Patna: Patna High Court today directed Bihar Government to update digital portals within two months, saying people have every right to know the exact figure of deaths during Corona pandemic. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar, while hearing petitions of Shivani Kaushik and others, directed Bihar Government to update digital portals within two months and dismissed all pleas for withholding information from the public relating to deaths even during corona pandemic.
The court observed that transparency was hallmark of good governance and it had become more important in present era when
government both at the centre and the state, were committed to making success of flagship programme of the Government of India termed as “Digital India” and National Data Sharing and Accessing Policy (NDSAP)- 2012 published in the gazette of India on March 17 2012.
The court also made it clear that people of Bihar had right to know on digital platform about the number of deaths that occurred in the state even during Corona pandemic. The court also observed that under provisions of Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969 and Right to Information Act 2005, people had the right in unequivocal terms to get the information.
The court directed Bihar Government that digital portals should be made accessible to general public with regular and timely updates. It was needless to say that personal information would be protected under relevant provisions of law,
the court noted.