Information is an inalienable and natural right of every human being. In a democratic country each person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes right of holding public opinion and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas from the public authorities. The available and appropriate information helps citizen to live a dignified life in a civilized society. Moreover there is a close link between right to information and good governance. Good governance is characterized by transparency, accountability and responsiveness. Consequently, the citizen‘s right to information is increasingly being recognized as an important mechanism to promote openness, transparency and accountability in government administration. People are the sole part in a representative form of government.
So it is necessary that they must have to know all the functioning of government activities to frame a practical regime of good governance in administrative process. In India Right to Information is the need of hour. Human security, shelter, food, environment and employment opportunity are all bound up with right to information. In the absence of information on this issue, people can not live a dignified life and will remain ever marginalized group in the society. It is a powerful instrument to protect the fundamental rights of people. Corruption and criminalization is the nerve of Indian bureaucracy today.
The secrecy they have maintained is a source of corruption and harassment. Though India is the world largest democracy, it now fails to attain confidence from common people. As a taxpayer, each person should have the right to know the functioning of government machinery. In addition to this, in a democratic country, citizen can be regarded asset only when citizen develop the skill to gain access to information of all kinds and to put such information to effective use. Without intellectual freedom the success of democratic governance can not be imagined. Information is now the sole of every government. The need for transparency and efficiency in the governance become more important to achieve the goal of good governance.
Thomas Enderson in his commentary on the First amendment to the US constitution remarked that the society uses freedom of information and expression to protect certain values, which can be grouped into four broad categories. The first of these is assuring individual self-fulfillment, the second set of values focuses on means of attaining the truth, the third addresses a method of securing the participation of members in the society in social and political decision making, the fourth set of value seeks to maintain the balance between stability and change in the society.
In international arena, Right to information has warmly welcomed and incorporates in various international human rights document. These document namely- the Universal declaration of Human Rights, the International covenant on civil and political rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. At regional level also the documents like European convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the American convention on human and people rights incorporates right to information as basic human rights.
Out of 93 countries in the world that have adopted right to information or freedom of information laws, four are in South Asia. They are – Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Indian parliament had enacted the ―Freedom of Information act, 2002 in order to promote transparency and accountability in the administration. The report envisaged by the National common Minimum Programme, the ―Freedom of Information Act, 2002 has repelled and ―Right to Information Bill, 2004 (RTI) was passed by both the houses of parliament on May 2005. The ―Right to Information Act‖ was notified in the Gazette of India on 21st June, 2005. This new law empowers Indian citizens to seek any accessible information from a public authority and makes the government and its functionaries more accountable and responsible.