Examining bodies should get tuned to RTI Act: SC

Accountability and prevention of corruption are possible only through transparency, SC said.

New Delhi: Bodies which conduct competitive examinations should change their "old mindset" and get tuned to the RTI Act to disclose information to candidates, the
Supreme Court has said.

A bench of justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik turned down the plea of Institute of Chartered Accountants which pleaded that an authority should be appointed under the transparency law to screen application of information seekers
in view of increasing number of people approaching under the RTI Act.

"Examining bodies like ICAI should change their old mindset and tune them to the new regime of disclosure of maximum information. Public authorities should realise that in an era of transparency, previous practices of unwarranted secrecy have no longer a place," the bench said.

"Accountability and prevention of corruption are possible only through transparency. Attaining transparency no doubt would involve additional work with reference to maintaining records and furnishing information," it said.

The court said that additional workload is not a defence for not maintaining information and the institute can approach the government in this regard.

"Additional workload is not a defence. If there are practical insurmountable difficulties, it is open to examining bodies to bring them to the notice of the government for consideration so that any changes to the Act can be
deliberated upon," the court said.

"As the examining bodies have not been exempted, and as the examination processes of examining bodies have not been exempted, the examining bodies will have to gear themselves to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act," the court said.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by ICAI challenging the Bombay High Court order which had directed it to provide information under the RTI Act.


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