Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Most people don’t know what to ask in RTI query says Central Information Commissioner


Information commissioner Heeralal Trivedi addresses a national seminar on ‘Right to Information and Challenges of Corruption’ at Indian Institute of Hotel Management on Monday

BHOPAL: “About three-fourth RTI queries are filed by government employees, said a survey report of 2006 conducted after the RTI was introduced in 2005 but the situation is no different even now and people are clueless about what to ask in RTI. The reason why maximum RTI queries were filed by government employees is because they know something about which they want to know more,” said Shridhar Acharyulu, Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and author of 30 books on Law and Journalism, in a national seminar organised on Right to Information at Indian Institute of Hotel Management on Monday.

The seminar was organised to bring the heads of information commission and RTI activists under a roof and interact with youngsters about RTI. Acharyulu also added that people were not aware about what information needed to be out. He also said there was a huge difference in the way RTIs were answered i.e they don’t give the exact information as demanded. “But the act has been a big tool which has helped in bringing out many big scams of the country,” he said.

At the seminar, RTI activist Shubhash Chandra Agarwal said he had filed about 6,000 RTIs till now and which were result of the issues faced by people commonly. Quoting an example he said, “I filed an RTI at RBI demanding information on the suspense account maintained at ICICI Bank in Delhi. I did so because my uncleared cheque was transferred to suspense account and to recover it I was given a huge list of dos. After filing the RTI, I was told that ICICI was a private bank and did not fall under the RTI Act but I repeated that since RBI was the regulatory body it would have to give me the information. Through that RTI, it was found that over 200 crore were in the suspense account of only ICICI Bank in Delhi. Such is the power of RTI.”