ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Pankaj K P ShreyaskarSubscribe to Pankaj K P Shreyaskar

Contestations of the RTI Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 holds out the promise that it has the power to cleanse governmental systems in India. The act has made people aware of their rights and, by and large, has been used effectively. However, some provisions of the act leave its users perplexed. This article analyses these provisions and rules that leave interpretation and implementation open to considerable subjectivity. It argues that the practical regime of the RTI Act thusremains labyrinthine.

Contours of Access to Water and Sanitation in India

Improving the access to water and sanitation for all sections of society has been a significant development priority in recent decades in India and the same has been juxtaposed with advocacy for water and sanitation to be recognised as the legal human rights. However, very limited attention has been paid to seeing water and sanitation as a legal right for the populace, despite the debate over the abysmally low indicators of hygienic parameters for the vulnerable sections of society. Whereas Article 21 of the Constitution enunciates Right to Life in its multidimensional manifestations, including the right to safe drinking water, reflections on the findings of the NSS 69th round (which looks at the conditions of drinking water and sanitation in India, among other things) critically examines the availability of the water and conditions of sanitation for Indians. The right to water does not mean mere availability of water but water of standard quality so as to ensure healthy life of an individual. This article attempts to assess the hygienic conditions from the point of view of international benchmarks as also the effectiveness of rights provided under the Constitution and in other statutory documents with regard to water and sanitation.

Known Unknowns of RTI

After almost more than eight years of the Right to Information Act being in force, the process of accessing information still faces impediments. The flow of information is restricted either due to various public institutions not coming within the ambit of the Act or the information being exempt under various clauses of the Act. This article examines select judgments/orders of the Central Information Commission and the superior courts' exhibits to show how the exemption clauses have been utilised to camoufl age the disclosure norms including that of negating the applicability of RTI by several organisations. It also presents the contingency model for the RTI Act, 2005.

Investigating Compliance of the RTI Act

Presenting issues on the compliance of the various provisions of the Right to Information Act, this article looks into how responsive public authorities in India have been to the directions of information commissions.
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