Monday, February 21, 2011

Re: [HumJanenge] Centre must add purpose clause to RTI Act

I dont think that RTI Act came directly from Bennert Coleman (1972). Or
at least the well known Bennett Coleman judgment about newsprint quotas.
Kindly recheck your facts. (Justice Matthew gave the dissenting judgment)

I actually trace it back to 1974 " State of U.P. v. Raj Narain, (1975) 4 SCC 428,"

Matthew J
""In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be but few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way, by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security. To cover with veil of secrecy, the common routine business, is not in the interest of the public. Such secrecy can seldom be legitimately desired. It is generally desired for the purpose of parties and politics or personal self-interest or bureaucratic routine. The responsibility of officials to explain and to justify their acts is the chief safeguard against oppression and corruption.""


On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:14 PM, Dwarakanath <> wrote:
Friends , The RTI Act has emaneted out of Art 19 of Constitution and the Bdennet Coleman judgement of Supreme Court.  It is fundamental rioght of citizens to have the right to freedom of speach which includes information.  The Govenment is for the people, by the people and to the people.   People are supreme neither the Government nor the other wings of Government conceptually.   Gitizens must have the right to assert to get any information that the Governments are working with even whether it is permitted or prohibited.    Whatever infromation our elected representatives can obtain each and every citizen must be able to obtain the same, becasue the elected representive does not have a locus standi in the eye of law except as a representative of the people.  When a representaive of people can get any information why not the Pfrincipal of the elected representative should get it.  The electred representatives are trying to create a different class for themselves which is prohibited under Art 38(2) of the Constitution.  The centre or the State cannot make any law which contravenes the directives in part IV of Constitution.   In fact the suggestion of the Chief Ministers is exactly the contravention of this Article.   Thse elected represetatives are  working not for himslef but for the public cause with a public purpose and to the welfare of the Public.They cannot eny civil right or restrict public right and enjoy for themselves unintended privileges. The Centre should reject the State suggestion outright.    the Governor of the State has duty to check whether the Adminisration the State can be carried out according to the Constitution.  Otherwise the Governor is at liberty to invoke Art 356(c) of constitution. Regards, dwarakanathdm

have taken OATH THAT THEY WILL ABIDE BY THE CONSTIUTTIN ( see Third Schedule of the Constitution) 
On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 2:34 PM, Govind... Hoping for better <> wrote:
Ref: Times of India

I completely oppose such move. This will help Babus to deny information. First of all Suo motu disclosure should be implemented, citizens should have free access without time bound to any information. Govt is saying "misuse" because their many wrong doings are coming out. If Government is honest, how one can misuse the information? Misuse can happen only in form of blackmailing. You can let other blackmail you when you know you are wrong. This is a reactive step instead of proactive.


'Centre must add purpose clause to RTI Act'

Prafulla Marpakwar TNN

Mumbai: Given the doubts raised by a section of chief ministers, the Centre is planning to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to curb its misuse.
    "A group of chief ministers has approached the Centre for amending the RTI Act. In several cases, it was used to settle personal scores by rival businessmen, builders and politicians," a senior information commissioner told TOI on Wednesday.
    The information commissioner said that when the
Democratic Front government promulgated an ordinance in 2004 to provide for right to information, it was specifically mentioned that a person seeking information will have to state the purpose for which the information is required. When the Centre enacted the RTI Act in 2005, this clause was removed. "If the Centre wants to curb misuse, it must include the purpose clause in the act. It will have to move an amendment bill for the purpose," he said.
    The information commissioner said that in Mumbai, the maximum number of ap
plications are filed by the same group of persons. "We are bound to provide information but we don't know how it will be used," he said.
    In Pune, the commissioner said, of the 2,500-odd appeals pending before the information commission, 800 are filed by 30 persons, while of the 2,200 applications filed
under the RTI Act, 1,400 are by one person. "If we know the purpose, we can decide his case on merit," he said.
    If the Centre is serious, the commissioner said, it should ask the states to follow Karnataka government's example. "Karnataka has made it clear that an application will not have more than 250
words and that in one letter, the applicant will ask questions only about one issue. This has ensured that only genuine applicants seek information," he said. Secondly, the commissioner said, the act should allow for punitive action against mala fide applicants. Information is provided free of cost to below poverty line (BPL) applicants. In a recent case, a BPL applicant sought information on a project, which comprises 50,000 pages. "It seems that someone was using him to get the information free of cost," he said.

"The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people,
But because of the silence of good people!"


Govind- 9960704146

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