Now, information under RTI in vernacular languages

Now, information under RTI in vernacular languages

Now, you don’t have to be a master in English language to read and digest the information obtained under Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked all the government organisations to provide details sought under the RTI Act in local languages. Without giving any direction, the apex body, under the transparency law, concluded that information should be provided in vernacular languages as far as possible.

“The implication of the Section 4(4) of the RTI Act is that the disclosure should be in local language. This is a desirable situation expressed in the Act and for Union government organizations this would mean local languages of various states,” Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said.

Rajasthan resident Manu Ram Sharma, who sought a host of information from Medical Council of India (MCI), sought the CIC to the MCI, under Section 4 of the RTI Act, which mandates that all government departments should computerise their records and make them available in Hindi.

The panel declined to issue any direction in this regard but said “it would be desirable if the disclosures were made in local languages.”

“The Commission certainly believes that it would be good for all the organisations to display the information on the website in Hindi and the Public Information Officer states that the MCI has measures in this regard. However, the Commission does not feel it appropriate to give any direction in this matter,” Gandhi said.

Sharma, the appellant,  pointed out that the MCI had failed to follow a previous direction by the CIC issued on February 13, which instructed that the MCI website should provide information in Hindi before April 1.  

The Commission extended the time till May 31 to bring the change and also issued a warning for failure to obey its order.

“The Commission warns MCI that if its orders on Section 4 are not implemented, it would be forced to take strong actions in this matter,” the CIC said.

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