By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru: How effective is RTI act in India?. It's quite subjective question. But it's really very, very effective particularly in case of Central Government Dept. & Ministries as only through RTI Act many prominent & most debated cases of corruption unearthed . So certainly it has just given power & authority to common man to inquire about anything related to public at large.And I really appreciate your curiosity for Right to Information. In India, following a nationwide campaign led by grassroots and civil society organizations, the government passed a landmark Right to Information Act in 2005. Since then, social activists, civil society organizations, and ordinary citizens have effectively used the Act to tackle corruption and bring greater transparency and accountability in the government. Social activist Aruna Roy has described India's RTI Act as "the most fundamental law this country has seen as it can be used from the local panchayat(a unit of local government) to parliament, from a nondescript village to posh Delhi, and from ration shops to the big scam.”
I have filed RTI Application to additional DC and PIO Bengaluru Urban District toprovide me action taken report and copy of departmental enquiry conducted to fix the responsibility for loss of record and also provide copy of police complaint filed in respect of missing file of Revenue Commissioner order in RA 276/42-43Dated 20-11-1944andorder of Deputy Commissioner Bangalore in RA74/41-42dated2-06-1941 in respect of survey Number 66ofKodigehalliBangalore North Taluka as you have reported that file is not available in record room of DC office by your letter dated 12-01-2015 copy of which is enclosed with this RTI Application .DC need to look into citation of KIC order in 6745 COM 2008 PARA 4 of the order. Public authorities cannot take excuse of "missing files” for denying information under the RTI Act as such claims have no legality under the transparency law for withholding records, the Central Information Commission has held."Unless proved the record was destroyed as per the prescribed rules of destruction/retention policy, it is deemed that record continues to be held by the public authority,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in his order.The case came before the CIC after one Om Prakash sought to know information from Land and Building Department of Delhi Government regarding allotment of alternative plot in lieu of his land acquired by the Government.The Department admitted before the Commission that the relevant file is missing and it could not be traced even though the officers personally inspected room of the Land and Building Department after receiving the RTI application. The official representing the department said there is no possibility of retrieving the missing record .In a terse order, the Commissioner said loss of records that are required to be kept and maintained permanently, if considered as evidence in a case, should invite criminal complaint against officials under section 201 of Indian Penal Code (punishable with imprisonment which is directly proportional to seriousness of offence charged from seven years to 10 years and for life.) "Claim of file missing or not traceable has no legality as it is not recognised as exception by the RTI Act.