13th Nov 2019 10:11:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

In what that has been termed as a landmark and historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Wednesday had upheld the 2010 Delhi High Court judgement, making it clear that the office of Chief Justice of India comes very well within the ambit of RTI Act. To take the essence from the verdict, it can be said that this is actually a reiteration of the true spirit of the much talked about RTI Act, which  conveys the message of  transparency and its upholding  in public domain. Although the pronouncement has just arrived with wide time left for discussing its future ramifications, judging the sentiments of the transparency activists, it can be said that it is something they have been waiting for, particularly in the wake of the situation that has unfolded after the very recent amendment of the Act. To them, it is something like a moral victory, if viewed in the light of the post-amendment scenario where there is growing belief that there have been much dilution to the original act, robbing it of the ‘teeth’ that had made it a great sunshine law since inception from 2005.
It will always be counted as a fact that RTI Act shot into prominence and popularity among the common citizens of the country as it proved to be a great tool for unearthing chunks of information that are not otherwise available in public domain due to ‘various reasons’. As an anti-corruption legislation, it managed to create an atmosphere of openness with perceptible increased degree of accountability on the part of stakeholders. But the new act after incorporating the amendments has created a lot of debate and has invited intense criticism from the opposition as well as public with the central argument being that it will take away the independence of RTI authorities such as the CIC, SCIC and ICs as the central government will now be enjoying the sole authority to decide tenure, terms and salaries. This has been argued by various legal luminaries, who fear that there will be every possible scope of erosion of the neutrality of Information Commissioners who would be crippled and compelled to stay ‘more loyal’ to the government in power at any given point of time. Moreover, the hasty manner by which the Bill was introduced and passed in both houses of parliament, without giving adequate time for public consultation has been viewed as a sharp deviation from the expected ethics that forms the bedrock of a functional democracy like India.
The actual ‘consequences’ of the amended act will become more visible with the passage of time. But the verdict, nevertheless,  has delivered the message that transparency is a necessity in the country that needs to be reinforced. 

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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