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Saturday, Nov 27, 2021
Outlook.com
governance: rti-cag

Double Whammies

Are RTI, CAG hurting politicians more than governance?

Double Whammies
Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Double Whammies
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

What began as a few whispers is now a booming drumbeat. Powerful senior ministers are asserting that the Right to Information Act (RTI), till now flaunted as one of the UPA government’s biggest gifts to the aam aadmi, is “transgressing into government functioning”. Similar misgivings are being voiced on another constitutional body that has been in the news lately—the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Put together, this has raised fears of a possible attempt to muzzle the proverbial messenger.

“Both (RTI and CAG) are messengers that bring to people something that has been stolen or gone wrong,” says former CAG T.N. Chaturvedi. But that’s not how a beleaguered government is seeing it. Facing varied governance scandals, it says that RTI is being misused for political and business ends. Over the past few weeks, one RTI response brought to fore the rivalry between Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P. Chidambaram. Another RTI reply has cast doubts on the CAG’s assessment of losses to the exchequer in the 2G case.

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