Monday, December 7, 2009

Amendments In RTI Act, 2005 Recommended By RTI Helpdesk Of India

Right to information (RTI) is a basic Human Right and Fundament Right in India. RTI Helpdesk of India has been protecting this valuable right for long. It has provided many “Annual Reviews” regarding right to information in India from time to time. It is also the first helpdesk in India that has been established by Perry4Law. Mr. B.S.Dalal, Senior Member of RTI Helpdesk and Praveen Dalal, Managing Member of RTI Helpdesk have strongly recommended for “suitable amendments” in the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act, 2005).

The right to impart and receive information is a species of the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India. A citizen has a Fundamental Right to use the best means of imparting and receiving information.

The State is not only under an obligation to respect the Fundamental Rights of the citizens, but also equally under an obligation to ensure conditions under which the Right can be meaningfully and effectively be enjoyed by one and all.

Freedom of speech and expression is basic to and indivisible from a democratic polity. The right U/A 19(1) (a) is, however, available only to the citizens of India and non-citizens can claim only right to know U/A 21 of the Constitution of India.

Recognising the right to information (RTI) of “citizens” of India, the RTI Act, 2005 has been enacted. The RTI Act 2005 was enacted on 21-06-05 and it finally and fully came into force on 12-10-05. However, with the passage of time and many experiences, it has been felt by RTI Experts and Activists like B.S.Dalal and Praveen Dalal that suitable amendments must be made in the parent legislation.

Many controversial issues have been arising these days and the same are shaking the very foundation of the RTI Act, 2005. There is an emergent need to “clarify” some provisions and to “add” further provisions to make RTI Act, 2005 more effective, transparent and workable, says activists of RTI Helpdesk.

The winter session (December 2009) of the Parliament of India is going on. However, it is difficult to pass suitable amendment in such a short period of time. Most probably the government of India would consider and act upon the suggestions of RTI Helpdesk of Perry4Law in the next session of the Parliament.