By Our Correspondent
BERHAMPUR: Recently the Government has brought proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act without public consultation. With over six million information applications filed every year, the Indian Right to Information (RTI) Act is the most extensively used transparency legislation globally. The law has been used by people to fight corruption and wrongdoing in the system. By empowering millions of citizens across the country to question public authorities, the RTI Act has initiated the vital task of redistributing power in a democratic framework. It is critical that no amendments are brought to dilute the law in anyway.
“We strongly urge the central government to ensure that the RTI Act, 2005 is not diluted in any manner. The text of the proposed RTI Amendment Bill must be immediately put in the public domain for wide discussion and public debate before being discussed in Parliament. A proper participatory consultative process must be adopted to invite public comments and suggestions on the proposed legislation’’.
Government has not yet implemented Whistle-blowers’ Protection Act, a law enacted by the parliament to provide protection to the whistle-blowers exposing corruption and wrongdoings in the administration. Within 14 years of implementation of RTI Act, 81 RTI Activists have been murdered and more than 300 brutally attacked and physically assaulted.
In this regard many civil society organisations, people’s/social movements, citizen groups, resident welfare associations, social activist, RTI activists under the banner of Milita Kriyanusthan Commttee, Soochana Adhikar Milita Mancha, Ganjam, Berhampur is going to protest against the amendment on 22July, said Bibhu Prasad Sahu, Secretary, YSD.