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  1. ashakantasharma

    DEFINITION OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION

    DEFINITION OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION Right to Information‖ means the right to information which can be obtained from the public authorities or which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to: (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; (iii) taking certified samples of material; (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device. According to Madison, "a popular government without popular information, or the means of obtaining it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both." Right to Information empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government and the authorities acting under the authority of the Government. This right is regarded as oxygen of democracy as because exercise of this right ensures transparency and prevention of corruptions in the functioning of the Public Authorities and thereby helps to survive and strengthen the democracy. According to Thomas Jefferson, "it is their sweat which is to earn all the expenses of the war and their blood which is to flow in expiation of the cause of it." Freedom of information legislation must respect the individual's right, to privacy, the right to be let alone which, in the classic words of the great American Judge, Louis Brandeis, is "the most comprehensive of rights and the rights most valued by civilized men." Freedom of information, as Norman Marsh has aptly pointed out, "is not meant to provide open government in the sense of the whole administrative, business of government being carried on in the market place. There is what is called the 'privacy of government decision-taking. Whilst there can be no doubt about the public's entitlement to know what is decided on its behalf, the right to know cannot always be extended to the internal deliberations of government. The fact that the right to information is included in the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and expression has been recognized by Supreme Court decisions challenging governmental control over newsprint and bans on the distribution of newspapers. In a landmark case the petitioners, publishers of one of the leading national dailies, challenged restrictions in the Newsprint Control Order on the acquisition, sale and use of newsprint. The Supreme Court struck down the restrictions on the basis that they interfered with the petitioners' right to publish and circulate their paper freely, which was included in their right to freedom of speech and expression. In a subsequent case, the Supreme Court held that media controlled by public bodies were required to allow both sides of an issue to be aired. The right to know has been reaffirmed in the context of environmental issues that have an impact upon people's very survival. Several High Court decisions have upheld the right of citizens' groups to access information where an environmental issue was concerned. For example, in different cases the right to inspect copies of applications for building permissions and the accompanying plans, and the right to have full information about a municipality‘s sanitation programme, has been affirmed. The overall impact of these decisions has been to establish clearly that the right to freedom of information or the public‘s right to know, is embedded in the provisions guaranteeing fundamental rights in the Constitution.
  2. ashakantasharma

    DEFINITION OF RIGHT

    DEFINITION OF RIGHT An entitlement to something, whether to concepts like justice and due process, or to ownership of property or some interest in property, real or personal. These rights include various freedoms, protection against interference with enjoyment of life and property, civil rights enjoyed by citizens such as voting and access to courts, natural rights accepted by civilized societies and human rights to protect people through out the world from terror and torture. Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology. Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. The connection between rights and struggle cannot be overstated. Rights are not as much granted or endowed as they are fought for and claimed, and the essence of struggles past and ancient are encoded in the spirit of current concepts of rights and their modern formulations. The Modern English word right derives from Old English riht or reht, in turn from Proto-Germanic ‘riχtaz’ meaning "right" or "direct", and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European ‘reg-to’ meaning "having moved in a straight line", in turn from ‘(o)reg'(a)’ meaning "to straighten or direct". In several different Indo-European languages, a single word derived from the same root means both "right" and "law", such as French droit, Spanish derecho and German recht. Rights are widely regarded as the basis of law, some theorists suggest civil disobedience is, itself, a right, and it was advocated by famous thinkers. There is considerable disagreement about what is meant precisely by the term rights. It has been used by different groups and thinkers for different purposes, with different and sometimes opposing definition and the precise definition of this principle, beyond having something to do with normative rules of some sort or another, is controversial
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