Sunday, August 27, 2006

RTI and Appeal of Aruna Roy

Jantar Mantar ,

New Delhi
20th August , 2006

Dear friends,

The Government of India's decision not to table the RTI amendments Bill in this session of Parliament, is a great democratic success. We have all collectively contributed to it. There can be no doubt that the wide spectrum of overwhelming support for this issue, from many States, even those under floods, political parties , media, different individuals, groups and networks, Anna Hazare and Sandeep Pandey on an indefinite hunger strike, mobilizing support, has strengthened democratic processes and ensured accountability of an elected government to its people. The referendum has amply proved the tremendous interest and commitment of the ordinary citizen.

We are all aware that it is only a conditional commitment from the Government. The following is an extract from the PTI report on the governments commitment:

"Government has dropped the move to amend the Right to Information Act in the current session of Parliament to keep out of public purview file notings in some areas.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said here that following a decision taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the amendment bill was not likely to be introduced in the current session Parliament concluding on August 25.He said there have been considerable apprehensions about the proposed changes and clarifications in the Right to Information Act. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister have received several representations in this regard and it has been decided that the issue should be first discussed with all stakeholders, he said.

In view of this, Pachauri said, the bill to amend the RTI Act was not likely to be introduced during the current session of Parliament as decided by the Prime Minister." PTI

We would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much the Campaign to Save the RTI Act, (and its dharna at Jantar Mantar) appreciates your participation and support.

We are wrapping up the dharna, but not the Campaign! We have to work hard to keep up public pressure. We must take up the government's promise to engage with " stake holders", and ensure that this interaction takes place. Please continue:

With the referendum- the secnd round of counting will be on the 24th and results can be given at 65121727
With the signature and letter campaigns
Organising meetings and discussing the issue widely
Putting Pressure on political parties
Meet your MPs
Please do stay in touch.

In solidarity,

Aruna Roy

(On behalf of the Campaign)