it will be good if he solves his grevience before providing information to RTI application in this way both the department and the applicant will be happy and it will be one step above what an RTI act wanted.

    The very purpose of RTI act is the transperent goverance, eradicate corruption from the root or atleast reduce corruption to minimum without which the development of the country is not at all possible.

    One thing we have to understand that the corrupt persons have became such a strong they are able to influence the highest level persons. We have seen many cases and even many posts on this site that how an RTI applicant has been threatend by these information providing authorities. Many of higher level persons are behind such corrupt people, and these higher level persons are donot want that sincere RTI applicant should not survive at all.

    If any information providing person is hearted it means that the information what is going to be disclosed will definately going to disclosue many irregularities in the organization for which no answers are available with the authorities.


  3. Re: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    Mr. R.N.Das IAS, GSCIC is acting now as a bueaucrat and favouring to IAS lobby of Gujarat. Not giving final orders even after hearing both the party for more than 6 months. Can we now depaend on our Gujarat State Chief Information Commissioner Mr. R. N. Das for proper Justice and orders / directives who don't give orders / judgment after final hearing both the parites. Rule says that the CIC should give Ruling on the same day of hearing in open court. I will write in detail the Rule framed by the Centre Govt.

  4. Re: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    Request from Mr. R.N.Das IAS to work in the interest to save RTI Act 2005 in Gujarat rather to work against it in the interest of GUJARAT IAS Bueaucrats his old colleagues.

  5. Re: ‘RTI Act should be used as a tool, not as a weapon’

    Mr.R.N.Das IAS GSCIC should read his old orders passed by him regarding giving file notes in case of Mr.P.V.Bhatt Vs Urban Deptt. Gujarat.
    Why he is not passing orders / Judgment after hearing both the parties 8 months earlier. Judgment should bedeclared in open court after hearing as per Rules.


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