Saturday, June 21, 2008
Life and Liberty under RTI
The survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have been agitating for justice for several days in New Delhi after walking all the way from Bhopal to press their demands. Some of them are in jail, for staging an impromptu demonstration in front of the Prime Minister's residence. In this article in Tehelka, Nityanand Jayaram, an activist himself, writes how the PMO and the Chief Information Commissioner, responded to an RTI application filed by one of the survivors seeking information about the water contamination in and around the factory site, abandoned by the Union Carbide Corporation in Bhopal, following the 1984 disaster. The applicant's plea that it involved the question of life and liberty of her family, and therefore, the authorities are bound under the RTI Act to respond within two working days failed to convince the authorities, apparently without stating any reason.