'RTI, tool for transparency'

From left: Information Commissioner Dr H N Krishna, Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde and former Speaker Krishna at the inauguration of the Karnataka RTI Federation in Bangalore on Monday. DH photo

Speaking at a seminar on “Role of citizens in implementation of the RTI Act,” Justice Hegde said the freedom of information was in concurrence with the freedom of speech as laid down by the Constitution. He said the RTI empowers people to know the way government spends taxpayers’ money.

“It (RTI) has been misused too. But I am sure we will learn how to use the Act for good governance. I am yet to see the extent to which the Act has been effective in curbing corruption,” he said.

Citing an example, Lokayukta said he tried his best to provide information. However, an applicant sought the travel bill details of the Lokayuktas since 1986 under the Act
JD(U) State president M P Nadagouda said there were apprehensions on the misuse of the RTI Act.

"The situation was similar to the apprehensions expressed by officials 20 years ago when the then prime minister V P Singh decided to abolish the Official Secrets Act.

Information Commissioner H N Krishna said the objective of the RTI is not to levy penalty on the officials but to provide information to ordinary people. The provision for penalty is meant only to compel the public information officers to share the information within the stipulated time, he added. The seminar was organised by the Karnataka RTI Federation.

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