RTI Act has not helped much: Chief Justice
<TABLE width="100%" bgColor=#d0f0ff border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Though it is expected to help root out corruption, it is being misused </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<HR color=lightblue noShade>Information continues to be inaccessible
Not bringing common man into the agenda can cause widespread protests <HR color=lightblue noShade>
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan has said that though the Right To Information (RTI) Act is expected to help root out corruption, it is being misused like most other Acts. "We thought it would help to root out corruption, but only a negligible portion of the Right To Information Act has helped," Mr. Balakrishnan said while inaugurating a national seminar on `Indian Economy: Historical Roots and Contemporary Development Experience,' organised by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) here on Saturday. Information continues to be inaccessible despite the RTI Act, the Chief Justice added.
The Hindu : National : RTI Act has not helped much: Chief Justice
I believe in democracy a period of 1 1/2 year is very small. It will take little more time to percolate down the grass root level.
More so RTI act is in the form of a punitive measure. And there has to be way of improving the functioning and accessing of information. If RTI is a stick then we must have carrot.
Ganpat Ji and Maneesh ji,
Can you explain in what context Chief Justice has mentioned that "RTI is being misused"?
Sorry I am unable to provide any answer to your question. None of the press reports available indicate that the H'ble CJI has indicated anything specific in this regard. In his address, the the CJI has dealt with a number of issues like globalisation, Nandigram, school drop-out rate of children etc, including RTI and has emphasised the importance to be given to common man in solving the country's problems. The CDS, Trivandrum's web-site has also not been updated beyond Mra.29, 2007.
There are a numbers of applicant of RTI who are seeking information to settle personal vendetta. They repeatedly asking information for a particular person and particular issue. The motive behind such request at times are to settle score with some one.
I believe the true objective is to help people in bureaucracy to realize their job and do their best and serve the people at their maximum.
If a particular person/issue is been targetted repeatedly, does the concerned officer has rights to reject the application based on these grounds?
Again the code of conduct and morality comes into play, right?
Each application has to be dealt with independently...however, a precedence may be used to reject the same!
On this forum, i want to point out one issue, which is repeatedly being discussed in the context of RTI Act. In the minds of almost everyone, the word "corruption" is linked with "government departments". But what is probably being overlooked is that "corruption" is rooted in the society, government included. The only explanation which comes to my mind is that because it is the common man who is most affected by what a government does or doesn't do. The corruption in the private sector does not affect the common man directly, hence no discussion for RTI for private sector.
In addition to this, there is a flip side too. I am a witness to so many cases where the government servants are being harassed by the public for not "co-operating" with them in setlling their cases! Earlier there used to be complaints leading to vigilance proceedings. But now recently, RTI applications are being received regarding the work of that officer, since whatever a government servant does, he/she does so in public interest! I am not trying to shield the govt servants, but only trying to emphasise that RTI is a very important and powerful tool. It is for us how we (citizens and the govt) use it. here code of conduct and morality does come into play, as latha has already stated.
I think the RTI has been a success so far. At least it is making people aware of their right, as citizens of a democratic country, to seek information from the authorities. This is a big thing when you consider the fact that feudalistic mindset still prevails in India.
My personal experience tells me that the CIC is overloaded with work. Their staff strength needs to be increased.