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Our Right to Information: Law and Reality

Z. M. Humayan

From previous issue...

It is not sensible to allow all information to be disclosed in public.  This may cause threat to safety and security of the people and country. For this obvious reason, section 7 of the Act has laid down some restrictions on the production of some information to the public.

Security, integrity and sovereignty of the people is the prime concern for any independent state. Likewise, section 7(a) put restriction on disclosing of any information which may cause threat to the security, integrity and sovereignty of the country. In addition to that, every sovereign nation has to live in peace with other sovereign country in the world. And every country has to maintain that relations with others. Any information which may tarnish the existing friendly relations amongst the nations should not be disclosed to all. This is also related to all regional and international organization and alliance. Section 7 has elaborated the provisions related to the restrictions on the disclosure of those information which may lead to cause threat to the security and safety of the country.

The procedure for seeking and providing information to and from any authority is described in section 8 of the Act.
Most commendable part of the Act is the establishment of the Information Commission, which reflected the seriousness and sincerity of the government to the acknowledgement of people’s right to know. By establishing this institution, the government has proved due diligence to implement the law. As per Chapter 4 of this Act, the Information Commission is established to give effect to provisions of the Act.

The commission is to be formed consisting of at least 3 members including the Chief Information Commissioner and two other members of whom one will be women member.

The powers and functions of the commission is reactive in nature. Therefore, if any complaint is filed to the commission alleging any authority to deny providing information sought for or any purpose of the Act is not being fulfilled by any authority as mentioned in the Act, the commission intervened into the process and take measures as it deem appropriate. In doing so, the commission enquires into the complaint and information brought to its notice.

If any office does not appoint any officer-in-charge to deal with the matter, it is within the jurisdiction of the commission to take action against such office. The commission deals any issues related to the information or any issues that is covered under the Act.

The information commission was empowered with the powers of the civil court as per Civil Procedure Code of 1908 (Act V of 1908).

To be continued...

Z.M. Humayan: MSS in International Relations (DU) is working with a private organization

12 Feb 2012   05:24:30 PM   Sunday
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