Govt won’t dilute RTI act assures minister
New Delhi, July 22: A group of RTI activists met Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh and discussed issues regarding citizens' right to information and related concerns.
During the meeting, Singh allayed the apprehensions about there being any move to dilute the Right to Information (RTI) Act, as reported by a section of the media.
On the contrary, he said, the government, in the last four years, had worked on the principle of increasing citizen participation in governance with more accountability and transparency, an official statement said.
The delegation of RTI activists, representing Right to Information Activists Social Welfare Society, shared Singh's concern about frivolous RTI applications.
It suggested that a mechanism to check such applications be evolved, like imposing a fine or making it mandatory for the applicants to disclose their Aadhaar number, the statement said.
The delegation also favoured a continuous and aggressive awareness campaign to educate the masses about the utility of RTI to ensure transparency and simultaneously cautioning them against its misuse for mala fide motives, it said.
Singh said the government had made efforts to fill all the 11 vacancies of the Central Information Commission (CIC).
The CIC, under the previous governments, has at times even functioned with just three or four members, he said.
He added the government had tremendously brought down the pendency of RTI applications and also cut down the disposal time.
The minister said most of the public bodies, numbering around 2,000, have been brought under the purview of the RTI Act in the last four years.