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

Articles By Shailesh Gandhi

Right to Information Constricted

The Girish Ramchandra Deshpande judgment has had the effect of amending the Right to Information Act. The denying of personal information in this case under the RTI Act is contrary to the law and constricts the fundamental right of citizens far beyond what is permitted in Article 19(2). If steps are not taken to correct this, a major objective of the RTI Act, to curb corruption and wrongdoing, will be impeded.

First Define 'Privacy'

The problem with the nine judge ruling is that after proclaiming privacy as a fundamental right, it has not defined what is privacy. It is now left to all adjudicators to give multiple interpretations in order to understand the term, writes Shailesh Gandhi.

A Difficult Law to Implement

To make public service delivery mechanism more accountable, transparent and responsive, the Government of Maharashtra enacted the Right to Public Services Act, 2015 in August this year. Given the state bureaucracy's reluctance to implement laws to improve governance in the past, especially its track record in enforcing the Transfers and Delays Act 21, 2006, it is unlikely that this act will empower the common man and make the administration more sensitive to her needs.

Protecting India's Sunshine Law

A recent judgment of the Supreme Court reduces the number of benches which can hear appeals and complaints under the Right to Information Act. The prime minister too has expressed worry about the incidence of frivolous right-to-information applicants that takes up offi cial time, intrudes on privacy and may even discourage private entities from joining public private partnerships. Vigilant citizens must debate these events and see how they affect a powerful law that has given citizens the right to demand good governance.