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Three months to set up online RTI portals: SC

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Governance: RTI

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Supreme Court has directed States and Union Territories to set up and operationalize online Right to Information (RTI) portals within three months to ensure transparency in governance.

 

What is RTI?

The Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) gives Indian citizens the right to access information held by public authorities (all levels of government, judiciary, as well as any non-governmental organizations that receive public funding).

 

Genesis of RTI act:

In 1986, the Indian Supreme Court ruled in the case of Mr Kulwal v/s Jaipur Municipal Corporation that the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution includes the right to information.

 

Objectives:

 

 

Why Online Portal?

 Section 6(1) of RTI, 2005 stipulated that an information seeker had a statutory right to move an application through electronic means.

 

Issues with the online portal:

  • Even after 17 years of the act being passed, several High Courts and most district courts entertain only physical RTI applications.
  • Issues of the digital divide’, lack of digital infrastructure, and lack of digital literacy hamper RTI progress.

 

Recently, Supreme Court and some HCs in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Delhi have set up an online portal facilitating requests for the supply of information.

 

More about Section 6 of the RTI Act

  • A person who desires to obtain any information under this Act can do so in writing or through electronic means.
  • Language:English/Hindi/official language of the area
  • Fee: Prescribed fee.
    • No need to disclose the reasons: For making the request or their personal details except for such information that might be required for contacting them.

 

To know more about RTI Act, its provisions, issues, and way forward: Click here

 

Insta Links

Is the RTI Act fulfilling its purpose?

 

Mains Links

Is the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 fulfilling its purpose of ensuring transparency and accountability in governance? State your opinion.