Former CIC Shailesh Gandhi authors e-book on RTI
Mumbai : Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has authored an e-book in order to lend a better interpretation of the Right To Information legislation for common people.
The 81-page e-book named ‘RTI Act- Authentic Interpretation of The Statute’ has been uploaded on www.satyamevajayate.info and can be downloaded for free. The link can also be shared on social media.
Speaking on the necessity to pen a book over his pet subject, the 69-year old activist told PTI, “our RTI law has been ranked as the third best in the world in terms of its provisions. But India ranks at number 66 in terms of implementation. This book could empower citizens, RTI users and would work like a plea to all adjudicators to follow the words of the law”.
The book is co-authored by Pralhad Kachare, a bureaucrat who earlier headed Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) in Pune and trained many officers in the field of RTI.
It also represents the views of Satyananda Mishra, a former Chief Information Commissioner, and Toby Mendel who is an acclaimed expert on transparency laws.
Justice B N Srikrishna has written the foreword in which he has expressed confidence that the book will serve as a practical manual to persons interested in the subject, and students, activists and authorities in charge of implementation of the Act.
The print version of the e-book will hit the stands in the next few months.
Gandhi says that many now-a-days decisions do not reflect the essence of the Act passed by the Parliament, and the law is slowly being amended by misinterpretation.
“The bad decisions given by PIOs, first appellate authorities, commissions and judges are being followed everywhere,” he said.
The ex-CIC also expressed displeasure over the rising cases of rejection or denial of information which are contrary to the Act.
“Right to Information is being slowly disfigured into a right to denial of information and I hope that this book could guide citizens as well as adjudicators to follow the word of law,” Gandhi said claiming, “that this is the most authentic interpretation of the RTI Act”.
At the end of the book, authors have launched an RTI competition where readers can participate by sending entries by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and can win a prize of Rs 25,000 without an entry fee or registration.
“Anyone who reads the book and has a logical and analytical mind can participate in it,” Gandhi said.