New Delhi, Sep 2 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee today asked all stakeholders, including public authorities and private sectors, to voluntarily disclose information in the public domain to further strengthen implementation of the RTI Act.
Inaugurating the two-day 8th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission in New Delhi, Mukherjee also deplored the percentage increase in rejection of information under RTI in the recent years.
He said, the percentage of RTI rejection of information increased from 5.2 percent in 2010-11 to 7 percent in 2012-13 and this needs to be looked into.
He further stated that the eighth annual convention of Central Information Commission is an important occasion to reflect and introspect about how RTI has impacted on the functioning of the government and citizens.
The president said that a large number of appeals/complaints before the commission, however, were also indicative of the need for enhancement in the quality of voluntary disclosure so that information seekers are not required to join long queues.
He stated that our enthusiasm about transparency and democracy should not make us ignore, even for a moment, the fact that the citizen who is at the heart of all these arrangements is also an individual with certain inviolable rights to privacy.
He added that there is a wafer thin difference between what is public and what is private. The RTI Act has provisions which deal with such issues, but there are certain areas which need further clarity. There is perhaps need to create an arrangement that would provide protection to individuals in case their privacy is breached through unlawful means, he stressed.
He called upon the government to do everything possible to create an informed citizenry which is vital for the functioning of our democracy.
Dignitaries present on the occasion were V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Prime Minister's Office and Satyananda Mishra, Chief Information Commissioner. (ANI)