Thiruvananthapuram: : Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar Friday cautioned against misuse of the Right to Information (RTI) Act whose true purpose was to enhance public participation in governance and make governments more transparent and accountable.
While utilising the landmark legislation to fulfil its purposes, everyone had to be careful that it was not misused, Kumar said inaugurating a two-day national seminar on "Right to Information Act- The Way Forward", jointly organised by the Kerala Government, State Information Commission and the Institute of Management in Government (IMG).
"The effective implementation of the RTI Act will make governments more transparent and accountable. Public participation in governance is the essence of any democratic government and public participation means accessibility to government acts, he said.
Stating that RTI was present in all major democracies in the world including countries in Europe, US and Australia, he said India should have been the leader in Asia in its launching as it is the largest democracy globally.
"Cutting across political differences, the entire Lok Sabha in one voice had passed the bill. Over the past 7-8 years, we overselves is a country on par with other functioning democracies in the world in terms of the RTI," he said.
Urging everyone to utilise the Act to enhance their participation in administration, he said the RTI Act has "best utilisation" at the rural sector in states like West Bengal and Bihar.
The Governor also launched an online search facility which helps people to know about the appeal and complaint petitions filed at the state Information Commission.
Presiding over the function, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the RTI Act was the most significant law after the adult franchise legislation passed by the country.
"In Kerala, around 65 per cent cases under RTI have been disposed of. About Rs 30 lakh had been collected from officials concerned as fine for delaying in providing the information as per the Act," he said.
K Muraleedharan, MLA, Chief Secretary E K Bharath Bhushan and state Chief Information Commissioner Siby Mathews were present besides a number of delegates across the country.