Business Standard

Illusion of empowerment: Why we must oppose any law that makes RTI illusory

The RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019, eats into the independence of Information Commissioners, hollowing out the Act without touching on any of the substantive rights or procedural rights the Act provides

Illustration: Binay Sinha

Illustration: Binay Sinha

Pranjal Kishore
The United States (US) adopted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966. President Lyndon B Johnson said that he signed the Bill “with a deep sense of pride that the United States is an open society in which the people's right to know is cherished and guarded”. Years later, his press secretary Bill Moyers recollected that Johnson “hated the idea” of the Act. He had to be “dragged kicking and screaming to the signing ceremony”. Speaking in 2016, Moyers recalled that “Getting FOIA passed was almost as difficult as making it work once it was law... we had to

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 11:12 AM IST

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