Law – Right to Information and Whistleblowers and Witness Protection

Access to government records (Right to Information – RTI) should be made a fundamental right.

Right to Information (RTI) should become internet and mobile enabled so that citizens can login to their mobiles or computers and file RTI and view RTI replies on their computer and mobiles.

All completed RTI information requested should be publicly displayed on the RTI internet and mobile website  and department internet and mobile websites without even needing a log in.

The address and contact information of the RTI applicant should not be disclosed.

The address and contact information of the RTI applicant and whistle blower should be kept confidential and coded when it is sent for inquiry to the department and also when it is displayed publicly on the RTI website.

It should only known to the person who is responsible for delivering the reply.

There should be a separate wing in all departments, where the person delivering the reply does not know the content of the reply or the request of information by the RTI applicant.

A blockchain based RTI E-governance application would be ideal for this purpose.

In the event of death or injury to the RTI applicant or whistleblower, all the information that the RTI applicant/whistleblower was seeking must be published in at least three leading local newspapers, displayed on at least 3 leading local TV news channels and repeated every hour at prime hours of 7pm to 10pm for at least 4 days.

This must also publicly displayed on the RTI and the department website for which the information was being sought.

This RTI information sought by the injured/deceased applicant should be prominently displayed on the home page of the department for which RTI was requested.

The government must appoint a constitutionally independent agency to monitor and carry out a fast track investigation into the information the the RTI or whistle blower was trying to expose and the offenders should be brought to conviction and punishment as soon as possible.

In case of death or serious injury of a investigating officer of any arm of the state or of a journalist or any activist or a witness to any sort of crime, the same above process must be followed.

All RTI/whistle blower/investigation officer/journalist/activist/witness/other investigators must be given police protection if they ask for it.

Even if they dont ask for police protection, if there is a perception of threat to their life or well being or those of their loved ones, then they and their loved ones should be given police protection.

Even if they do not have proof, if they pass a lie detector test, that is sufficient grounds for them to be offered police protection.

They should also be given weapons permit to allow them to bear arms publicly.

The persons who caused the death or serious injury of the RTI/whistle blower /investigation officer/journalist/activist/witness/other investigators must be given the same punishment as those convicted for rape.

All government offices, courts, defence and other arms of government, must have all their official interactions and transactions recorded in writing audio and video at all levels – from clerk to President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Lok and Army General and all Employees of the State.

This should be available within 15 days through online internet and mobile internet RTI.

Recording of photo, audio and video interactions of all the employees of the state including the defenders of the state with the public must be done and also available through RTI.

This excludes defense, national security and intelligence for ongoing cases which should also be available after a period of 7 years.

However in the case of missing persons or persons arrested without a warrant, under-trials and detainees, RTI should apply to all agencies including defense, intelligence and national security.

Any employee or defender of the State and other semi-government officials who stop a citizen, resident, immigrant or even illegal immigrated foreigner from taking a video or/and audio of their incident/interaction/meeting with these government officials should be punished strictly even with imprisonment, dismissal from service, confiscation of salary from the past 10 years, and stopping of pension.

All employees of the State, especially senior personnel must follow the disclosure requirements as given in the employees of the state section.