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

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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.

The usage and propagation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 has been moving at a fast pace because of citizens’ enthusiasm and desire for accountable governance. The biggest gain has been in empowering individual citizens to translate the promise of “democracy of the people, by the people, for the people” into a living reality. The law as framed by Parliament has outstandingly codified this fundamental right of citizens. While framing the law, cognisance had been taken of various landmark decisions of the Supreme Court on the subject. One of the objectives of this law, mentioned in its preamble, is to contain corruption. It is a simple statute and easy to understand for common people. However, there are some decisions of information commissions and courts that are constricting this fundamental right of citizens, which is neither sanctioned by the Constitution nor by law.

This article is an effort to highlight one such instance—Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v Cen Information Commr & Ors (2012)—which has resulted in an effective amendment of the law without Parliamentary sanction. The denial of information has been justified on the basis of Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, which allows denial of information when:

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Updated On : 19th Dec, 2017
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