September 14, 2006, Indian Express
New Delhi, India
The public can now only conduct post-mortems of various “decisions,”Kejriwal said. The amendment would also lead to the exclusion of any information regarding examination systems and evaluations as well as personal information regarding promotions, appointments or dismissals. The public information officer will also have the right to withhold information on ‘substantiative’ file notings. “The vague wording of the amendment could mean that any demand for information can be denied,” Kejriwal says. “The government’s rationale behind the amendment is to accommodate the free flow of opinion among government employees on various projects. However this is not true. Most bureaucrats in fact state that the Right to Information (Act) would save them from being pressurised by corrupt politicians or seniors,” the CEO of Parivartan added. Habibullah and Kejriwal agreed that the mindset of the public and bureaucrats has to change, with the latter saying that the landmark Act could give millions of Indians hope if it is left untouched. “If the amendment bill is not passed this winter session and more citizens use it, in a few years no government will be able to touch it,” the Magsaysay Award winner said.