GS Paper IV Mains 2019 Question Analysis
- There is a view that the Official secrets act is an obstacle to the implementation of Right to Information Act. Do you agree with the view? Discuss.
Mains Assignment Question
There is a view that the Official secrets act is an obstacle to the implementation of Right to Information Act. Do you agree with the view? Discuss.(150 Words)
Subjects : Constitution, Polity & Governance
- Introduction: Contradiction between Right to Information and Official Secrets Act
- Body: Recent developments in terms of ruling of the Supreme Court
- Conclusion: Balance way forward with certain recommendation.
Add your Answer below
Right to information (RTI) is a legislative marvel empowering the people with access to information on contrary to the British era Official Secrets Act (OSA), which empowers government to withhold any information detrimental to national security. There have been certain occasions where government has misused the act to declare official documents as secrets to prevent its disclosure under RTI.
Giving primacy to certain provisions of the RTI over OSA, Supreme court held that the public disclosure outweighs the harm to protected interests and instances of corruption and human right violations by intelligence and security agencies. However, these provisions of RTI mostly acts as an exception as the authority to declare secret information lies unbridled with the government.
Both, transparent governance and national security are vital for robust Indian democracy. Therefore, a balance needs to be maintained between RTI and OSA by repealing and subsuming OSA within the fold of National Security Act as recommended by 2nd ARC and Goswami committee.