The Right to Information Act- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Important aspects of governance- Citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
The Right to Information Act
- The Right to Information Act is revolutionary legislation that aims to promote transparency in government institutions in India.
- The Right to Information Act came into existence in 2005, after sustained efforts of anti-corruption activists.
- We have already discussed the key concepts of the Right to Information Act, historical background and its objectives, Key Provisions of the RTI Act, and the Applicability of the RTI Act.
- In this article, we will discuss Recent Amendments to the RTI Act and the time period within which a public authority shall provide information to the information seeker citizen.
The Right to Information Act- Time Period for Providing information
- In Normal Situations: information is to be provided to an applicant within 30 days from the receipt of the application by the public authority.
- In Life-Threatening Situations: Information shall be supplied within 48 hours by the concerned public authority.
- In case the application is sent through the Assistant Public Information Officer or it is sent to a wrong public authority, five days shall be added to the period of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be.
The Right to Information Act- Recent Amendments
- The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2013: It removes political parties from the ambit of the definition of public authorities and hence from the purview of the RTI Act.
- Draft Provision of 2017: it provides for closure of case in case of death of applicant can lead to more attacks on the lives of whistleblowers.
- The Right to Information (Amendment) Act 2019: It seeks to give the central government the power to fix the tenures and salaries of state and central information commissioners, which are statutorily protected under the RTI Act.
- It proposes to replace the fixed 5-year tenure with as much prescribed by the government.
- The move will dilute the autonomy and independence of CIC.