The Right To Information Act of 2005, is the modified version of the Freedom Of Information Act. This modification provisions the Citizens to acquire required information from ‘Public Bodies’. These Government organisations are obliged to respond and reply within a period of thirty days. Intended to promote transparency and accountability of the public bodies, this act of the Parliament of India works well.
Noble intentions of the think tank which had provided us with this facility have been many-a-times misused with negative intentions. Blatant accusal and using this medium for extracting information to use against opposition parties or even the ruling party has risen to serious threats to RTI Activists.
After the end of the year 2018, the Central Information Commission (CIC), prepares an Annual Report of all the government bodies and the Ministries as well. According to this report of 2018, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Tops the list of the ministries which have rejected the RTI requests.
The MHA has rejected about 15 per cent of RTI Applications filed by the public of India to acquire the required information of the ministry. Compared to the average rejection numbers of all the other Union Ministries, this percentage is thrice the number.
Attaining the second position is the Finance Ministry, followed by the Delhi High Court. Looking at the secrecy of the ministry, the Defence Ministry had only rejected about 5 per cent of its RTI requests. Getting into the actual figures of the requests, MHA received 57,000 requests, 8,700 were rejected.
While the Defence Ministry had received about 80,000 RTI Applications out of which only 4,000 were rejected. Out of all the ministries, the Finance Ministry had received the maximum number of requests. Stating the reasons for rejection, the report also gives a percentage to the most used reason.
51 per cent of the reason for rejection has Section 8(1), referring ‘Sovereignty and integrity of the country as also its security and strategic, scientific or economic interest, commercial confidence, trade secrets, or intellectual property as reasons for refusal to part with the information’.