Around 40 RTI activists in the country have been killed in recent years, several of them after the Whistleblowers Protection Act was passed. Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya explores why the said law has been unable to achieve its stated end.
What good is an auditor without information? A recent letter written by the CAG Shashikant Sharma to the finance minister, seeking access to required information through RTI, exposes once more the lacunae in the powers of the Supreme Audit Institution. Himanshu Upadhyaya analyses the debate around the issue.
CIC: Delaying complaints against delays! Anger and frustration is on the rise over inordinate delays by the Central Information Commission in responding to or inquiring into complaints from RTI appellants. Revathi Siva Kumar looks at what ails the institution.
Can a post box save the Indian whistle blower? A recent court ruling allows RTI applicants to seek information without divulging their address, by simply citing a post box number. While this may partially stem the spate of attacks on activists, a lot more is needed to effectively shield whistle blowers, finds Navya P K .
Suicides due to poverty: How reliable is our data?
While researching suicide data published by the NCRB,
files an RTI enquiry on how the Bureau identifies causes behind suicides and compiles the data across states to arrive at national figures. The
response reveals the lack of clarity in the exercise.
Court battle likely after CIC's RTI ruling Indian political parties have been notorious for their opacity, particularly when it comes to questions of their funding. A recent quasi-judicial order bringing six large national parties within the ambit of the RTI Act 2005 might change that. A quick summary of the latest developments:
Rules to restrict rights
Governments have been changing the rules of the RTI Act, trying all sorts of things to dilute its provisions. Most of these are done
without consulting the public.
Navya P K
SC orders revamp of RTI regime
RTI activists across the country will be cheered by the apex court's order to make transparent appointments to the posts of Information
Commissioners, and recognise the quasi-judicial nature of their functions.
Nothing secret about Panel reports
Central Information Commission asks MoEF to make an environment expert panel's report public, outlining
arguments that could be used for disclosure of many other documents.
Maharashtra secretly amends RTI Rules
The State has quietly pushed through a set of changes to the way it treats RTI applications. Activists discovered it quite accidentally, and
DoPT throws open CIC appointments
Under pressure from RTI campaigners, the department in charge of short-listing the candidates for appointment as Central Information
Commissioners itself becomes more transparent.
Protecting the truth-tellers
The Whistleblowers Protection Bill moves closer to becoming law, as the Standing Committee on the draft law submits its latest report
Death of an activist
Niyamat Ansari fearlessly sought to secure for people their rights under the law. The political economy around the delivery of those
rights, however, proved too vicious, and he was killed.