Privacy changes in RTI act, corrupt babus to escape public scrutiny

The Justice Srikrishna’s panel has suggested the changes in the privacy clause of Section 8(1) (j) of RTI (Right to Information) act that will allow corrupt officers to escape public scrutiny, said an Information Commissioner M. Sridhar Acharyulu.

information commissionAcharyulu in a letter to Chief Information Commissioner R.K. Mathur warned that if the amendments in the act are made, “The Right to Information Act will be rendered absolutely useless in securing access to public records pertaining to public servants.”

In a draft circulated among all commissioners, Acharyulu said that to emphasize any proposal to modify provisions of the RTI act should not be taken up without wide ranging consent with public in general and ICs in particular.

The draft bill circulated is based on the suggestions of the government constituted justice panel headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna.

Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act exempt from disclosure “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.”

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