The Need For The Right To Information: It has taken India 82 years to transition from an opaque system of governance, legitimized by the colonial Official Secrets Act, to one where citizens can demand the right to information. The recent enactment of the Right to Information Act 2005 marks a significant shift for Indian democracy, for the greater the access of citizens to information, the greater will be the responsiveness of government to community need...
RTI - A Real Step To Ensure Good Governance: The date of 12th October, 2005 shall be remembered as a new era of empowerment for the common man in India. With the passing of the Right of Information Act on the aforesaid date, a faceless citizen is now blessed with a tool with the help of which he can now demand from the high and mighty in the government to know the details of every action they take, professedly on behalf of the people. - "if secrecy were to be observed in the functioning of government and the processes of government were to be kept hidden from public scrutiny, it would tend to promote and encourage oppression, corruption and misuse or abuse of authority for it would be all shrouded in the veil of secrecy without any public accountability....
Should Right To Information Have Been Granted As A Fundamental Right?: Since June 2005, when Right to Information Act, was passed, it has been hailed as the hallmark of democracy for the reasons that it purports to make, as regards government information, disclosure the norm and secrecy as the exception. Experts feel that as the Act aims at making the government transparent and more accountable, the effective use of it would, in a long run, curb corruption...
Right to Information: "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles by it." This is the philosophical underpinning of the freedom of movement. Freedom of information and in particular, the right of access to information held by public bodies, has attracted a substantial amount of attention recently. In the past several years, many countries have taken steps to enact legislation giving effect to this....
Exemptions from disclosure of information under RTI: The Right to Information Act, 2005 has been probably the most discussed law of the recent times and also has given much more power to the people than any other law. Its basic aim is "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority"...
Right to Information - An Anti-Corruption Tool: Basically, this article talks about transparency including right to information and also how it does work as an anti corruption tool. The motive behind writing this article is to clear some of the concepts of the readers as well as of the author herself. No democratic government can survive without accountability and the basic postulate of accountability is that the people should have information about the functioning of government. It is only if people know how Government is functioning that they can fulfill the role which democracy assigns to them and make democracy a really effective participatory democracy....
Right To Know And Right To Information: n India, the movement for the right to information has been as vibrant in the hearts of marginalized people as it is in the pages of academic journals and in the media. This is not surprising since food security, shelter, environment, employment and other survival needs are inextricably linked to the right to information. In the early-1990s, in the course of the struggle of the rural poor in Rajasthan, the Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) hit upon a novel way to demonstrate the importance of information in an individual's life -- through public hearings or Jan Sunwais. The MKSS's campaign demanded transparency of official records, a social audit of government spending and a redressal machinery for people who had not been given their due. The campaign caught the imagination of a large cross-section of people, including activists, civil servants and lawyers....
Right To Information - Tool In The Hand Of Public: India got Independence in 1947 and proclaimed itself a Republic in 1950, with a great Constitution. However, in practice, brown elite replaced the white masters and Swaraj never came. Mahatma Gandhi had said, "Real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of capacity to resist authority when abused." A few did acquire the authority and retained it, but the capacity to resist misuse of authority eluded the average Citizen of India. Right to Information (RTI) now empowers him to do that. The Right to Information is derived from our fundamental right of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. If we do not have information on how our Government and Public Institutions function, we cannot express any informed opinion on it. This has been clearly stated by various Supreme Court judgments, since 1977. We accept that the freedom of the press is an essential element for a democracy to function. It is worthwhile to understand the underlying assumption in this well entrenched belief. Why is the freedom of the media considered as one of the essential features for a democracy? Democracy revolves around the basic idea of Citizens being at the center of governance and rule of the people....
The Right to Information Act 2005: Under the terms of the Act, any person may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or instrumentality of State) which is expected to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
Right to information is more or less a universal concept: n India, the Official Secrets Act 1923 was enacted to protect the official secrets. The new information law intend to disclose information, replacing the ‘culture of secrecy’ in administration. It will promote public accountability which is a part of governance. Where the accountability is exposed, the malpractice, mismanagement, abuse of discretion, bribery etc are trimmed down. The right to Know flows directly from the guarantee of free speech and expression in Art 19(1)a of the Constitution of India. Yet, it requires fair and efficient procedures to make the freedom of information work....
Right To Information - A Tool For Good Governance: Right to information is a fundamental right and is a necessary condition for the existence of participatory democracy. Under Article 19(1) of the Constitution every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights under Article 19, the Right to information is treated as human right. The Act gives every individual the same powers as that of an elected... representative.
Right to information as a procedural justice: Access to information held by a public authority was not possible until 2005. Lack of information precluded a person to realize his socio economic aspirations, because he had no basis to participate in the debate or question the decision making process even if it was harming him. Official Secret Act, 1923 acted as a remnant of colonial rule shrouding everything in secrecy. The common did not have any legal right to know about the public policies and expenditures. It was quite ironical that people who voted the persons responsible for policy formation to power and contributed towards the financing of huge costs of public activities were denied access to the relevant information...
Setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizen: The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI) is a law enacted by the Parliament of India "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens." The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir - which is covered under a State-level law. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen (excluding the citizens within J&K) may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally. This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005. Information disclosure in India was hitherto restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act now relaxes....
Right to Information - An Overview: India is a democratic country. The head of the country is elected by the people of the country. The Government of the country possesses the authority to work for the welfare of the country on behalf of the people. The final decision making power regarding the welfare of the country is in the hands of Government.
Freedom of Press: "A Free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the Government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter over selves. ‘Freedom’ means absence of control, interference or restrictions. Hence, the expression ‘Freedom of press’ means the right to print and publish without any interference from the state or any other public authority. But this, Freedom, like other freedoms, cannot be absolute but is subject to well known exceptions acknowledge in the public interests, which in India are enumerate in Article. 19 of the constitution..
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