RIGHT TO INFORMATION

INTRODUCTION: The 2005 Right to Information Act (RTI) is a law adopted by the Indian Parliament “to provide the practical rule of law enabling citizens to obtain information.” The Act applies to all States and territories of the Union of India, with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir, which are covered by the law of the State. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen (except the citizens of J&K), who is requested to respond promptly or within 30 days, may ask for information from a ‘public authority’ (the government body or instrumentality of a State.’

The Act also demands that every public authority compute and proactively publish its records for broad distribution in order to ensure that citizens are required to have the least formal recourse to information requests. This Act came into force on 13 October 2005 and was enacted by Parliament on 15 June 2005. The Official Secrets Act 1923 and several other special legislation that the new RTI Act now eliminates prohibited the divulgation of information in India.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION UNDER COI AND ITS EXCEPTION: The right to information in India started with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) campaign, to make village finances transparent by claiming minimum pay in rural India. False input into salary rolls was an indication of rising system corruption encouraging MKSS to request government file official information.

There is no clear right to information under the Indian constitution. The Apex Court, however, found in a number of decisions that the right to information relates respectively to the rights to freedom of expression and speech, to Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. In other words, we might say that it safeguards the fundamental goal of these articles (right to knowledge). The fundamental rights of the Indians constitution fall inside Part 3 of Article 19 and Article 21. Article 21. We might say so that the right to information can be regarded as the constitution’s fundamental right.

The rights refer to Article 19 of India’s Constitution and the freedom of speech is mentioned in Article 19(1)(a). This freedom extends not only to the right to openly express opinions but also to the right to know. It is also limited by this right to know, for example, information on national security or any other topic that would affect the integrity of the nation. However, if it contains data about sanitation, for example, then it will not be a concern of national safety, and the public is entitled to know why this information is retained.

Citizens are entitled to know the operations of the government. However, the law is not absolute. In transactions with public safety implications, privacy can be legally claimed. In other words, the data not in the public or country’s interest cannot under any circumstances be divulged. Paragraph 8 of the 2005 Right to Information Act addresses the same. The Apex Tribunal ordered the Tihar Jail superintendent in the case of Praga Dutt v. Union of India, to allow representatives from a few newspapers to interview two death penalty perpetrated by Article 19(1)(a). However, it did not confer an absolute right on the media to have unrestricted use of resources, as referred to in Article 19(1)(a). In future cases, this position was reinforced. The Court has consistently acknowledged the right to information in a number of cases since the right to freedom of expression and expression is covered by Article 19(1)(a) until the information law 2005 ultimately incorporates it into and gives the ultimate use mechanism.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 AND ITS EXCEPTION: Lok Sabah passed the law on 11 May 2005 and Raj Sabah passed it on 12 May 2005 and gave the president’s approval on 15 June 2005. The Right to Information Act, 2005, is a Statue Book (22 of 2005). It was adopted to make the sovereign authority’s people transparent and accountable. According to the Act, a person can request the public authorities to obtain the information. It helps to monitor the government’s working system. It is vitally important to give people government adequacy, openness, and accountability in Indian democracy, where the public plays a crucial role. In Article 19(1)(a) (which is a fundamental right), the government may imply or concern itself with the right to information but in Article 19(2) of the Constitution, it may also impose restrictions on the sub-clause if the information provided impacts the integrity or safety of the Country. In other words, a citizen can obtain information so far as the secret and dignity of the country are not affected. There is, therefore, no absolute right to information. Article 8 of the Right to Information Act relates to the exemption from information disclosure. It states that any information that affects the integrity of the country, the security, the strategic and scientific economic interests of a country leading to suspicion and disregard for the courts of law, the infringement of parliament and state laws, the disclosure that would prejudice the competitiveness of a third party and the confidential reception of information. It is stated that the right to information does not provide absolute law because of such an exemption.

WAY FORWARD:
1.) Section 6 should include periods, which should not be allowed to request information beyond this deadline, as indicated by the appropriate Department office procedures.
2.) The offender who refuses information should be subject to a defined penalty procedure.
3.) Officials appropriate training and workshop.
4.) The State Council should be granted the authority to take decisions on orders/executions
5.) Rs 5 and Rs 2 are to be lowered to application fees. 5.)
6.) Official Secret Act, 1923, Evidence Act 1872, norms of conduct for government workers. 6.)
7) In order to make advertising effective, a budget should be allocated to RTI.

ENDNOTES: https://www.drishtiias.com/to-the-points/paper4/right-to-information-1

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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