Under this Act, any citizen can approach any government department and seek any information with respect to the working of that department, inspect any files or take copies of any documents. They have right for the following:-
- inspect works, documents, records.
- take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
- take certified samples of material.
- obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts
The Supreme Court has observed that Right to Information is a part of Right to Speech & Expression, which is a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. According to the Supreme Court, Right to Speech & Expression cannot be exercised without Right to Information.
The Right to Information Act is a potent device to weed out corruption from government institutions. But the UPA Government seems to be bent on sounding the death knell for the RTI Act. It has moved to amend the law to exclude file notings. It is obvious that the political leadership is buckling under pressure from the bureaucracy. One wonders how file notings can be exempted from disclosure when they form an integral and inseparable part of the record.
We need to act now so that this important piece of legislation and weapon in the hands of common public is not thrown into garbage by this UPA Govt. and the White Elephant bureaucracy.
UPDATE VICTORY: IT IS A VICTORY OF DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC OPINION THAT GOVERNMENT HAD TO BACKOFF AND MAINTAIN STATUS QUO