India Offers New RTI Rules; Critics Oppose Death Clause

6 April 2017

Proposed revisions to the 2012 rules governing India’s Right to Information Act are drawing criticisms mixed with some praise.

One provision under attack would mandate terminate requests in case of death of an applicant. Also raising eyebrows are provisions that would increase procedural hurdles for appeals and a clause that would prescribe fees for providing information in the form of “diskettes and floppies.”

More favorably received was a provision for addressing non-compliance with the orders and directives of the Central Information Commission.

For a detailed look at the proposals, see article by Venkatesh Nayak, programme coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Also, read a review by the RTI Foundation of India.

Text of the March 31 circular from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on which public comment is being sought.

Subsequently, concerns about media representations of the proposals prompted the ministry to issue an explanatory “factual statement.” The text here includes comments by Nayak.

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