You are a Public Information Officer (PIO) in a government department. You are aware that the RTI Act 2005 envisages transparency and accountability in administration. The act has functioned as a check on the supposedly arbitrarily administrative behaviour and actions. However, as a PIO you have observed that there are citizens who filed RTI applications not for themselves but on behalf of such stakeholders who purportedly want to have access to information to further their own interests. At the same time there are these RTI activists who routinely file RTI applications and attempt to extort money from the decision makers. This type of RTI activism has affected the functioning of the administration adversely and also possibly jeopardises the genuineness of the applications which are essentially aimed at getting justice. What measures would you suggest to separate genuine and non-genuine applications? Give merits and demerits of your suggestions. 10 marks

Mentor’s comment-

  • In the introduction briefly talk about importance of RTI act in ensuring transparency and accountability in Indian democracy. Highlight the challenges of RTI act being used as a weapon or tool for vigilantism or vengeance leading to disruption in achieving the true benefits of the act.
  • In the body discuss the various measures that can be taken in separating the genuine and non-genuine applications. Also discuss the merits and demerits of each of them. Provide the feasible solution that you would opt for in such a situation.
  • Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.
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