RTI activists` murder threat to transparency: CIC

Expressing concern over the killing of RTI activists across the country, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah today urged the "RTI brotherhood" to device defence mechanism to deal with it.

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2010, 20:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the
killing of RTI activists across the country, Chief Information
Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah today urged the "RTI
brotherhood" to device defence mechanism to deal with it.

"There is one emerging threat of the murder of those who
tried to reach out to attack those with vested interests in
different states through the use of RTI Act. The RTI
brotherhood needs to develop defensive mechanism," he said.

Habibullah was speaking at the inauguration of fifth
Convention on RTI with the theme "RTI: Challenges and
Opportunities", which began here this morning.

The Chief Information Commissioner, who will be demitting
office on September 30 after a successful stint of five years,
said one of the major challenges before the transparency
regime is the monitoring of "full operationalisation" of
section four of the RTI Act which mandates proactive
disclosure of information by government departments.

"One challenge is full operationalisation of the section
four...wider implication of operationalisation of section four
means ease of access of information, transparency and
accountability. This means without causing any dislocation of
the person seeking information," he said.

Habibullah urged the Department of Personnel and Training
to look into the issue of monitoring the implementation of
section four of the RTI Act.

"The Commission to some extent has powers to monitor the
implementation of section four of the RTI Act but these are
advisory in nature," he said.

The Central Information Commission has been organising
the Annual Convention every year since 2006.

The two-day convention will have five technical sessions
covering major aspects of Right to Information (RTI) in which
issues such as RTI and Public Private Partnership (PPP)
Projects, Responsibility of Political Leadership in promoting
RTI, RTI and Judiciary, Challenges and Opportunities in RTI ?
Role and Responsibility of Media/Civil Society Organisations,
RTI and Unique Identification Project- Possibilities, will be
discussed.

The present convention is being attended by
representatives of civil society and media, both from within
the country and from SAARC countries.

During the convention, a monograph carrying experiences
of stakeholders from all sections in regard to the
implementation of the transparency law has been released.

The first such documents was brought on the occasion of
National Convention on RTI in 2006 and the present monograph
is the second in series. The monograph documents the report
and recommendations of two of the conventions of this
Commission.

PTI