‘RTI is a fitting a tool to enforce accountability on the government’

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IMPHAL, Nov 25: A Guneshore Sharma, Judge Revenue Tribunal /MACT, today while delivering a lecture on RTI on the 1st day of the Bharat Nriman Campaign held at the Bishnunaha Community Hall, Yairipok said that the Right to Information Act, RTI, 2005 is a very powerful tool in the hands of common people to make the government of the day accountable.

He said with this act the common people can keep a tab on the day to day working of the government, how funds are being managed, how various programmes are being taken up, what is the exact status of these programmes etc.

In his lecture he elaborated on the various aspects of the RTI act, how it can be used through a simple application to the designated Public information Officer of the concerned department on payment of Rs 10/. He then went on to explain what constitutes information, what are public authorities, which agencies are exempt from the purview of the act. But even these agencies which are exempted are answerable under RTI if it concerns the issue of corruption and violation of human rights.

He then went on to explain what steps can be taken in case of withholding of information sought under the RTI, which include appealing to an Appellet authority and finally to the Chief State Information Commission or the Central Information Commission if it concerns the central government.

During the interaction, one of the delegates wanted to know if RTI can be used to know the whereabouts of RK Meghen, Chariman of UNLF who was allegedly handed over to the Indian authorities by the Bangladesh security agencies. In his reply A Guneshore said that RTI can definitely be used in the instance at question by an application to the Home ministry or the External Affairs Ministry.

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