Published On: Mon, Mar 7th, 2016

Centre to seek states’ opinion on ‘controversial’ UP RTI rules

New Delhi:The Centre has decided to circulate “controversial” RTI rules of Uttar Pradesh among all the state information commissions to seek their comments.

DoPT Secretary Sanjay Kothari said, "we may circulate them to all state governments for comments".

DoPT Secretary Sanjay Kothari said,”we may circulate them to all state governments for comments”.

As per file notings, accessed by Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra under the RTI Act, Secretary (Personnel) of DoPT Sanjay Kothari said “we may circulate them to all state governments with a request to go through them and send their comments to government of UP with a copy to us”.

“We may send it to Union CIC for info… Subsequently, we may hold a workshop in this regard,” he wrote.

The RTI rules, framed by Uttar Pradesh State Information Commission and vetted by the state government, have come under sharp criticism of the activists who termed certain provisions as against the letter and spirit of the transparency law.

The rules put a cap of 500 words while filing an RTI application, besides do not mention obligation of a public authority to display names of officials dealing with RTI applications on public display.

“Rule 4(2)…Clauses (ii) and (iii) do not take note of the caveat given in the Supreme Court judgement in the CBSE vs Aditya Bandopadhyaya case in 2012 where the Supreme Court said that of opinion or advice can be culled out from the official record then it may be given,” said Venkatesh Nayak, RTI activist with at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.


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