Need and Importance of RTI by Zainub @LEXCLIQ

“Where a society has chosen to accept democracy as its creedal faith, it is elementary that the citizens ought to know what their government is doing.” -Justice P N Bhagwati

in India we abide by the Constitution. We have procedural democracy, governing by the rule of law.

Right to Information was developed and adopted by the nations worldwide to make their governments active, responsive and they see it as an effective weapon to eliminate the corruption, secrecy of the government and their authoritarian rule which was prevailing in the society for the long time.

They wanted to adopt a new culture of openness and transparency between the government and the citizens after 20th century when their was era of democracy and sharing of information between citizens and the government.

Then came the concept of good governance adopted worldwide  which includes the concept of transparency, accountability, public participation and rule of law.

Overtime, there are certain worldwide accepted key principles of freedom of information :

  1. State (Government) I the trustee of the people and whatever information they possess belongs to the citizens, there should be openness in the information between the civil society.
  2. There still exists certain information which cannot be allowed to the citizens they can’t have unlimited access to information and these things should be specified in statue itself and should not be left into the hands of public authorities and bureaucracy for misuse.
  3. While disclosing the information their should be identifiable harm over state such as security, intergrity, relations with other countries, privacy intrusion etc.
  4. If there is any harm caused by the release of information than state has the authority to withhold.
  5. there should be an independent adjudicatory body like Ombudsman, Lokpal, Lokayukts etc.

After that gradually certain countries introduced Right to Information in their constitution while other made it a separate legislation depending upon the country to country and their demands.

And it gave certain principles too:

Maximum Disclosure

Obligation to publish

Openness in governance

Limited exceptions

Processing facilities for Access to Information

Fee or costs: for accessing information should not be high, should e low or even free.

Protection for whistleblowers

We need RTI for the better governance of the society and the government, as rule of law states that no man is above law and there should be separation of power among the state to protect public and citizens from autonomy of the government and proper functioning of their democracy, likewise Right to Information gives right to each and every citizen to access the information related to their state.

As A.V Dicey states that no man is above law and no man can be lawfully made suffer except for breach of law .

So, public participation is necessary for the better functioning of any state.

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