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Right to information

Apropos " Fear of too much transparency" by Aruna Roy and Ruchi Gupta and " Don’t sweep RTI under the carpet" by Subhash Chandra Aggarwal ( October 30) rightly stressed the need for further strengthening the RTI Act, which has proved to be a boon for the common man. But the fears voiced by the prime minister are also not unfounded. The political class in any case was reluctant to give such a powerful weapon in the hands of the common man, but had to yield under unrelenting pressure form the RTI activists. But they also never imagined that the Act would be instrumental in unearthing large number of scams, which otherwise would have remained buried in government files. Naturally, they will try to at least dilute the Act, a move that people must resist.

— A.K.Sharma Chandigarh


The Right To Information Act is one of the finest legislations we have had in this country. The RTI Act should be amended, if at all, in such a manner that it proves even more beneficial to the common man. It was shocking to find the Prime Minister advocating an amendment but he was quick to sense the public mood and ruled out any dilution in the law.

RTI has been instrumental in exposing many scams and ,more importantly, it will prevent many future scams from happening.

— Vijay Rangra Kansal (Mohali)


Several State Information Commissioners have said on record that applicants often misuse the RTI Act. The Law Minister has also said that the misuse of the RTI Act is hampering institutional efficacy and efficiency. Several industrialists have also claimed that the RTI Act could bring decision-making to a standstill and affect growth of the country. There is need to look at these misgivings carefully rather than dismiss them lightly.

There is no doubt that the implementation of the Act has provided good governance and ushered in more transparency. But the RTI Act also has inefficiencies and shortcomings. Applicants often ask frivolous questions or demand the smallest of details in a single application, which waste government’s resources, time and manpower. There is need to punish such applicants.

— M.L. Garg Chandigarh


It is paradoxical that while on the one hand the Prime Minister is promising an effective Lok Pal to rein in the corrupt ministers, bureacrats and judges while on the other hand,he appears to favour dilution of the RTI Act. To me it appears that RTI is the only gift of UPA 1, which empowered every citizen to have a peek into Government notings on files to elicit the truth. Any dilution of RTI will boomrang on the Government.

— Gurmit Singh Saini Mohali


Without the RTI Act, several scams would never have come to light. From the smallest local authority to the highest reaches of government, the RTI Act is the only restraining influence.

The criticism that it is affecting the working of the government speaks more about the critic than about the law. The RTI Act is a weapon to fight arbitrary governance and corruption. But it can also help campaigns pursue constructive agenda of social change and alternative development.

Also, it is not for the applicant to show why he needs the information, but for the babus to show, with reasons, why it should not be disclosed.

— Harish K. Monga Ferozepur

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