INFORMATION IS POWERA BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION€T 2005
In its weekly edition dated 06.11.2006 in India Today, the current position about the Right to Information Act 2005 is succinctly analyzed. A constitutional revolution was enacted in India when the Right to Information Act was legislated in the year 2005. The new legislation was in line of similar law in USA. The salient features of the new law is that it empowers the common citizens of India to ask for any file from any arm of the Government and also has the right to question about any details. It ensures transparency in all the public expenditure of the Government of India.But the Indian public is so overenthusiastic that the President’s office was informed with complaints about other government departments regarding delay in giving the details to the public. The common man was of the opinion like the prime minister’s office the office of the president is also open to seek any information. This is inspiring the fact that a Central Information Commission (CIC) has been set up for contact window between the public and the government. But this aspect is not known to the general public. But the CIC is complaining about lack of basic infrastructure to it in order to enable the commission to perform its role effectively. Lack of good building, administrative staff and other facilities are some of the common complaints from the commission.
Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) had a huge role in convincing the legislature to enact this landmark legislation. But now they are unhappy with lot of pending cases with Information Commission. Due to lack of clarity and lack of infrastructure there is huge backlog of cases to be disposed. Also these NGOs are unhappy that there is a proposed amendment which will bar from disclosing confidential files.The President of India A.P.J.Abdul Kalam has rightly said that the legislation is an empowering tool. THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION CAN PROVIDE IMMENSE RELIEF TO PEOPLE WHO FEEL THEY HAVE BEEN WRONGED OBSERVED THE PRESIDENT. IN HIS OPINION THE LACK OF AWARENESS ABOUT THE NEW LAW CAN BE SOLVED THROUH PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS. There is one more controversial issue which is yet to be resolved. That is the issue of amending the act whereby file noting is to be barred to the public. Whatever is the outcome; the Right to Information Act is here to stay and is a powerful tool in the hands of the public to utilize it effectively to safeguard their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India.* * * *