Save RTI Campaign forum to file PIL in High Courts, hold Mobile Torch protest

This citizens' forum will file a PIL in a couple of High Courts; will send a petition to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, to reject the bill by not giving assent to it .

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Pune, July 27, 2019 : ‘Mahiticha Adhikar Bachao Andolan (Save RTI Campaign) forum to hold public Mobile Torch protest on 30th July on Jangli Maharaj Road and file petition in the High Courts.

At a public meeting held on Ghole Road on Saturday morning, which was attended by 100 citizens amongst who were representatives of various social organisations, chalked out a plan to campaign against the RTI Amendment Bill 2019, in various ways.

This citizens’ forum will file a PIL in a couple of High Courts; will send a petition to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, to reject the bill by not giving assent to it and; hold a public Mobile Torch protest on JM Road, near Balgandharva Rang Mandir at 5 pm on 30th July. The citizens also signed a petition to President Ram Nath Kovind, to reject the bill.


RTI activist, Vijay Kumbhar, explained the adverse implications of the RTI Amendment Bill 2019 and said it would largely affect information dissemination to the common people who have been empowered to demand information since the RTI Act came into being in October 12, 2005. He said that, people are the owners in a democracy and it is the duties of the trustees (elected representatives chosen by the owners, that is the people) to ensure transparency and be answerable to people, which came effectively through the RTI Act. By removing the autonomy and independence of the Central and State Information Commissions, the government has taken the reigns in its hands.


RTI activist Vivek Velankar stated that the RTI Amendment Bill is a result of some powerful decisions that the Information Commissioners have been given in recent times. Hence, it decided to clip the wings of this most important section of the Act. It is taking advantage of its brutal majority and has developed clever strategies to win over those in opposition and hence managed to pass the bill in the Rajya Sabha. He said it was done so quickly that it took everyone by surprise.

Legal expert Asim Sarode, stated that it is very important to take the legal course and file a petition with a couple of High Courts. He said we have an opportunity to go to the High Court.

Tanmay Kanitkar, stated that the RTI Amendment Bill, if it comes through, personally affects him as all his campaigns have been based on information that he procures under RTI. He stated that even die-hard Modi government fans are disturbed by this news and we should rope them in, for this campaign.

Social activist Viswambhar Chaudhuri, stated that RTI Act is the motherboard of all laws and therefore affects every citizen or citizen activist who is taking up issues in various fields. He said after RTI, there are several other laws waiting to be diluted and hence it is important to fight against the disastrous amendments. RTI Act can be said to Maharashtra’s baby, as it was thanks to Anna Hazare’s sustained campaign that the RTI Act was implemented in Maharashtra before the Central Act. Hence, it is our responsibility to take this campaign forward.

Dr Pralhad Kachare, former director of the RTI Cell in YASHADA also felt that the RTI campaign should be taken up vociferously by the people, as the people in power have time and again tried to dilute it.