Right to Information and Governance

Right to Information is derived from our fundamental right of expression under Article 19. If we do not have information on how our Government and Public Institutions function, we cannot express any informed opinion on it. All of us accept that the freedom of the press is an essential element for a democracy to function.  It is worthwhile to understand the underlying assumption in this well entrenched belief. Why is the freedom of the media considered as one of the essential features for a democracy? Democracy revolves around the basic idea of Citizens being at the center of governance and a rule of the people. We need to define the importance of the concept of freedom of the press from this fundamental premise. It is obvious that the main reason for a free press is to ensure that Citizens are informed. If this is the main reason for the primacy given to the freedom of the press, it clearly flows from this, that the Citizens Right to Know is paramount. Also, since the Government is run on behalf of the people, they are the rightful owners who have a right to be informed directly.

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