As reported on on 04 April 2008:
Essence of RTI gets ‘lost in translation’ - ExpressIndia.Com

Essence of RTI gets ‘lost in translation’

New Delhi, April 4: In a case of 'lost in translation', the definition of 'public authority' in the Hindi version of the Right to Information Act has the potential to let such authorities that come under the state government go scot-free. While the English version of the RTI Act defines 'public authority' as any authority or body or institution that comes under the Central and the state Governments, the Hindi version considers it as a body owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Centre only.

This one can come across as one goes through the RTI Act on the website of the Department of Personnel and Training ( -- the Centre's administrative authority in terms of RTI Act. This website in turn leads the browser to Right to Information Act (India).

"I noticed a serious translation mistake in the Hindi version of RTI Act 2005. This is a serious error and Hindi-speaking states can make full use of it," said Commodore (retd) Lokesh K Batra, an RTI activist. Realising the gravity of the issue, Batra has sent a letter to Chief Central Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, requesting him to look into it. "I have requested him through a mail to look into this matter," he said.

He said, "Tomorrow, public authorities in the states will claim that the RTI Act is not applicable to them. This also should be brought to the notice of the state information commissioners," Batra added.

In reply to Batra's letter, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has given the assurance that the issue would be looked into. "Thank you for bringing it to my notice. I will look into the matter," Habibullah said in a written reply to the RTI activist.

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