How to make the best use of Right to Information
Right to Information is a democratic function and a precondition to a good governance and it is a fundamental right under article 19 (1) of the constitution. It ensures that the people we put in power should be answerable and accountable to every citizen of the country.
“Where the society has chosen to accept democracy as its creedal faith, it is elementary that the citizen oath to know what their government is doing-Justice P N Bhagwati”.
Right to Information Act, 2005
- Right to Information (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India which motive is to establish a right to information for citizens and replace the former Freedom of Information Act, 2002.
- Any citizen of India may request information from a public authority (the Government body) and public authority is bound to reply immediately or within 30 days under the provision of the Act.
- For certain categories of information, it is mandatory for every public authority to computerize their records. So it will help the citizen to minimum recourse to request for information formally.
- On 15 June 2005, this law was passed by Parliament and enforced on 12 October 2005. RTI Act relax the Official Secret Act and various other special laws which restrict the disclosure of various information, Also the act codifies a fundamental right of the citizen.
- Right to Information is an integral part of freedom of speech and expression are given in Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution. It has been held to include the right to acquire information, and also it includes right to communicate through any available media whether print, electronic, audiovisual, etc.
- Besides Article 19(1)(a), there are other articles also which give a right to information under Indian constitution, they are:Article 311(2) and 22(1)
- Article 311(2) provides for a government servant to know why he is dismissed or removed and representation can be made against the order.
- Article 22(1) grounds of detention can be asked by a person.
- Transparency and accountability in administration and mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. Prior to the act being passed by the Parliament, the RTI laws were successfully enacted by the state governments of:Tamil Nadu (1997)
- Goa (1997)
- Rajasthan (2000)
- Karnataka (2000)
- Delhi (2001)
- Maharashtra (2002)
- Madhya Pradesh (2003)
- Assam (2002)
- Jammu & Kashmir has its own Right to Information Act 2009.