10 years after RTI, transparency and accountability just a day dream:
Ten years after the RTI Act was passed by the Parliament on May 12 2005, till now transparency and accountability in government offices are yet to flourish.
Even after a decade of enactment of RTI, government offices have poorly maintained records of their workings, as RTI act says only those information will be provided to the citizens which are kept in the government offices.
But the problem is that if government officials act irresponsibly and do not maintain records properly what information the citizens could seek?
Staffing is also at very pathetic stage, as seats of information commissioners are lying vacant and governments are not willing to fill them.
Normal waiting time for the pending cases in information commissions (in states) are as high as 60 years in Madhya Pradesh and 18 years in west Bengal and if cases are resolved at the current pace of work.
This Act (RTI Act) was passed by the Indian parliament in 2005 and it had kindled new hopes in citizens of India but now it is withering day by day and becoming toothless by the apathy of the central and state governments.
The CIC chief’s post has been lying vacant at the central information commission’s office New Delhi for quite long time and central government in no mood at all to appoint the chief.
Whistleblower protection amendment Act 2015 passed by the parliament has raised alarms about the vulnerability of information seekers, as it has diluted it and removed the protection cover earlier provided in the original Act.
In one word I would like to say in my opinion we have made so many laws but have not updated the mindset of our bureaucracy and government officials who are always giving lukewarm responses to RTIs, and always feel insulted if an RTI is filed in his/her office seeking any details of their functioning.