Is Right to Information our fundamental right?

Every citizen of India, regardless of the caste, sex, age, religion, etc., is bestowed upon with some fundamental rights by the Constitution. These rights are necessary for the liberty of an individual. Apart from these, we are also provided with some additional rights that are equally important which are later included to be a part of these rights. The Right to Information (RTI) is one such right that is provided to every Indian citizen. 

Now, what is this Right to Information? Let us understand this in brief. The Right to Information passed under the Right to Information Act of 2005, is a legal right added as part of the fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) which states the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression; and Article 21 that talks about the Right to Life. This act was enacted to promote transparency and accountability of the public authority in India.

The Right to Information empowers the citizens of a nation to seek any information from the government, inspect any Government documents, and seek certified photocopies thereof. It also empowers citizens to officially inspect any governmental work. This act allows Indian citizens to demand information from the government, making it more accountable. The government must come up with an accurate response in the form of a written document within 30 days of the RTI application.

However, there are some reasonable restrictions regarding the same. Such information including secrecy or confidential information of national importance which cannot be disclosed no matter the situation, does not entertain RTI. Section 123, 124, and 162 of the Constitution prohibits disclosing such confidential matters publicly. Besides, information under the Official Secrets Act is strictly prohibited as it pertains to national security.

To get a better glimpse of this act read this detailed article. To learn how to apply RTI, the process and steps to be followed, visit this link of the Government of India. You can also find previous case studies for your reference on the above link.

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