Around 2.44 crore applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act have been filed with various central and state government departments by citizens, NGO Transparency International India said today. The RTI Act, which empowers citizens to seek information related to governance from government departments, was enacted in 2005. “During the year 2005-06 to 2015-16, total number of RTI applications received by public authorities in India including the Union and state governments are 2,43,94,951,” the NGO said in a report. Among states, Maharashtra received the highest number of RTI applications, it said.
During the year 2005-06 to 2015-16, the Government of India received 57,43,471 RTI applications, whereas Maharashtra got 54,95,788 such queries during 2006 to 2015, the report said. A total of 13,48,457 second appeals and complaints were received by all information commissioners — in the central and state information commissions, excluding Tamil Nadu — during 2005-06 to 2015-16, it said. Second appeals and complaints are filed with either the central or state information commission if people are not satisfied with the response of the departments concerned on their RTI applications.
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Sikkim are not preparing mandatory annual reports regularly. Hence, data of these states does not reflect real situations, the report said. “Analysis of data suggests that RTI has achieved a lot but clearly, the transparency Act itself is losing teeth. The nation surely needs a fresh struggle against corruption to bring forth the untapped potential for which the RTI Act was enacted,” said Rama Nath Jha, Executive Director of Transparency International India.