Right to Information -Master Key to
What is the objective of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission?
The Second Administrative Reforms Commission was
constituted to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public
The Commission suggested measures to achieve a
proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration
for the country at all levels of the Government.
“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are
chiefly to be found in democracy, they
best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost”.
Right to information
What is the importance of RTI ?
Right to information has been seen as the key to
strengthening participatory democracy
ushering in people centred governance.
Access to information can empower the poor and
the weaker sections of society to demand and get information about public
policies and actions, thereby leading to their welfare.
RTI helps in bringing Transparency which is the
necessary component of Good Governance and without good governance, no amount of
developmental schemes can bring improvements in the quality of life of the
The effective implementation of the Right to Information
Act will create an environment of vigilance which will help promote functioning
of a more participatory democracy.
is very comprehensive and covers almost all matters of governance and has
widest possible reach, being applicable to government at all levels – Union,
well as recipients of government grants. Access to information under this Act
with minimum exemptions. Even these exemptions are subject to strict
may be expected in a new legislation of this kind, permanently impacting on all
of government, there are bound to be implementation issues and problem areas,
need to be addressed. The Commission therefore decided to look at the
new legislation and make suitable recommendations to fulfil the objectives of
While the Act applies to all branches of government – Executive, Legislative
Commission’s study and recommendations largely pertain to the Executive branch
However, the Commission has also carefully examined some of the key issues
be addressed in the Legislative and Judicial branches for effective
It is for the competent authorities of the Legislatures and Judiciary to
and adopt them with modifications to suit their requirements.
of the terms of reference of the Administrative Reforms Commission pertains
Freedom of Information, specifically the following aspects:-
review the confidentiality classification of government documents specially
reference to the Official Secrets Act.
encourage transparency and access to non-classified data.
Disclosure of information and transparency as a supplement to the Right to
of the citizens.
Commission has examined the relevant laws, rules and manuals which have an
freedom of information. It has specifically examined the Official Secrets Act,
Evidence Act, Manual of Departmental Security Instructions and those pertaining
procedures and Conduct Rules and made recommendations in respect of these.
order to elicit views from different stakeholders on Freedom of Information the
organized a National Colloquium at the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal in
2005. The list of participants in the National Colloquium organized by the
on the subject is in Annexure-I(1). The recommendations of the Colloquium
Annexure-I(2). The questionnaire circulated to various stakeholders is in
case studies conducted or relied on by the Commission are in Annexure-I(4). The
study of transparency laws in various States and other countries is in
This Report is in two parts: Part I focusses on Official Secrets and
and is divided into three chapters: Official Secrets; Rules and Procedures; and
Classification. Part II focuses on the steps required for effective
Act and is divided into four chapters: Rights and Obligations, Issues in
of the Act to the Legislature and the Judiciary and Removal of Difficulties.