Monday, July 24, 2006

Another Assault On Freedom

In October 2005, our Parliament enacted one of the most progressive laws ever since Independence. It was the Right to Information Act (RTI). This law enables every Indian citizen to ask for information about government functioning and made a serious attempt to bring transparency to governance in India.

Now, just eight months after the RTI was enacted, the government has taken the outrageous decision to dilute it by barring the disclosure of the so called 'file notings'.

What are file notings and what impact does a lack of access to these for the average citizen have on the RTI? The Central Information Commissioner was quoted as saying that "Information minus the file notings amounts to taking the life out of the RTI Act". To understand more about this important law, its background and related issues read the RTI section of the India Together website. Yesterday's editorial in The Hindu minces no words about the governments decision to dilute the law. An op-ed article in the same paper discusses the issue in sufficient detail. The official website of the RTI law is here

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