Though India won its independence in the year 1947 and was declared a democratic republic, yet the people of the country had no power vested in them to know the political decisions and policies. As a result of this, the truth remained miles away from them until 2005 when landmark Right to Information Act put powers in the hand of the people making it mandatory that the government information is provided to the citizen without delay.
The world celebrates September 28 each year as the right to know the day. The past few decades have witnessed several countries working on the enactment of the legislation that provides the citizens with the power to know about government proceedings, thus eliminating the culture of secrecy. Unlike the Official Secrets Act 1923 that aimed at keeping everything secret, the new legislation aimed at making everything transparent and open to axe down on the mismanagement, malpractices, and bribery.
Objectives of RTI
Right to Information or popularly known as RTI empowers the citizen to ask the government about its expenses, working, policies, and other related activities. Many social activists’ term RTI as the basic law and right that would open a gateway to fighting corruption. The right to information form asks for all the required information and processes it with the concerned authority. Seeking help from the legal expert would ensure that your query is not rejected.
Apart from this, the act aims at making the citizens informed and make the government accountable. No democratic government would survive without the presence of transparency and accountability.
The following are some of the ways by which RTI has proved to be the most effective tool to fight corruption and bring in the much-required transparency in the government machinery—
- RTI as a Tool to Clarity of Information
The Constitution of India gave the citizen the right to speech and express, but these were incomplete without the Right to Information. It acted as a tool to clarify government plans and bring in transparency regarding the government’s initiative towards handling these reforms. It would ensure that the citizen of India comes to know about the implementation, initiative, proceedings, etc. The right to information form asks for all the details precisely that a person wants to know from a particular department.
- RTI as a Tool to Increase Transparency
Most of the cases of corruption have been because people were kept uninformed regarding the plan and proceedings. But with the RTI Act in play, a person can fill up the right to information form by himself or with the help of any legal advisor regarding the proceedings, fund allocation, and expense. The RTI empowers the citizen to know how things have progressed and funds utilised bringing in transparency. In addition to this, people can also know whether the contract has been awarded to the right and deserving authority or not.
- RTI as a Tool to Question All Facet of Government Structure
Yes, no matter which department you want to know about, RTI permits the citizen of India to ask any government department about how any project or activity is performing or proceeding. It also gives the citizen the right to reason and know the reason. The right to information form has all the required columns and ensure that their voice is heard at a higher level.
India is the largest democracy and the power is vested on its citizens. It has been a tool that has made people more powerful and government accountable. It questions the inquisitive mind of the people on government proceedings, social issues, political financing reforms, infrastructure development, and many more.