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India has 4th Strongest RTI laws in the world- reveals the rating

India is top 4th in the world

India is top 4th in the world

Time to cheer on Right to Information Day when it has come to notice that India has 4th Strongest RTI laws in the world.  This report is available on 28th September which has been declared by UNESCO to be celebrated all over the world as “International Day for Universal Access to Information”. India as been ranked 4th in the world having strongest RTI Act. This has been done by a website rti-rating.org

The website however states

India has long been recognized as one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to access to information, but its failure to top this ranking is demonstrative that global standards of the right to access have advanced considerably since India’s law was first passed.

The top two reasons for India considered as lower in ranking are due to “blanket exceptions in Schedule 2 for various security, intelligence, research and economic institutes” and “not allowing access to information held by private entities which perform a public function“.

On analysis of the details it is also found that India has scored less on not only exemption reasons, but also on imposing less sanction. Here are the other major factors which are matter of concern in so far as RTI Act is concerned. In these matters India has scored lesser.

India has 4th strongest RTI Law

  1. There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).

  2. There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).

  3. A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is only given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information.

  4. A system is not in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied.

  5. There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).

Do you have any suggestion for improvement on RTI Act, do join the discussion here at our forum:

Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it’s functionality

The popular myth – “RTI is meant for developed countries while developing countries have other urgent issues of poverty, hunger, poor levels of basic services like education and health” stands disproved once again. – States The Governance Now

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CPIO warned for asking Citizenship proof under RTI

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Central Information Commission warned the Central Public Information Officer for asking for the applicants citizenship proof under RTI who held the reply stating that furnishing of citizenship proof is a pre-requisite for providing the information.

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No provision for condoning the delay in filing the appeal

late RTI AppealFirst Appellate authority (FAA) under RTI Act rejected the Appeal just because it was filed beyond 30 days, in the pretext that “There is no provision under RTI for condoning the delay in filing the appeal”. The commission retreated Section 19 (1) of RTI Act and directed FAA that “the First appellate authority should not reject the first appeal filed beyond the prescribed period without hearing the appellant and consider the reason of delay.”

First appellate authority should have considered the reasons for delay proposed by appellant as proviso to section 19 (1) of the RTI Act provides:

“Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.”

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