It refers to Rajya Sabha on 28-04-2016 witnessing Parliamentarians cutting across party-lines criticizing RTI Act for its misuse. Undoubtedly cases of misuse of RTI Act have been very large. But the act itself provides effective remedies to deal with such petitions without wasting much time. Most public-authorities are not aware of such provisions due to lack of proper training.
More than fifty percent petitions can be reduced if governments take stringent measures to ensure implementation of very important section (4) of RTI Act on sue-motto disclosures. Even public-authorities misuse provisions of RTI Act on queries relating to malpractices of persons seated on high posts like Directorate of Estates in UPA regime usually used to unnecessarily transfer queries relating to encroachment and trespass of government-bungalow number 6, Krishna Menon Marg (New Delhi) to a large number of CPWD offices even though information existed at the Directorate.
Misuse by public can be largely curtailed by increasing RTI fees to rupees fifty with provision to provide first twenty copied pages free-of-cost. Since big contractors file RTI petitions in name of casual labourers of BPL category to get copied documents free-of-cost, provision of free providing of copied documents for people in BPL category can be abolished.
Any other dilution of the Act is not proper because the Act is not only proved to be curative but also preventive in exposing and stopping scams and scandals. However it was interesting that a former Union Minister who was exposed through RTI Act for misuse of his ministerial post was the most critical in Rajya Sabha discussions!
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