WHERE ARE YOUR PROPERTY DETAILS, HOME MINISTER (& OTHERS)?
Nadimuddin, aKashipur-based activist in Udham Singh Nagar district filed an RTI query.
According to members of the Lok SabhaDeclaration of Assets Rules 2004, every member should declare their property details within 90 days of their election.Rule 3 of the Act states that every elected candidate for the ‘House of the People’ (Lok Sabha) shall, within 90 days from the date on which he makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation for taking his seat, furnish information about the movable and immovable property of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are jointly or severally owners or beneficiaries, his liabilities to any public financial institution, his liabilities to the central or state governments.
"Our lawmakers should realise that their conduct in every aspect holds importance. Only talks of transparency will not help. They should walk the talk and then only people will be able to place their faith in them," said Nadimuddin.
The reply by Lok Sabha secretariat stated that the data until December 10, 2019revealed that out of 543 members, only 36 MPs submitted their details within the prescribed time limit.
Who submitted the details within the prescribed time limit?
Of the 36, MPs, 25 belong to Bhartiya Janta Party, 8 to All India Trinamool Congress followed by one each from Biju Janta Dal, AIDMK and Shiv Sena including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, HRD Minister Ramesh PokhriyalNishank, Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani and Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad.
MP’s who didn’t submit the details.
The biggies who have failed to submit the details include Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi along with others.
Interestingly, not a single MP from the Indian National Congress has submitted the requisite details.
MP’s who still have time to submit the details.
Out of total 543, four MPs have time to submit the details according to the RTI reply.
"Four MPs were elected later in by-elections so technically they still have time to furnish the details," said Nadimuddin.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005?
Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Parliament of India which sets out the rules and procedures regarding citizens' right to information. It replaced the erstwhile Freedom of Information Act, 2002. Rti is a legal right for every citizen of India. The authorities under RTI Act 2005 are called quasi-judicial authorities. This act was enacted in order to consolidate the fundamental right in the Indian constitution 'freedom of speech'. Since RTI is implicit in the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of Indian Constitution, it is an implied fundamental right.
The Right to information in India is governed by two major bodies:
Central Information Commission (CIC) – Chief Information commissioner who heads all the central departments and ministries- with their own public Information officers (PIO)s. CICs are directly under the President of India.
State Information Commissions – State Public Information Officers or SPIOs head over all the state department and ministries. The SPIO office is directly under the corresponding State Governor.
State and Central Information Commissions are independent bodies and Central Information Commission has no jurisdiction over the State Information Commission.
What is your right?
Under the provisions of RTI Act, any citizen of India may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. In case of matter involving a petitioner's life and liberty, the information has to be provided within 48 hours. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.