Interview with Satyanand Mishra, Chief Information commissioner, Central Information Commission (CIC). Satyanand Mishra talks about more power for a greater efficiency in implementing RTI.
As CIC chief, do you think RTI need more teeth to make it stronger?
The RTI right now lacks teeth to enforce and make sure that its orders are followed. In most of the cases the officials are reluctant to part with information. And we have limited power because of which departments sometime does not takes our orders seriously. More power is needed to make sure that CIC /SIC orders are followed.
As has been demanded by some section of the society and politicians like Nitish Kumar, do you think that the corporate/ private companies should also come under the purview of RTI?
Right now the focus should be on consolidating the gains made by the RTI during all these years. Widening its ‘reach’ to include private sector will make it difficult to manage its operation in an effective way. Once a certain level of effectiveness is reached in government sector, it should be made applicable to the private sector. But currently, its reach and effectiveness is something that is still unfolding.
You said that you are opposed to the creation of Jan Lokpal?
Yes I opposed the creation of Jan Lokpal in its present form because it will be impractical to implement it. My experience as a bureaucrat has taught me that it will be impossible for a single body to keep vigil on the entire government from PM to peon. The Janlok pal in its present form will be a huge organization. Who will keep tab on its own employees?