CIC writes to PM on move to change RTI Act

New Delhi: Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the proposed move to exempt nuclear regulatory bodies from the ambit of the Right To Information Act.

In his letter to the PM, Gandhi opposed the proposals in the Nuclear Safety Regulation Act (NSRA) relating to introduction of new exemption clause in the RTI Act which will prohibit disclosure of nuclear energy and radiation issues under the transparency law.

He also opposed the proposed changes in the law which would keep the proposed regulatory bodies of nuclear energy in the country in the list of bodies exempted from the RTI Act.

"…the existing provisions under section 8 are more than adequate for protecting sensitive information about nuclear energy facilities," he said in the letter.

Gandhi said the NSRA Bill seeks to vest an enoromous discretion in the hands of such bodies to withhold people`s access to information. Nuclear energy, he said, is as much about development of the country as it is about the safety and well being of the citizens

He said a high degree of transparency in such matters would go a long way in building people`s confidence in the government`s ability to establish and maintain nuclear energy facilities and also act as a check on any mistakes which may be made.