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  Sunday, 21 December 2014      
 
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Save Right to Information Act 2005

Petition to the Prime Minister of India
To:  Prime Minister of India

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi.

Dear Sir,

Sub: An appeal to save Indian democracy.

I am appalled to learn that the Cabinet has approved an amendment to exempt file notings and cabinet papers from disclosure under the Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005. I am shocked that a progressive UPA government that fathered the Act has chosen to take this retrograde step and kill the act in its infancy.

In the last few years, RTI has emerged as a very effective tool in the hands of a common man to check corruption, fight injustice and make governance transparent. The proposed amendments would blunt RTI's effectiveness. This will prevent people from knowing why a particular decision was taken and who said what in that decision making process. It will prevent people from knowing why no action was taken on their applications and who the guilty officials were. In effect, the Government would end up protecting the corrupt and dishonest officials.

It is strange that at almost the same time when your cabinet was approving such retrograde amendments, you were making a speech on how RTI could improve governance. In your speech, you stated "This Act, by promoting transparency, can be a vital instrument for cutting down corruption and ensuring that goals set for improved public service delivery can be met."

Would you kindly explain as to how would transparency be promoted by exempting file notings? How would service delivery improve if you protect the identity of guilty officials? One gets a feeling you’re your speeches are mere rhetoric and the Government does not mean what it says.

Mr O P Kejariwal, Member Central Information Commission, recently said that "Information minus the file notings amount to taking the life out of the RTI Act".

The Act is just 10 months old. The Government should have given at least a few years before attempting to amend it. Nine state governments have RTI Acts for the last seven years or more. File notings were being given under those Acts. No bureaucrat in any of these states felt threatened the way bureaucrats working directly under you seem to be feeling.

It was hoped that your government would strengthen the Act and not take the life out of it, within one year of its coming into existence.

I therefore demand that the Right to Information Act, 2005 not be tampered with. Let the government of India not be held hostage by its Babus!

Sincerely,

Click Here to Sign the Petition hosted on PetitionOnline.com
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Last Updated ( Friday, 28 July 2006 )
 
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