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Diluting RTI Act: Court seeks reply from government

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday,asking it explain within two weeks why it had removed five subjects from the purview of the Right to Information Act.

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday,asking it explain within two weeks why it had removed five subjects from the purview of the Right to Information Act.

The notice was issued following a writ petition filed on behalf of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) by RTI activists Sandeep Pandey and Naveen Tiwari.

On June 7,the state government had issued a notification stating that appointment of the Governor,High Court judges and ministers,the code of conduct for ministers and the letters written by the Governor to the President will not come under the purview of the RTI Act.

“It is against the letter and spirit of the RTI Act to exclude information on these subjects,as these are not related to intelligence or security organisations of the State,” said Tiwari.

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The RTI Act,passed by the Parliament in 2005,empowers citizens to obtain information on all matters,except those covered under Section 8 of the Act,which talks of matters related to intelligence and security,said Pandey,national convener NAPM.

The petition also challenges another government order,issued on March 25,2008,through which two units of Civil Aviation Department were also removed from the purview of RTI Act,2005.

Both these notifications are prima facie illegal because Section 24(4) of RTI Act does not apply to them. This section applies to organisations and in both these notifications,the exempted entities are not organisations,said SN Shukla,counsel for the petitioners.

First published on: 24-07-2009 at 02:11:38 am
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