Central Government on Wednesday clarified that the allegation that there is a move to dilute the provisions of RTI is unfounded.
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension in a press release stated that a factually incorrect and misleading news report appeared in a section of the media that a new set of RTI Rules have been formulated which creates difficulties and hurdles in the right of the citizens to get information from the Government. It has been alleged that the size of the RTI has been restricted to 500 words and a provision of fees has been unfairly introduced in the Rules.
According to the Government, the facts are totally to the contrary. As per the press release;
“On 31st July, 2012, the Central Government notified the RTI Rules under Section 27 of the Right to Information Act, 2005. A copy of existing rules is available on the official website of DOPT. The Rules provided that an RTI application will ordinarily be not more than 500 words (subject to exception) with a nominal fee being charged from each applicant. These Rules were framed and notified in 2012. However, legality of the CIC (Management) regulations of 2007 was challenged before the Delhi High Court and these were quashed. The matter has been pending before the Supreme Court. The Government therefore decided, in consultation with the CIC, that a comprehensive set of rules be notified by consolidating the key provisions of CIC (Management) Regulations and also the Rules of 2012. Same has been put up in public domain for comments”.
The Government said the key provisions of the RTI Rules, 2012 have been identically incorporated verbatim.
“No change has been made in the RTI fee structure. The Government is committed to ensuring a full and easy implementation of the Right to Information”.
According to the Press release the factual position on the proposed Rules is as follows:
The Govt. also clarified that the proposed amendments to the rules are in public domain for comments by April 15, 2017 and will be finalized keeping in view the public feedback received in the matter. The comments can be sent both online and in hard copy to the Department.