No relook at RTI: Salman Khurshid

Last Updated: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 10:28

New Delhi: Amid a raging debate on RTI,
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has made it clear that
there is no proposal for a "relook" at the Act but noted that
not only the government but the judiciary too had experienced
"difficulties" because of it.

"We are proud of RTI. We are pleased that we gave RTI to
this country. Even if it causes inconvenience to this country
to an extent, we will bear that inconvenience.

"But we must ensure that in totality, the efficiency and
functioning of government is strengthened," he said.

On whether the RTI would be revisited, Khurshid said,
"there is no proposal to relook at the Act".

He went on to add, "Today, we are only absorbing the
experience of the RTI and now whether after a period, looking
at the experience, looking at the demands, looking at the
consensus that can emerge, we can bring about any changes or
not is something that is futuristic. It is something which I
cannot say today."

The Law Minister, however, ruled out making fundamental
changes in the legislation.

"If you say that we`ll make any fundamental changes in
the RTI, the answer is no. We are proud of RTI," he said in an interview recently.

Queried whether some more exemptions like the one granted
to the CBI could be brought into the Act, the lawyer-turned-
politician noted, "No legislation is perfect."

"You will have to see any legislation, you will have to,
from time to time, (see) how it is working. If it needs to be
tightened, you tighten it; if you need to broaden, you broaden
it; if you need to deepen, you deepen it; if you need to make
exceptions, you make exceptions as the CBI exception has now
been made," the Law Minister said.

Replies to some RTI queries have generated major
controversies recently like the one by a Finance Ministry note
to the PMO which suggested that the 2G scam could have been
averted if then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had insisted on
auction.

Khurshid noted that the government and the judiciary have
faced "some difficulties" in dealing with RTI queries.

"We certainly know, we (government) are not the only
ones. Government is not the only one. Government meaning
political government, not the only ones which felt some
difficulties.

"Bureaucrats have felt difficulties, independent agencies
have felt difficulties, the courts have felt difficulties," he
said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 10:28

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