India’s CIC Says Ministers Covered by RTI Act  

16 March 2016

India’s Central Information Commission ruled March 13 that ministers are public authorities subject to the Right to Information Act and should take an oath of transparency.

The commission gave the cabinet secretary and chief secretaries in the states two months to appoint public information officers for each minister’s office. Also, the CIC said each minister should set up a website to disclose information mandated under the transparency law, according to the decision and articles in The Hindustan Times and The Times of India.

Information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu’s wrote the decision. The ruling came on an appeal from a Maharashtra resident who wanted to know how to get an appointment with the Union law minister.

“The Commission has no hesitation to declare the ministers in the Union government and all state governments as ‘public authorities’,” Acharyulu wrote.

The Commission “strongly recommended” replace the current oath of secrecy with an oath of transparency.

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