Right to Information Act – A Tool for Good Governance

Sanyam Khare, Student, ILS Law College, Pune
 “RTI is the most fundamental law this country has seen from the local panchayat to parliament, from a nondescript village to posh Delhi, and from ration shops to the 2G scam”

-Aruna Roy


Participation, transparency, legitimacy and responsiveness form the pillars of good governance. The concept of good governance was applied in India through the passing of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment.

Since its inception in 2005, exactly 10 years have passed and one can safely say that RTI has made its impact felt in the functioning of Government bodies and the larger governance discourse, as the staff has become active, conscious, regular, punctual, accountable and responsible. The corruption in the division has reduced to an extent. Big scams have been averted by the use of RTI. People do feel more empowered. Their bargaining power vis-a-vis public officials has increased manifold. A great change has come in India in the last decade in the power equation between the sovereign citizens and those in power, as RTI Act has lent voice to the aspirations of ordinary citizens in issues of governance. It has given the common people, a defining power to shape the government schemes and policies. It has empowered the people to question, audit, review, examine, and assess government acts and decisions in order to ensure that these are consistent with the principles of public interests, good governance and justice thus making the system of government transparent to an extent. It has also empowered the people to seek definite and direct answer from the officials of their works or lack of it, thus facilitating and encouraging the participation of common people in the process of good governance. It is thus repairing and metamorphosing our defective elective democracy to become participatory democracy and is playing an important role in bringing good governance in Indian government system.

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