The act should be used not abused. One should bear in mind by paying a paltry sum of Rs.10/- per RTI application how many inforamtion can be sought ? No stipulation in this regard. So taking shelter of the vague clause no one should venture to abuse the Act and its relevant provisions. Culture cannot be purchased by paying. Its an inherent quality of an individual by tradition. So, one should bear in mind the workload of a CPIO/PIO/AA & CIC/SIC ( seriatum of authorities involved) in disposaling an RTI matter to its finality. What I mean really here, one should make use of the act in a justifiable way rather should not initiate RTI application on flimsy grounds in order to score up difference of opinion prevalent.
It's not the applicant but the PA who is supposed to bother about the workload of PIO. If the PIO is overburdened, the PA is at liberty to designate more of its officers as PIOs. Further Sec 5(4) provides that the PIO is authorized to seek assistance from other officers.
The applicant pays for all the information he takes. It's not just the application fee, every page of information is obtained after payment.
Mr. Mohandas, Your concern is appreciated on the matter, but your generalization and statement that "One should bear in mind by paying a paltry sum of Rs.10/- per RTI application how many information can be sought ?" is beyond comprehension. In the first place information should be freely and easily available to any citizen, since this was not happening, the parliament enacted RTI Act-2005. providing info is not a commercial activity therefore the number of information sought and "paltry fee of Rs10/ " have no mutual correlation. Abuse of anything cannot be justified no doubt about it and this includes RTI ACt-2005. But the situation is jut opposite, inspite of RTI Act- 2005 coming in force, getting info has not become any easier. The abuse of provisions of RTI ACt-2005 is more by PIOs and AAs than the common citizen. PL. check the long pendency of Appeals. Democracy needs well informed citizens and RTI ACt-2005 envisages the same. thnks
The term "misuse or abuse" is absolute misnomer so far as RTI Act is concerned.
The very purpose of the Act is to provide "practical regime for the fundamental right of getting information enshrined in the constitution".
The Governments (both central and state) are widely publicising the Act and encouraging the people to use it.
As a matter of fact governments are concerned that the Act is still not used extensively. The data also confirms this fact. What is the percentage of population that has used this Act? It is in decimal fraction (much less than 1 percent).
So far as "flimsy grounds", "frivolous applications" are concerned they are relative terms. What one person thinks "flimsy", the other person may think as a matter of life and death.
So far as culture is concerned. What is the work culture in India? It is no secret that corruption, nepotism, red tapism etc. have become omnipresent and omnipotent too. I think those who have genuine concern about "misuse" would also not deny this fact.
Though slightly off topic I cannot hold back myself from putting in following points.
Is there any difference in the work culture of USA and India?
There was one 9/11 in USA and there after no such incidence took place? Is it attributable only to the policies of the Govt (USA)? Is it not true that their work culture made it impossible for the miscreants to repeat the 9/11?
In the sharp contrast what is the situation in India?
To sum up I would say if the Act is used (be it misused or abused) and the PAs are frightened to do anything wrong (morally or legally) we will be super power. A day may come (ideally) when there is no reason for any aggrieved person to resort to RTI. Till then the PIOs may have to overburden themselves. But this will be a little price we must pay for larger good.
Since some people are scared of PIO, they use different names for one address. Hence the PIOs are at fault and the information seekers. It is a common knowledge that PIOs harass and victimise if the applicant belongs to their own department. Hence, the misuse is on the part of PIOs and of course not the information seekers.
This is a great act
Lets stop those who says that the act is being misused
since no act has been used like this
so it is overused rather than misused.
by reading above lines it seems that we r living in an extremely xenophobic society.
if the country thinks that the whole system is corrupt/ blackmailer/ thief....then lets remove the government and let there be anarchy.....
i dont know this dilemma...
people wants service from govt...which is performed by the govt employees....
and then everyone wants to abuse the govt employees too...
the govt employees are not made on mars or pakistan...they come from same breed as we...
very few and bad and same we can think of ourselves....even those who are writing on these blogs might not be follwoing all the laws made in the country but they r not looking on themselves...
see the govt is ours...
by abusing public servants we r doing more harm than the good.
an officer does not become pio by choice or he is paid for becoming pio...it is an additional responsibility apart from his normal works... at least spare him/her to do something for the great and ever demanding citizens of this country.
1) At present the RTI Act is not being overused, but underused (This is not my personal view but a common view accepted by various govt. agencies themselves.)
2) No one thinks that the whole system is corrupt. However, it is a matter of fact that there is high corruption in India. (Endorsed by agencies like Transparency International)
3) With the most lenient choice of words, removing the government is an extremely idiotic suggestion (as any person of ordinary prudence will agree). More so, when we have a tool in the form of RTI Act to correct the system.
4) No citizen is against the government or a government officer. They are against corrupt practices. A fact which people like you will never understand.
5) Exercising one's Right to Information is not abusing a public servant. Though it is a matter of fact that there are some people who think they are being harassed every time they are asked to do some work.
6) Government officials in Pakistan are indeed made in Pakistan.
7) Government officers themselves frequently use RTI Act. Nothing wrong with it, just that people like you need to realize that non-govt employees are not the only ones "abusing the public servants" (as per you)
8) If using your own comprehending abilities you are unable to think of the merits of Right to Information, at least understand that India is not the only country where RTI exists. Most democracies have a similar Act. Many more are trying to introduce it. That's because they have realized the merits of an informed citizenry.
9) In case the above arguments fail to satisfy you (which I am sure is the case), I have a piece of advice for you: stop asking any sort of questions from your friends and family. After all, seeking any information from anyone amounts to harassing and abusing that person!
By writing my opinion, I only mean that the RTI Act 2005 should be used in a justified manner so as to enhance the credibility of the P.A's office and the Act should not be overused as you said ( not abused- I agree ). We should bear one thing in mind in most of the cases the P.A's office is either under staffed or suffer from lack of resources. What to speak of P.Cs, in most of the Departments there is no typewriter available. In certain conditons, the records, due to environmental problems, cannot even preserve for a period of 1-2 years. I personally know in certain Colliery Offices due to environmental hazards, the most important records like Form B Register/Payment register are exposed to atmosphearic conditons, will not last to 1-2 years. The papers of the registers will be in a powdery stage after 1-2 years period. In such conditions in the event of an RTI Applicant seek certain information after lapse of 5-6 years period, where from the pIO/CPIO can furnish the information under the RTI Act 2005?
While posting my opinion, I had only considered certain relevant situation as quoted above and do not want to dilute the provions of the Act 2005.If some expert members misunderstand the same, pl. excuse me, I do not wnat to enter into any controversy.