The right to information is the right of the people of India. The government needs to act transparently and be held for the things that it does. If it is a fundamental right which is given to us, why doesn’t the government abide by that? Is the Constitution a joke?
With lack of accountability and transparency, the RTI act in India seems to be frozen. Since the past six years, the RTI Act seems to be a myth instilled in the minds of the people of the country.
When in 2014 BJP started to reign India, one propaganda which was started by them was for transparency. They said that the government would be accountable to its citizens and would eliminate corruption. But when we look at the RTI act of India, and the number of RTI is being rejected, we feel that there are lacks a lot of information clearance in the minds of the people.
Ministry of home affairs has rejected the highest proportion of RTI requests in India. The finance ministry is the second one in line. More than half of these requests are rejected on the basis of the integrity of the country. Where is integrity without truth? Nowhere in sight. Why is the government acting so suspicious? Only a thief acts and runs away from being accounted, we feel that the government is much better than this and can actually mend its ways.
According to stats, there has been a decline in transparency since the BJP rule. The number of instances we are giving out of information has been denied for reasons other than those permitted under the act have gone up. The amount of dissatisfaction with the information which is provided to the people by the PIOs and reduction in the penalties imposed on the PIOs for not furnishing any relevant information has surged. This clearly shows that the country is in a form of distress.
When we talk about Gujarat, where Modi was ruling earlier, the RTI commission had a shortage of commissioners throughout his tenure. Clearly, Modi and RTI do not gel together.
When the government rejects an RTI, there are various sections under which it can rejected or there is one more category under which it can be rejected. That category is very mysterious and is called the ‘others’ category. More than 40% of the rejections are made under this category in a very uncanny manner. More than 4 out of every 10 RTI applications are rejected under this.
The PMO said that end number of RTI’s can be filed to reveal the details of the Prime Minister’s foreign travels but they will not be solved because it is an invasion of privacy.
RTI applications regarding details of demonetization and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan are also rejected regularly.
There were times when posts of commissioners, Chief Information Commissioner’s posts were lying empty in several states which led to a backlog of applications with respect to RTI. RTI act has been made for the citizens so that they can get information from the government and know about its credibility. If in our country the government fails to resort to the RTI, we know what it means.
Since the day coronavirus has entered India, there is one thing everyone is curious about. But one thing is the PM cares fund which has been started in the name of a pandemic. We have covered two articles on the same topic and here is a detailed analysis of the current situation of the fund.
The time has come when the number of cases in India is on a search. The amount of funds available in this specific relief fund is huge. Where is the money being used? There are migrant workers who are walking thousands of kilometers to their homes and there foot are bleeding. All they are asking for is a pair of slippers. This is what they expect from the government, a simple pair of sandals. This is the level at which our country is operating right now. The people are not asking for food, water, and livelihood. All they want is to be saved from being dead on the roads. Food and water is a far-fetched concept for them, it is something which the government is claiming that it is providing but no relief has been given to the poor people of the society. Surveys have been conducted where the poor people have said that there has been no help being provided to them.
Many people from all over the country are filing RTI with respect to the PM cares fund. It is also said that there thousands of RTIs pending that are rejected. The RTI application which was filed on April 21 by Vikrant Togad has seen no positive response. The PMO wrote back in six days to this application and they refuse to furnish the documents and the information which the person wanted.
There is no separate website for the PM cares fund. It is only available on the prime minister of India’s website. This website states that the prime minister is the chairman of this trust and the members include the defense minister, the Home Minister, and the finance minister. What will happen to this fund if the PM ceases to be the PM?
Mr. Shailesh Gandhi started a campaign to bring the PM relief fund and CM relief fund under the RTI act. When the Aam Aadmi Party collects donations, the graph of donations collected is shown on the website of the party. However for this fund in consideration, no such details are available officially and we are just left to assume the numbers. The RTI which is given out by the people is always rejected.
Is RTI a joke now?
What is so suspicious about this fund that truth cannot come out of it? Transparency needs to be ensured to gather the trust of the people. This fund is also not being audited so where is the fault?
For a class project in Pune the students of the class decided to file RTI applications. They decided to request information on the quantity of food grains that went rotten in various warehouses across the country. All the steps were followed step-by-step as mentioned on the portal and after filing the RTI application the transaction worth Rs.10 FAILED. The students didn’t lose hope and did the transaction for the third time which came out as successful. However after a few seconds even when the money was debited from the account, the RTI was not filed because of transaction cancellation. Was this, a transaction failure or was this the failure of telling the people about the truth?