With the right to information act coming into existence, citizen’s right to get information owed to them from the government has become easier. However in the past few years, there has been a shift in which Public Information Officers, First Appeal Authorities and Information Commissioners are refusing to share information using incorrect exemptions or are misinterpreting the act. In an effort to educate the citizens, Moneylife Foundation organised a very important session with two former Central Information Commissioners who to speak on the common misuse of the act and the way forward
The session began with former central Information Dr Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu, speaking on the first 5 exemptions and how they need to be used. He also mentioned the way it is being misused and shared some examples from his own judgements. This was then followed by Mr Shailesh Gandhi, the former Central Information Commissioner sharing the remaining 5 exemptions. His presentation spoke specifically on key issues like fiduciary and also mentioned how it is something that neither government officers nor citizens understand. Mr Gandhi also spoke in length about the Privacy clause and how if let unchecked, can cause some serious damage to the RTI movement and citizens’ right to information in general.
The session was moderated by Mr DS Ranga Rao from Public Concern for Governance Trust and was attended by over 140 participants.
Video recording of the session: