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Cabinet approves Right to Information Bill

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The Draft Bill on the Right to Information has received Cabinet approval. Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the draft bill, as pledged in the 100-Day program, will be presented to Parliament. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal presented by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to present the said Draft Bill to the parliament as an urgent bill under clause 122 of the Constitution.

The most significant point of the bill is that all citizens will have the right to know information, the minister explained. The right to information means to obtain information that exist in state institutions, and information that exist under its control or its custody.

However, provision of information could be rejected in the undermentioned instances:

1. Information that could affect the privacy of a person due to divulgence of information since it has no connection with a public activity or it is of a private nature


2. Information that could seriously affect state security, territorial integrity, that could affect national security, or that could affect international   relationships of Sri Lanka, or that could harm the bonds that exist under international law


3. Information that could seriously harm the economy of Sri Lanka


4. Information that could harm the commercial bonds of a person or that could divulge some trade secret


5. Information that could divulge the medical status of a person


6. Information that are not permitted to be divulged under clause 126 of the Evidence Act


7. Information that needs to be kept secret due to fiduciary relationship


8. Information relating to prevention of some crime or connected with finding out of some crime or information that could apprehend some       criminals or filing cases against them or that could obstruct such activity


9. Information that has been determined as to be safeguarded by a state institution


10. Information that could become a contempt of court or breach of parliamentary privileges


11. Information connected with the examination department or higher educational institutions that are to be kept secret due to its links with examinations.

A commission in this regard will be established in order to facilitate the right to information. The commission will mediate to determine on the information that needs to be kept secret. In order to implement these regulations successfully the subject has been entrusted to the Minister in charge of Public Administration, it was further revealed.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 23 April 2015 17:09

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