Right to Information Act
Right to information all around the world is recognized as a fundamental human right in most countries and there is a global trend towards the recognition of it by the civil society. It upholds the inherent dignity of all human beings.
In India right to information act was enacted by the parliament of India on I 5th June. 2005 after a lot of debate and deliberations. The act however, came into force on I31 October 2005.Earlier to this. information was restricted. The act gives the right to people to have access to records of central and state governments. This applies to all state governments except Jammu and Kashmir.
Citizens of India can request information in the form of documents and records from a public authority. We can inspect works: have access to sample of material. records or certified copies. We can obtain information as prints-outs, tapes or cassettes. Even information relating to any private body can be accessed by a public authority. Citizens making request for any information is not obliged to explain. as to why he needs the information.
This act is applicable to all constitutional bodies that is the legislature. executive and the judiciary. It’s applicable to bodies “owned, controlled or substantially financed” by government or by non-government organization and directly or indirectly funded by government. Under the act all departments must appoint PlOs (public information officer) and the requests maybe addressed to PIOs. The reply to a request is sup to be given in 30 days. All the authorities are instructed to computerize the records, update and publish certain categories of information so that the formal request is minimum.
Keeping the security of the country and the security of the people in mind, some of the organizations and agencies do not come under this act and are exclude,’ They are-intelligence and security agencies like CID, RAW, Directorate of revenue intelligence, forces like, CRPF and BSF. But, all these agencies or organizations have to provide information pertaining to corruption and human rights violations.
The armed forces of the country-whether to be brought under this act or exempted, are right now being debated. Some section of the people feel it has to be exempted and some section think that regular function, excluding the secret or sensitive actions must be brought under the act.
Right to information act is essential to ensure accountability and good governance. Many cases have already been registered using the act against corruption in offices. It is like a key to good governance.
For the law or act to be truly effective there must be active participation of the public or the community as a whole. NGOs and press too can play an important role. The press can make the people aware and educate the possibilities under the law.