Civil society and RTI activists on Friday held a rally here demanding withdrawal of the notification issued by the State Government keeping Vigilance department out of the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The State Information and Public Relations Department had issued a notification on August 11saying, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section 4 of section 24 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, the State Government do hereby specify that nothing, contained in the said Act, shall apply to the general administration (Vigilance) department and its organisation.”
A large number of activists first organised a rally near Ram Mandir Square and later held a meeting in front of the State Assembly demanding immediate revocation of the “arbitrary” notification.
“The notification is against the spirit of the RTI Act. Despite our appeals to the Chief Minister and the Governor to intervene in the matter, nothing has happened as yet. Our agitation will be intensified if the Government fails to withdraw the notification,” said Odisha Soochana Abhiyan convenor Pradip Pradhan, who organised the rally.
The State Government’s arbitrary decision has also been challenged in the Orissa High Court. Civil society Global Human Rights Communication’s executive director Subash Mohapatra has filed the petition in the High Court seeking quashing of the notification.
According to Section 24 (4) of the RTI Act, only intelligence and security organisations will be outside the Act’s ambit.
The activists later submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Chief Minister.