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Friday, October 16, 2009

Govt. again attempts to remove “file notings” from RTI ambit

Dr. Mohammed Naved Khan
The Union Govt. is making yet another attempt to exempt file notings from the Right to Information (RTI) Act. “File notings,” are now being referred to as “discussions/consultations that take place before arriving at a decision.”

DoPT which has for long been attempting to torpedo the RTI Act “discussions and consultations that go into the decision-making process are of no relevance to the general public and should be exempted from disclosure under RTI.”

The Information Commissioners, after their day long meeting over the issue with the DoPT mandarins, immediately turned it down. They found no merit in the Department’s contention that disclosure of such discussions/ consultations hampered free flow of thought within the government.

According to one Information Commissioner, “Knowing full well that any attempt to exempt file notings would meet with stout resistance from civil society, the government is packaging it differently to push through an agenda that is as old as the Act itself,” .

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