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Sunday, December 24, 2006

RTI Act has put governments in a spot

The Hindu, Date:20/12/2006: The Hindu received a huge response to its Public Eye on Right to Information Act. Jayanagar Study Centre says that the RTI Act has put governments in a tight corner. As such they are trying to adopt tactics such as not providing the required infrastructure. The cases have piled up so much that the minimum waiting period for any case to come up is three months and a judgment can take one year.
"This is how the government kills its own child," says G.S. Narayanan, secretary of the study centre.
S. Kavita of Nagarabhavi, who got incomplete information about the builder of her house, says that the BMP gave incomplete/irresponsible information.
Vikram Simha, an RTI activist, writes that the reason for delay in providing information requested under the RTI is that our officials have never codified the procedures and all dealings of files are tailor-made to suit official needs. Officials have to buy RTI Act books from outside even though it is mandatory for the Government to print and publish the Act book.
He also says that at least 65 per cent of the requests for information will find answers in suo motu declarations by government departments. But none of the public authorities have made honest endeavours to publish these declarations as per the Act.
Help on hand
On request from readers such as P. Vijaysarathy, we have a few numbers and email IDs of people who could help you in filing RTI applications.
N Vikram Simha, trustee, Mahithi Hakku Adayayana Kendra, ph. 26565058, 98860-20774, email
B.H. Veeresha, president, Bhrastachar Nirmoolana Vedike, ph. 9448704693,
Y.G. Muralidharan, Consumer Rights Education & Awareness Trust (CREAT), ph. 23357280
You can also call the National Help Line: 9250400100

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