Hanumakonda: Demand to roll back curbs on RTI Act use

Lok Satta Udyama Samstha AP-TS convener Bandaru Rammohan Rao (left) speaking at a meeting in Hanumakonda on Saturday.  Lok Satta State advisor Parch Kodanda Rama Rao (centre) and Jwala founder Sunkari Prashanth are also seen
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Lok Satta Udyama Samstha AP-TS convener Bandaru Rammohan Rao (left) speaking at a meeting in Hanumakonda on Saturday. Lok Satta State advisor Parch Kodanda Rama Rao (centre) and Jwala founder Sunkari Prashanth are also seen

Highlights

Lok Satta Udyama Samstha Andhra Pradesh-Telangana convener Bandaru Rammohan Rao has demanded that Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar recall the circular which essentially says that Public Information Officers (PIOs) will have to inform their superiors before furnishing the information to the applicants who sought it through the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

Hanumakonda: Lok Satta Udyama Samstha Andhra Pradesh-Telangana convener Bandaru Rammohan Rao has demanded that Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar recall the circular which essentially says that Public Information Officers (PIOs) will have to inform their superiors before furnishing the information to the applicants who sought it through the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

In a meeting here on Saturday, Rao said that the circular issued on October 13 restraining the PIOs is null and void. "The successive governments at the helm of affairs at the Centre and the State made a mockery of the act. As a result, the RTI which is a powerful tool has become toothless," Rao said. Already amending the RTI several times, the Centre tried to dilute it. The Chief Secretary's circular was aimed at diluting it further, he said. The circular is nothing but an effort to hide information from the citizens to cover up their misdeeds, he alleged.

The governments also diluted the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, by not appointing members to consumer forums at district, State and national levels. The Supreme Court also found fault with this situation recently, he recalled.

Referring to the appointment of Commissioners, Rao said that these posts have become haven for leaders politically unemployed. "To protect the very spirit of these Acts, the governments have to appoint those who fought for these Acts," Rao said. Lok Satta State advisor Parch Kodanda Rama Rao and Jwala, an NGO fighting corruption, founder Sunkari Prashanth were among others present.

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