Transparency in Public Administration would go to mean that any citizen of India either has fundamental right or a statutory right to have access to information about the state affairs. Furthermore, denial of access to any information to the public by the public authorities, without proper reasons, would be offence under the law. But would not free access to information threaten national integrity and security, there has been increase in demand for transparency in administration due to the increasing interference by the government in the social realm of people. Transparency or right to information emanates from the Right to Free Speech and Expression guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. This right would not have existed until the rights are accompanied by a responsibility of proving what was said or reported. If there is an onus to prove what has been said then access to true information is a must. Thus the need for information arises. Lack of information ultimately means a restriction on the Right to Free Speech and Expression.
Press and the judiciary
The Press, an agent of the public, gathers lot of information and opinions. Thereby they enlighten the masses about the governmental proceedings. The Press along with Judiciary can regulate the government from working arbitrarily. Together, they protect people’s rights. Fortunately, for the citizens, the Press and Judiciary are working in close coordination. In case of Agarwal V. vs. D.Sharma, 1986, the Delhi High Court stated that there was neither absolute immunity nor absolute obligation, on the part of the journalist, to disclose the source of information. This is found a reasonable solution to the problem of disclosure of sources of information and therefore section 15(2) of the Press Council Act, which says that no newspaper, news agency, editor or journalist shall be compelled by the Council to disclose the source of information, needs to be changed.
Transparency, as we have seen, is the basic tenet of democracy. When the government is of the people, for the people, why should the people be denied the opportunity to know the way they are being governed? If we the people are the final masters and performance auditors of the nation’s administration, the case for free access to all public information argues for itself, it is ridiculous to grant right to information, which emanates from right to free speech and expression meaningfully. The Press is one of the principle vehicle for supplying information to the citizens. A balance has to be drawn between documents that could be made transparent and those in which secrecy has to be observed.
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.
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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