Fifteen Years of Right to Information Act in India: A Long Way to Go

Authors

  • Pushpraj Singh Amity University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17561/tahrj.v17.6537

Keywords:

Right to Information, Good Governance, Parliamentary Democracy, Transparency, Information, Public Authority

Abstract

The passing & enactment of Right to Information Act, 2005 in India has been rightly considered as a milestone in the evolution of Indian Parliamentary Democracy which attempted to ensure transparency & good governance at the grass root levels by making the public authorities accountable & responsible. This Act liberated the harassed commoners who now had a very potent weapon to seek information which had hitherto remained suppressed in the dusty files of Babus (Bureaucrats) under the garb of official secrecy & confidentiality. However, in spite of many initial success stories over a period of time this Right to Information act has been losing its effectiveness & potency as it has failed to adopt the dynamism of complex Socio-Political realities. This paper attempts to give an overview & explain the history of RTI in India, its present status, limitations/drawbacks /challenges & and suggests some remedial measures to ensure its relevance in the rapidly transforming geo political context.

References

Ballesteros, J. M. A. &. I. E. S., Winter 2006. The Global Explosion of Freedom of Information Laws, Published by American Bar Association. Administrative Law Review, 58(1), pp. 85-130. https://doi.org/10.2307/3308089

Barowalia, J. N., 2012. Commentary on the Right to Information Act. 3 ed. India: Universal Law Publishing.

BBC News, 2015. Hamara Paisa Hamara Hisaab. [Online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/hindi/india/2015/05/150430_rti_25_year_of_mkss_rajasthan_india_rns [Accessed 14 June 2021].

Bureau, Press Information., 2019. The Right to Information Amendment Bill. [Online] Available at: https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1579510 [Accessed 17 June 2021].

CES, S. N. S. &. C. f. E. S., 2020. Report Card of Information Commissions in India 2018-19, India: Satark Nagrik Sangathan & Centre for Equity Studies CES.

Dharanesha, ST., 2015. RTI Fellowship Report. [Online] Available at: https://documents.doptcirculars.nic.in/D2/D02rti/RTI-A.pdf [Accessed 28 May 2021].

DOPT, Govt of India, 2015. Implementation of RTI & impact on Administration. [Online] Available at: https://documents.doptcirculars.nic.in/D2/D02rti/RTI-A.pdf [Accessed 13 06 2021].

Editorial, Economic & Political Weekly., 2015a. Death by Neglect: The RTI is virtually being strangled to death by deliberate delays in appointments. Economic & Political Weekly EPW, 50(20), pp. 7-8.

Editorial, Economic & Political Weekly., 2015b. Sending Whistle blowers to their deaths: Whistle blowers continue to be murdered even as Law for their protection awaits notification. Economic & Political Weekly, 50(12), p. 9.

Freedom of Information Act 2002, Government of India., 2002. Indian Kanoon-Freedom of Information act 2002. [Online] Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/411331/ [Accessed 12 May 2021].

Goetz, R. J. &. A. M., 1999. Accounts & Accountability: Theoritical Implications of the Right to Information Movements in India. Third World Quarterly, Published by Taylor & Francis, 20(3), pp. 603-622. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436599913712

Indian Express., 2019a. Right to information. India: Indian Express.

Indian Express., 2019b. RTI Applications. India: Indian Express.

Indian Express., 3 January 2019c. Right to Information. India: Indian Express.

Indian Express Newspapers v. Union of India & others (1984) 1986 AIR 515,1985 SCR (2)287.

Jain, A., 2012. Good Governance and Right to Information. Journal of the Indian Law Institute, Published by Indian Law Institute, 54(4), pp. 506-519.

Jebaraj, P., March 21, 2019. Political Parties yet to comply with RTI Act, India: The Hindu.

Kamla, 2012. Role of RTI Act in making Governance accountable & Transparent. The Indian Journal of Political Science, Published by Indian Political Science Association, 73(2), pp. 321-330.

Legislative Department, Government of India., 1923. The Official Secrets Act, 1923. [Online] Available at: https://legislative.gov.in/actsofparliamentfromtheyear/official-secrets-act-1923 [Accessed 12 May 2021].

Legislative Department, Government of India., 2021. Indian Evidence Act 1872. [Online] Available at: https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1872-01.pdf [Accessed 28 July 2021].

Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India., 2021. Fundamental Rights. [Online] Available at: https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/Part3.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2021].

Mint, 2019a. Live Mint.com. [Online] Available at: https://www.livemint.com [Accessed 26 June 2021].

Mint, 2019b. livemint.com. [Online] Available at: https://www.livemint.com/ [Accessed 24 June 2021].

Padalia, K. T. K. &. M., 2013. Right to Information : The new age social software. Indian Journal of Political Science, Published by Indian Political Science Association, 74(1), pp. 61-74.

Riegner, M., 2017. Access to information as a Human Right & Constitutinal guarantee: A comparative Perspective. Vefassung und Recht in Ubersee/Law and Politics in Africa, Asia & Latin America, Published by Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 50(4), pp. 332-366. https://doi.org/10.5771/0506-7286-2017-4-332

Roberts, A., 2001. Structural Pluralism & the Right to Information. The University of Toronto Law Journal, University of Toronto, 51(3), pp. 243-271. https://doi.org/10.2307/825940

RTI Act 2005a, Government of India, 2005. Right to Information Act 2005. [Online] Available at: https://rti.gov.in/rti-act.pdf [Accessed 05 June 2021].

RTI Act 2005b, Government of India., 2005. RTI. [Online] Available at: https://rti.gov.in/rti-act.pdf [Accessed 08 05 2021].

RTI Act 2005c, Government of India., 2005. RTI Act 2005. [Online] Available at: https://rti.gov.in/rti-act.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2021].

RTI Act, J&K 2009. Jammu & Kashmir Government Gazzette. [Online] Available at: http://jkfunds.nic.in/JK-RTI-Act-2009.pdf [Accessed 28 July 2021].

Sharma, A., 2013. State Transparency after the Neo Liberal Turn: The Politics, Limits & Paradoxes of India’s Right to Information Laws. Political & Legal Anthropological Review, Published by American Anthropological Association, 36(2), pp. 308-325. https://doi.org/10.1111/plar.12031

Shreyaskar, P. K., 2014. Known Unknowns of RTI: Legitimate Exemptions or Conscious Secrecy ?. Economic & Political Weekly, 49(24), pp. 32-38.

STR, Transparency International India., 2020. Transparency International India STR-2020, India: Transparency International India STR.

Sweden, G. o., 2016. The Swedish Press Act. [Online] Available at: https://www.government.se/articles/2016/06/the-swedish-press-act-250-years-of-freedom-of-the-press/ [Accessed 28 July 2021].

The Economic Times, 2016. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/1-75-crore-rti-applications-filed-since-2005-study/articleshow/54705694.cms?from=mdr. [Online] Available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/1-75-crore-rti-applications-filed-since-2005-study/articleshow/54705694.cms?from=mdr [Accessed 22 June 2021].

The Print, 24th June, 2020. Implementation of RTI Act, New Delhi: The Print.

The State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain (1975) AIR 865, 1975 SCR (3)333.

Transparency International-STR, 2019. Transparency Internationational India-STR-2020, India: Transparency Internationational India-STR.

Published

2021-12-17

How to Cite

Singh, P. (2021). Fifteen Years of Right to Information Act in India: A Long Way to Go. The Age of Human Rights Journal, (17), 346–362. https://doi.org/10.17561/tahrj.v17.6537

Issue

Section

ARTICLES