New Delhi: Congress today saw nothing wrong over the debate for a relook at the Right To Information Act amid growing complaints that it was affecting government functioning and allegation that the law was being misused.
"I think there is an invigorating and vigorous debate on RTI. There is no denying on that the RTI has been an instrument of empowering people. Now whether that empowerment is affecting efficiency of the government... impinging on
it... This is something we should allow the debate to play itself out rather than giving a comment. After hearing all the sides, if a response is required, we will give it,"party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.
His comments came close on the heels of Law Minister Salman Khurshid following another Union Minister M Veerapa Moily expressing concern over the Right to Information (RTI) Act affecting government functioning. Advocating a re-look at RTI, Khurshid had said its alleged misuse was affecting "institutional efficacy and efficiency", with even the bureaucracy becoming reluctant to record its opinion. A "balance" has to be maintained between transparency and accountability and institutional efficiency, he had said.
RTI has been touted as a major achievement of the Congress-led UPA in its first term with party chief Sonia Gandhi taking a lead in the matter.
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, speaking separately, dismissed suggestions of any dilution of the Act to usher in transparency and accountability. "The accepted party line of Congress is to be the strongest supporters of RTI... There is no question of withdrawing from that".
A senior party leader, who did not wish to be identified, said there was a view that the notings of bureaucrats should not be made public and there were
apprehensions that it will affect the "doctrine of candour" which is intrinsic to the bureaucratic process.
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