[dropcap]G[/dropcap]OBBLE D Gook has quite a different take on the RTI Amendments. He has watched many debates, heard many speeches, read plenty of articles. Of course, the proposed amendments will reduce the gravitas of the Information Commissioners.
But looking at how they have whizzed past the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Gook feels that ultimately the Supreme Court too won’t strike these changes down.
Apex Lords would not mind mere Chief Information Commissioners being downgraded to prevent them from being on par with themselves!
Gook has seen that under the Act it is only “information” that can be accessed. And that is in any event already totally controlled. The “Right to Information” in fact and practice has been exercisable only to the extent the Authorities permit it’s exercise.
Already, there are plenty of devices to deny information. Helpful fires have destroyed sensitive files routinely in many States. There isn’t much one can legally do in respect of “untraceable” files besides alleging malafides. And in the worst case scenario of someone defying the Act wilfully, the punishment is a fine which even at its highest is not substantial.
So, there are already so many hurdles.
It is of course a moot question whether withholding information is on par with holding elections. There may be many who would agree that a Central or State Information Commissioner ought to be a less important post than a Central or State Election Commissioner. They would feel a downward correction of status and salary is not only fair but was long overdue. So Gook won’t be surprised if the Amendment just sails through and becomes law!
This government actually enjoys it when people like Gook hold rallies and protests. It confirms the status of protesters as “meddlesome interlopers”. Those who can write learned articles and give intelligent speeches may get their statuses upgraded to that of “institutional disrupters”.
So what does the government get by emasculating the RTI? The answer perhaps can be given better by farmers than by lawyers.
Farmers know that Raging Bulls need to be emasculated to make them obedient. The RTI is a very strong bull that has been running amok in carefully protected thickets of concealed secrets despite all the ropes holding it back. So it needs to be made docile by emasculation.
This Law-merick is Gook’s attempt to answer why the government is amending the Act.
Experts can authoritatively surmise ‘Why?’
The Powers that Be want to amend the RTI
But their goal
Is total control
And all sadists would relish a public outcry.