Saturday, January 29, 2011

Draft RTI Rules 2010 Are Retrograde

Right to information (RTI) is an important right that empowers Indian citizens to fight corruption. With the passage of right to information act, 2005 (RTI Act 2005), a new era in the field of informational rights started in India. The RTI Act, 2005 resulted in bringing much transparency and assisting in the punishment of many offenders in India.

However, the need to make it more effective and strong was always felt. RTI Act, 2005 is managed by department of personnel and training (DoPT) that has recently introduced new draft rules in the RTI Act. The rules are known as Right to Information Rules, 2010.

However, according to experts and civil liberty activists like Praveen Dalal, the proposed rules are not strengthening the RTI Act, 2005. Instead, they are retrograde in nature and are diluting the right to information under the RTI Act. Of course, some provisions of the proposed Rules are worth considering, but in totality these Rules should not be adopted, opines Dalal.

India has a very poor track record of transparency and accountability. India is also facing the menace of corruption that is prevalent too much in governmental and private circles. Instead of reducing the corruption and bringing transparency and accountability, DoPT is further closing the doors to challenge the growing corruption in India.

Our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is an honest and upright person. However, if regulations like the proposed rules are allowed to operate in India and he does not do anything to remedy the same, he is also vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of DoPT.