Sunday, July 11, 2010

CIC to Delhi Govt: put all draft bills in public domain

CIC to Delhi Govt: put all draft bills in public domain

To keep citizens better informed on the government's proposed policies, the country's transparency watchdog has directed Delhi government to put all its draft-stage policies and legislations in public domain. The Central Information Commission (CIC) issued the order after a Right To Information applicant, 

Venkatesh Nayak of Sarvodaya Enc-lave, didn't get a copy of the draft Delhi Police (Amendment) Bill, which have implications of how the police function in the Capital. Nayak had to lodge a complaint with the CIC against the Delhi Police and the Home Department for failing to voluntarily disclose the information under Section 4 of the RTI Act. The two bodies, then, uploaded the draft legislation on their websites for public comments.

"The public authority should have disclosed the contents of the Delhi Police Bill suo moto. By omitting to do so, the very purpose of Section 4 of the RTI Act stands defeated," said Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, in his order.

He said the Commission has observed that the Delhi government was not fully complying with Section 4 of the Act. "The commission is of the view that the citizens must be provided with the means to debate legislative and policy changes which are likely to affected public lives," the order read.

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