Curtailment of RTI unacceptable, says CIC Baskota

Kathmandu, July 7

Chief Information Commissioner Krishnahari Baskota has said that journalists should be able to fight the wrong tendency of curtailing the right to information on the pretext of confidentiality.

Speaking at an interaction on ‘Role of Journalists in Implementation of RTI’ organised by Federation of Nepali Journalists FM Chapter in Kathmandu today, he encouraged journalists to break every barrier to RTI. “The practice of denying information to citizens should come to an end. It is the right of citizens to demand and obtain information from public offices.”

Baskota said National Information Commission would always cooperate with and support journalists in their endeavour to expose anyone who is not in favour of RTI implementation.

“It is sad to say that the public in general are still unaware of RTI. I appeal to the journalists to get senior citizens, women and farmers informed of their rights,” he said. Baskota lamented that the constitution had failed to provide for a separate provision to ensure journalists’ RTI. “But, it is to be realised and considered that information given to one journalist could be disseminated to millions of people,” he added.

Baskota also said the lack of provision to get information in and through audio had caused inconvenience to radio journalists. “Existing RTI seems  insufficient if it is looked at from radio’s perspective. There are even provisions of getting information via email in many countries, including India. RTI Act may be amended to make it contemporary” he said.