Govt to decide on amending RTI after consulting experts

Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 15:05

New Delhi: Government will decide on amending
the Right to Information (RTI) Act only after consulting civil
society organisations and experts, the Rajya Sabha was
informed on Thursday.

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and
Pensions Prithviraj Chavan said during Question Hour that
there was a proposal to strengthen RTI by suitably amending
the laws to provide for disclosure by government in all non
strategic areas.

"The Government is examining a proposal for incorporation
of provisions in the RTI Act regarding constitution of benches
of the information commission and rejection of vexatious and
frivolous applications," he said.

The amendment would be done with a view to expanding the
scope of RTI and withdrawing exemptions given to some
agencies.

It would, however, not be carried out before consultations
with NGOs, civil society organisations, experts and
information commissioners, he said.

If the strengthening of RTI can be carried out without
amending the law, it would be done, he said.

There were apprehensions in the Supreme Court as to
whether RTI law will hamper its work, he said. "We will
examine this issue very carefully."

Vexatious and frivolous applications would be defined and
it would be ensured that "no public authority denies
information" on these counts.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 15:05

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