Killed RTI activists are martyrs: Moily

“The RTI activists like Amit Jethva and Satish Shetty are martyrs. I salute them,” Moily said while inaugurating a two-day conference on RTI orgainsed by the Central Information Commission.

Social activist Satish Shetty, who had blown the whistle on a series of land scams in and around Talegaon, Lonavala and Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune, was brutally murdered near his residence in January.

Amit Jethva was killed near the Gujarat High Court in Ahmedabad in July after he raised his voice against illegal mining in the Gir forests area.

“These RTI activists have contributed a lot to the country,” Moily said adding that an act to protect whistleblowers will be tabled during the winter session of parliament.
Under a bill cleared by the cabinet last month, the onus of protecting the identity of whistleblowers will be on the Central Information Commission.

“The confidentiality of the whistleblowers should be maintained,” Moily said.
The government had passed a resolution in 2004 on protecting  whistleblowers. The bill on this has been formulated following a number of murders of RTI activists and whistleblowers, starting with Satyendra Dubey, who was murdered in 2003 after he raised his voice against corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral road project.

Moily also said the RTI Act was being misused by some people but added that it had made an impact in the short period of five years since its enactment.
“RTI has made India proud,” he said.

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