Q4(b). Some recent developments such as introduction of RTI Act, media and judicial activism, etc. are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. However, it is also being observed that at times the mechanisms are misused. Another negative effect is that the officers are now afraid to take prompt decisions. Analyse the situation in detail and suggest how the dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimised. (150 words) (10 marks)
The RTI empowers citizens and promotes transparency and accountability in government. It has helped in reducing corruption. Media often exposes corruption and makes the public servants accountable. Judicial activism too has checked corruption, forced CBI and other agencies to conduct free and fair investigations and controlled the arbitrary decision-making of the executives.
However, sometimes the RTI Act is misused to blackmail and harass even honest officers. Media also sometimes threatens and blackmails the public servants. Excessive judicial activism often demoralises officers taking legal decisions if powerful parties are involved.
Following suggestions can minimise their negative impacts:
• RTI must allow information for only genuine purposes;
• If information is asked in the public interest, the reasons must be disclosed;
• Penalty for frivolous RTI application may be imposed;
• Press council and other agencies must be proactive to punish irresponsible media;
• Judiciary must focus on deciding the case expeditiously rather than interfering with the work of executive except under extreme situations. (157 words)
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