Dimapur, October 11: RTI week was observed at CTC Hall, Chumoukedima on October 11 to create awareness amongst the District officials, Village Councils/VDBs, students, NGOs, CSOs, etc.
Advocate Vikuolie Nihu Kera, speaking as a resource person, stated that to exist in a democracy the public must know about RTI. He said that RTI is considered the second independence for citizens of India.
It creates a practical regime of rights to information for citizens to secure for transparency and accountability or public authorities. It grants a statutory right to information for every citizen, to contain corruption. However, he also informed on what cannot be asked and what information cannot be given are exempted information under sections 8 & 9, the exempted organization under section 24 & Schedule II (Intelligence & Security organization).
He also briefed on time duration, to get information within 30 days is a request for information, 48 hours concerns the life or liberty of a person, 40 days if a third party is involved, and 45 days on allegations not a violation of human rights. He mentioned that RTI is for the public interest but should not be used for a malafide purpose.
He advised the citizens to enjoy their rights but remember their duties and obligation. The public has the right to appeal to the Public Information Officers (PIOs) or Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs), and go for a second appeal to the Nagaland Information Commission within 90 days from the date on which the first appeal decision was made, he added.
He further appealed to RTI users to be sensible and responsible in using RTI. Even though RTI is usually used for the interest of the public he also warned that it can sometimes be misused with malicious intention. The RTI must be utilized in good faith for the overall good of society. He reminded that the RTI is not created for fault findings but rather is created to ensure transparency in governance. He also called for prompt response to every application and pro-activeness in dealing with the matters of RTI.
(Page News Service)