October 18th, 2011
Email this page

What is the future of RTI?

RTI New Delhi: Members of the National Advisory Council criticized Manmohan Singh for his statements on the need for review of RTI and Law Minister Salman Kurshid clarified that there was no proposal to bring about any restructuring or amendment to the RTI. However, national media claims that they have received confidential information which reveals that the Centre is attempting to frame new guidelines.

According to them, the RTI replies prepared by junior officers will now have to be vetted by a senior officer, preferably of the Joint Secretary rank and that the RTI replies will have to be brief and should not reveal much. They have also added that that sensitive file notings should first go through the concerned Ministry before being revealed so as to contain ay embarrassment for the government.

Salman Kurshid however reassuring all news agencies said, “We are proud of RTI. We are pleased that we gave RTI to this country. Even if it causes inconvenience to this country to an extent, we will bear that inconvenience. But we must ensure that in totality, the efficiency and functioning of government is strengthened.”

Meanwhile the sports minister Ajay Maken, has presented a reworked sports bill that excludes facts pertaining to selection, appointment or exclusion of athlete, coach, trainer or physiotherapist in a competition; to the quality of performance of an athlete; to medical health and fitness of an athlete; to whereabouts of an athlete and to information confidential under the NADA code from the ambit of RTI. all such information is sought to be kept away from public domain.

However, legal experts feel that the ministry cannot impose its own exclusion clause without having moved the law ministry for an amendment to the RTI Act. “The RTI Act has specific exclusions. An act specific to sports, if promulgated, will override the RTI Act as it has fresh exclusions. If information is withheld, the public can go to court saying that only exclusions in the RTI Act are valid. Ideally, the RTI Act should have been amended to accommodate these conditions,” one expert said on condition of anonymity.

On the whole an air of ambiguity looms large regarding the future of RTI.







Press ctrl+g to toggle between English and Malayalam.