Supreme Court Notice To Centre On Plea Seeking Implementation Of Provision In RTI Act

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The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking effective implementation of a provision of the Right to Information Act which mandates public authorities to suo motu (of its own accord) disclose vital information about their functioning.

A bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh issued notice to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and others on the plea.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by Kishan Chand Jain seeking effective implementation of the mandate of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 dealing with the obligations of public authorities.

Section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act lays down the information which should be disclosed by Public Authorities on a suo motu or proactive basis. Section 4(2) and Section 4(3) prescribe the method of dissemination of this information.

The PIL contended that the provision is the “soul” of RTI without which it remains an “ornamental” law.

The plea also referred to the reports of the Central Information Commission which reflect poor compliance with the mandate of Section 4.

It said that the Department of Personnel and Training had issued an Office Memorandum requiring a third party audit, which witnessed poor participation.

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