Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised the Right to Information Act as having empowered the citizens of India, but said it was a concern that some were using the act for ” frivolous and vexatious purposes in demanding information which cannot possibly serve any public purpose”.
The Premier was speaking at the annual Convention of Information Commissioners, to mark the seventh anniversary of the Right to Information act. More than a million people seek information under RTI annually.
Praising the act, he said, “The potential for good, constructive use of the Right to Information act is perhaps far greater than what its current status would indicate.”
He added that RTI had greatly empowered citizens, noting that upto 95% of RTI applications were cleared at the first stage, and said that officials needed to stop looking at the act as a hindrance and instead view it as something that was collectively good for everyone.
However he cautioned that there was a fine balance required to be maintained between RTI and the right to privacy, which he said, “stems out of Fundamental Rights”. “This important legislation should not be only about criticizing, ridiculing, and running down public authorities”, he said.