Sunday, October 31, 2010

Re: [rti_india] Mr K G Balakrishnan : How many and what type of cases did you come across that can be called misues? "RTI law being grossly misused, says former CJI Balakrishnan"


RTI act can never never be mis used . how can it be ??? if some one asks faltu information PIO can simply deny it saying "such faltu information is not availble " . thats all.

On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Babubhai Vaghela <> wrote:

Dear Mr Balakrishnan,

This has reference to the media news:
RTI law being grossly misused, says former CJI Balakrishnan

While you are not the authority on RTI, primarily because you have been in the business of justice (if I quote from the email to me by Mr Wajahat Habibullah the then CIC that "Judiciary is in the business of justice" not he as CIC ) and you have possibly not filed any RTI application or quite possibly not studied the lakhs of RTI applications filed by RTI Applicants to thousands of PIOs in India. 

Further, what mass media highlights about RTI cases, that  is also a tiny & negligible fraction of those enormous no. of RTI applications. Those who have used RTI and obtained information is also not in public domain. Therefore, the overall knowledge on RTI information sought by some known & large majority of applicants unknown, I am sure you do not have the complete information on what is happening on RTI front. The scenario is comparable to five blind persons, each one physically touching an elephant, touching it and giving openion as to how is an elephant. Obviously, five entirely different versions, may be contradictory to each other would emerge but not a single one giving the whole & correct picture.

Still, presuming for a moment that you have the full and complete knowledge on RTI applications made by all the applicants in the country during the last five years to all the PIOs all over the country, could you throw light to the citizens on how do you define "misuse" with reference to RTI applications, the type of cases of misuse of RTI and the percentage of the cases of what is being termed as misuse that you have come across. 

In case you do not have plausible and convincing explanation to the larger public interest issue involved here and the impact on society at large on your utterances, I hereby make an humble appeal to you to hereafter stop expressing your biased views in public adding fuel to the fire to strong emotions of already tortured and anguished RTI applicants as RTI is systematically being butchered by the authorities abusing positional power to reduce transparency, to continue irregularities and continue indulging in corruption. 


(Babubhai Vaghela)
C 202, Shrinandnagar V, Makarba Road Vejalpur, Ahmedabad - 380051
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(Administrator - Google Group - Right to Information Act 2005)

RTI law being grossly misused, says former CJI Balakrishnan
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, October 29, 2010
First Published: 20:57 IST(29/10/2010)
Last Updated: 20:59 IST(29/10/2010)
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Former chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan on Friday said the Right To Information (RTI) Act "was grossly misused" and needed amending to prevent the misuse. "It is time for introspection on the five-year-old RTI Act. It is grossly misused. Most of the applicants are applying the RTI not for 
public good, but for misuse," Balakrishnan said at a seminar on "RTI-Key to good governance", organised by the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management.

Balakrishnan, currently the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said the RTI needed some amendments to prevent the misuse.

"It is not that we need to abolish or discard the RTI Act. But some changes have to be made to prevent the misuse," he added.

The RTI law should help to ensure equitable and inclusive growth, he said, noting mere economic growth is not an achievement.

"Development should improve the well-being of the people, especially at the bottom line," he said, recalling how RTI activists in Rajasthan could expose those siphoning off public funds in the name of old age pension and widows pension.

Speaking at the event, Chief Information Commissioner A.N. Tiwari said RTI should be saved from "an upsurge of emotions".

Admitting that RTI had some weakness as it was the "outgrowth of judicial intervention and has a legalistic framework," he said the RTI Act was facing divergent challenges.

"On the one hand, the aspiration of people to access information was on the upswing while on the other hand, officials need confidentiality to run the system," he said.

Tiwari said there were different categories of people frequenting the RTI system.

"The first category is those who want to pull down the high and mighty and want to know whether wealth was amassed by the authorities or corruption was practised. The second set is those who want to know how the government used its discretion in policy matters," he said.

The third category, or "bread and butter" group, want to know about the fate of their provident fund accounts and pension papers, he said.

According to Tiwari, the fourth group, mostly officials facing vigilance probes or disciplinary actions, were misusing the RTI system most to find out the moves against them.

"These articulate, English-speaking, powerful group of bureaucrats are the biggest challenge to the RTI system," he said.

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