Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Right to Information Act ,2005

Right to Information Act will come into force on 12th October,though some basic sections came into force on 15th June ,2005.Information means any material,report or document with a public authority .But according to the website of ministry of Personnel,government of India,it does not include file-notings .On 12th October, any citizen of India will be able to obtain information from a public authority as a matter of right,at least in law.
Among items exempt from disclosure are:cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers; Agencies specified by State Governments through a Notification will also be excluded.
The State Information Commission will be constituted by the State Government through a Gazette notification. It will have one State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and not more than 10 State Information Commissioners (SIC) to be appointed by the Governor. The Appointments Committee will be headed by the Chief Minister. Other members include the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and one Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister.
The qualifications for appointment as SCIC/SIC shall be the same as that for Central Commissioners.
The salary of the State Chief Information Commissioner will be the same as that of an Election Commissioner. The salary of the State Information Commissioner will be the same as that of the Chief Secretary of the State Government. (S.15)
Cynics among us feel that it gives the Chief Minister Of a state the power to oblige and appoint 11 Yesmen and party sympathizers at hefty salaries to the posts of one ChiefInformation Commissioner and 10 Information Commissioners.The main job of these 11 persons will be to ensure how to deprive citizens from their right to information.We dont really lack laws but the belief in democratic values at political and administrative levels.In the absence of such beliefs and the will,no law can empower common citizens.Seeking reforms through enactment of laws is an exercise in futility and may erode further the faith of people in democracy.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The apprehensions raised in this article are unfortunately valid to a great extent as bueaucracry will continue to resist any such move towards ensuring transparancy and find ways to see that the secrecy and arbitariness in decision making process remains. The reasons are obvious. However, i feel, in comind days, judiciary will have to play a meaningful role in enforcing the intentions of this piece of legislation.

8:18 AM  

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