The concept of freedom of information is not a new concept and the same has existed through ancient ages. Democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.
Good governance has four elements- transparency, accountability, predictability and participation and Right to Information helps in achieving the same. Right to Information provides transparency. Information would lead to openness, accountability and integrity.
The subject becomes all the more relevant in the modern democratic system. We know that the authority or government is accountable to the person which means that, the electorate can claim information about the activities of the government. To claim information or to call for an explanation for the policy adopted by the government or work done by it is also an aspect of the right to information. Thus the central idea of the democratic government and also governance is right to information and hence it becomes more relevant in current government set up where more and more projects are coming up without complete transparency on funding and benefits to the citizens.
Open Government is the new democratic culture of an open society towards which every liberal democracy is moving and our country should be no exception. In a country like India which is committed to socialistic pattern of society, right to know becomes a necessity for the poor, ignorant and illiterate masses and hence the subject is extremely important and the Right to information Act which has been a path breaking legislation in India becomes important for lawyers and law students.
The freedom of information cuts across all discipline and is one of the basic tenets of the Indian Constitution. One of the brilliant features of Right to Information is that it makes public authorities answerable to the general public, which strengthen the participatory democracy. Every public authority is required to provide reasons for its administrative and quasi-judicial decisions to the affected persons and hence the possibility of arbitrariness reduces to great extent.
The Supreme Court is dealing with a tricky issue in asking the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to disclose information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act regarding inspection reports and defaulters’ list. In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that not revealing information would amount to serious contempt of court. The court recently reprimanded the RBI for refusing to disclose information pertaining to annual inspection report on banks under the RTI Act and warned that any further attempts by the banking sector regulator to muzzle such information “shall be viewed seriously by the court”. Normally, banking relationships are treated as confidential.
After the recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court, right to privacy has its role to play in this field. The RTI Act is making significant advancements in reducing the veil of secrecy. In the days when penetration into private life is tending to increase, there has to be caution and care in being very discerning. The judiciary has the onerous task of calibrating the social engineering with due consideration of the pros and cons in its march towards democratisation of our society on a more even balance in the march towards an “open society”.
The topics covered by Enhelion for this course cover the following:
- Module 1: Understanding the Right to Information
- Module 2: The Right to Information Act, 2005
- Module 3: Data Protection
- Module 4: The Right to Information and E-Governance
- Module 5: Filing of RTI Application [Practical Training]
This Online Certification Law course offers an insight into the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the working of the Central Information Commission and State Information Commission and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
For more details on our Certification course on RTI Contact Us or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org