DIMAPUR, Oct 7 � Terming the introduction of the Right to Information Act 2005 by the Central Government as a �landmark in the history of the country�, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the full implementation of the Act depends on its responsible utilisation by every citizen.
Addressing a gathering at the launch of the RTI Week 2012 at the Civil Secretariat Conference Hall here on Friday, Rio pointed out that the RTI Act was launched by the Central Government with an objective to check corruption and promote good governance. The intent of RTI is to dismantle the tradition of secrecy and maintain transparency and accountability, thereby putting a check on corruption, he said.
He, however, underlined that the utilisation of RTI by citizens should be with good intention lest it should create chaos and misunderstanding. �The intention should be to check corruption, otherwise democracy will change to mobocracy and system will not function as it would create chaos and misunderstanding,� he said, adding that people asking questions need to have a basis and intent of benefit of the people and for the society.
The Act was introduced in Nagaland only in 2006 and Rio said the Nagaland Information Commission initially struggled. However, he said it has since been doing well and the people of the State have also been filing regular RTIs while also maintaining that the action taken report is impressive.
Seven years of RTI in the State has been good, the Chief Minister stated, while expressing the hope that the younger generation would use this platform to keep the Government departments on their toes and to bring about a system of good governance where records are maintained properly.
Commenting on the community strength in Naga society, Rio said it plays a vital role in assuring accountability and transparency. He, however, regretted that of late Village Councils and VDBs have started going to courts due to lack of transparency and accountability. �If we make good use of RTI, it will be good for our society,� he said.
Congratulating the NIC members on the RTI Week 2012 and also for bringing out the RTI theme song titled �Adhikar Janibo Lage� and drama �My Right, My Voice� in DVD format while releasing the same, the CM further appealed the NIC to create awareness on the proper utilisation of the RTI Act not only for personal benefit but to bring about good governance.
State Chief Information Commissioner Lalhuma, in his address, said effective implementation of RTI Act 2005 is the collective responsibility of the political executive, the bureaucracy, the public, NGOs, media and the NIC and the extent to which �we can corporately effect transparency in the functioning of the government machinery will determine whether or not good governance will be brought about�.
He also informed that the number of RTI applications, appeals and complaints in the State have registered a fairly significant rise and said that the trend is likely to continue.