Bashing the Right to Information (RTI) has almost become a sport in the government. On Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there was a danger that the RTI legislation could end up discouraging honest and well-meaning ublic servants from giving full expression to their views.
This is a weak argument: honest officers don’t have to worry about abuse of provisions of RTI. Vigilant information commissioners and the country’s judicial system are capable of making distinctions between use and abuse.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Photo: PTI
It is the wrongdoers— ministers and civil servants alike—who have reason to fear this vital right.
The Prime Minister has implicitly ended up supporting those who have every reason to keep information hidden.
His urging for a “critical” look at the RTI Act should not turn into a rollback of this hard-won right.