Took seven years to correct RTI Act's Hindi version

| Updated: Oct 21, 2016 14:04 IST

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Oct. 21 (ANI): It took seven years for a Noida- based RTI activist to get the Hindi version of the RTI Act corrected. Ironically, he had to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act to push officials of the PMO, DoPT and the Law Ministry to get the desired result. Activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retired) used the act to get 34 mistakes in the Hindi version corrected. In 2009, Commodore Batra sent numerous e-mails to the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and the prime minister's office and a plethora of RTIs to alert the government about the 34 mistakes in the Hindi version of RTI Act, 2005. Commodore Batra said that in the Hindi version, Section 2(h) (d) and (i) had grave translation errors. The section conveyed (i)Body owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government. He pointed out that the aforementioned clause is only applicable to central government which is not the case. He said this serious mistake needed immediate correction. In a separate letter addressed to the prime minister, Commodore Batra said, "This is a serious mistake and needs immediate correction. Hindi speaking states can make full use of this mistake to their advantage. Sir, I request someone in the government to immediately go thru the translated Hindi version of the RTI Act 2005 to ensure that there are no more mistakes. In the meantime government needs to issue notification to correct this mistake." Afterwards, he filed another RTI to seek status on his email to which he did not receive a reply. When the First Appellate Authority and the office of PMO's response did not give satisfactory answers, Commodore Batra approached the CIC. During the hearing, it was said that a virus in PMO's computer system was the reason for not receiving the e-mail of 10th April 2008. When the mistake still persisted, Commodore Batra filed an RTI to seek an inspection of the files. He received intimation that the DoPT had taken up the matter with the Official Languages Wing of the Ministry of Law and Justice. Consequently, the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification on 22 June, 2009, regarding the 34 mistakes/corrections in the Hindi version of the Act. Thereafter, it took several reminders and a further period of 10 months for the DoPT to upload the corrected version of the Hindi RTI Act on its website.