Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Relationship between Citizen’s Right to Information and Probity In Governance

Article 19 (1)(a), guarantee to all citizens of India right to freedom of speech and expression which includes in its ambit the Right to Information. 

The only exceptions to this fundamental right are –

(a) Sovereignty and Integrity of India 

(b) Security of the State.

(c) Friendly relations with various states.

(d) Public order, decency  or morality. 

(e) contempt of court, defamation and incitement to an offence.

Whenever except the above reasons mentioned or some other issue the information is not provided it affects probity in governance negatively. For eg. Denying the citizen’s right to have access to the copies and file notings which contains the opinion and advices provided by civil servants.

This denial of information deters the power of common man to look in the administrative process through which he is governed. When we talk about complete and confirmed integrity in governance all information except that of a classified nature has to be made public so that law formulators and implementers are under constant pressure of public gaze. This will bring probity in governance as wrongs happen in the secret and if secret is made open, wrongs will automatically reduce.

The more information a common man has the more he can ask to the system for his rights and privileges. In this condition he will himself act as a deterrent against arbitrary decision making.

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