RTI Trumps Over Official Secrets – But Govt Remains Unyielding


MoneyLife | 22 March 2019

States Venkatesh Nayak, RTI research scholar and programme coordinator of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). "Several government-appointed committees including the H. D. Shourie Committee (which recommended enactment of a national level information access law during the 1990s) and the now defunct Planning Commission, have held that the OSA throws a veil of secrecy on decision-making processes, often resulting in the denial of the rightful entitlements of citizens or by preventing them from contributing to the processes of decision-making in public affairs. Therefore, Parliament enacted the Right to Information Act in 2005 to replace this regime of secrecy with a regime of transparency. Parliament took care to specify in at least two places in this law that it would override the OSA to the extent of any inconsistency. In other words, if public interest is served better, even exempt or secret information held by public authorities must be disclosed and the OSA would not be a stumbling block in the unfurling of the transparency regime."

Read the full story.