SC seeks govt. reply on plea seeking suo motu disclosure of information to public under RTI law

The Supreme Court on Friday asked for the government’s response to a plea seeking the effective implementation of a provision in the Right to Information Act, which obliges public authorities to suo motu disclose information to the public in order to maintain transparency in governance.

A Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notice on a plea filed by Kishan Chand Jain seeking government agencies strictly adhere to the statutory mandate of Section 4 of the RTI Act.

The Section prescribes that it would be the "constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information".

The petition termed the Section as the soul of the Right to Information, without which the Act would only be an "ornamental legislation".

"There should be suo moto disclosure of all vital information. Section 4(2) embodies this mandate of suo moto proactive disclosures," the petition said.

It backed its cause by citing reports of the Central Information Commission on the lack of compliance by public authorities.

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