Addressing the 14th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC), Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that there had been very little misuse of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While conceding that he himself mulled the possibility of this law being misused, Shah remarked that a closer examination of its implementation has brought to the fore its benefits. Furthermore, he opined that corruption had reduced and transparency had increased. The Home Minister attributed this change to the RTI Act.
He stated, “When the Right to Information law was enacted, many apprehensions were expressed. When I had studied the law in 2006, even I thought that there is a possibility of this law being misused. But over a period of time, we can say that there has been very little misuse and more good use of the law. If someone wants to victimize another person, this law can be used. There was a chance of this being misused in the tender process as well. But after close examination, we come to know that there has been a lot of benefit than loss. Transparency has increased. Corruption has reduced. It has speeded up the administrative process. Today, we have to accept all these three aspects which we have been able to incorporate due to the RTI act.”
The RTI bill was passed in 2005 during the tenure of the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. It mandates every public body to provide information on the specific request of any citizen. In July 2019, the union government amended the Act to modify the terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner at the Centre and Information Commissioners in the states. This attracted considerable criticism from the opposition.