In order to move from transparency to accountability, it felt the urgent need for the Parliament to enact laws necessary to effectively combat corruption and the abuse of power. Expressed concern that several Information Commissions have stopped functioning after the September 2012 (Namit Sharma) judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the appointment of Information Commissions, it demanded that all Information Commissions must immediately resume functioning.
Suggesting that the number of Information Commissioners must be determined through an assessment of the workload in each commission, the declaration demanded that the Namit Sharma judgment be reviewed immediately. It said that the Government must pay particular attention to the effective implementation of the RTI Act and other transparency and accountability measures in conflict affected areas in order to ensure protection of human rights, particularly of the disadvantaged and vulnerable segments of the society.
The convention condemned the arbitrary use of Section 24 of the RTI Act to exempt bodies such as the CBI, Anti-Corruption agencies, security and intelligence agencies. As the exemptions under Section 8 are adequate, it said the list of agencies notified under this Section must be immediately withdrawn.
The Convention demanded transparency in the ownership and source of funds of all media agencies. It said that methods of enforcing accountability of the media industry to the people must be explored, while protecting the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
National Advisory Council Member Aruna Roy, National Minorities Commission Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah, retired High Court Judge Reddappa Reddy, PUCL National Secretary Kavita Srivatsava and United Forum for RTI Campaign (UFRTI) Convenor Ramakrishna Raju also spoke at the convention.
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