This is a summary of article RTI needs a second revolution by Satyananda Mishra in Indian Express,It starts with prasing the good done by RTI ,a number of significant disclosures were forced by the RTI, including the information regarding 2G and Commonwealth Games and so on.
Why RTI is failing or reached saturation point ?
RTI act came in to effect in 2005 , ten years on, lets see the reasons for its failure.
- In the beginning civil society activists and the media have been more enthusiastic about the RTI than civil servants.Now Babu’s accepted it and some even using it to crusade.
- Ordinary citizens mostly seek personal information regarding various services,so no issues there.
- It is the contentious or potentially controversial information that the public authorities have been very wary of disclosing .
- Many small-time blackmailers, in the guise of media persons or RTI activists, have successfully milked the RTI
- The civil society and Media enthusiasm for the RTI has declined.
- Between the Supreme Court and several high courts, a large number of decisions by information commissions have been stayed for years, without much explanation. This has created an impression among the public authorities that the judiciary is not very appreciative of the RTI or the way it is used by citizens.
- The contribution of the information commissions, both Central and state, in diluting the public interest in the RTI is no less. Long pendency in most information commissions — some even for a year or more — signals their casual approach
- The appointment of information commissioners, especially in the states — many of whom are not equal to the task in terms of intellect and stature — has seriously undermined the citizen’s trust in information commissions.
- The law is too ambitiously and, some say, unrealistically drafted as it defines both “information” and “public authority” in the widest possible manner. So burden on authorities
- Poor record-keeping makes retrieval of information very cumbersome – and digitization is yet to take place.
- Political parties also did not appreciate it much and all national parties took RTI decision to court challenging that they come under RTI.