The Right to Information Act, 2005 (15th June, 2005)

It is expedient for a public authority to provide certain information to the citizens who desire to have it.

OBLIGATION FOR PUBLIC AUTHORITY

Objectives:

  • To ensure greater and more effective access to information under the control of public authorities
  • To promote transparency and accountability in working of public institutions/organizations

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?

Statutory provisions made for right to information
Public authority is under the obligation to provide information within 30 days form the date of request in normal cases or within 48 hours  if information is a matter of life or liberty of a person

WHAT DOES RIGHT TO INFORMATION MEAN?

The right to
Inspection of  work, document records
Taking notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records;
Taking certified samples of material;

WHAT DOES INFORMATION MEAN?

It means any material in any form including

  • Records
  • Documents
  • Memos
  • E-mails
  • Opinions
  • Advises
  • Press releases

RECORD MEANS

  • Any document manuscript and file
  • Any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document
  • Any reproduction of image embodied in such microfilm
  • Any other material produced  by a computer or any other device

INSTITUTIONAL SETUP

  1. LEVEL 1

Individual institution/ organization / department/ office/ establishment will have

  • Public information officer pio (designated)
  • Assistant pio (designated)

PIO/APIO may seek the assistance of any other officer and this officer for the purpose of contravention of the provisions of this act shall be treated as a PIO/APIO

APPELLANT AUTHORITY

  1. LEVEL 2   At state Government Level will have the State Information Commission The State Chief Information Commissioner   & State Information Commissioners ( not  exceeding 10)
  2. LEVEL 3    At Central Government Level will have   The Central Information Commission   The Chief Information Commissioner & Central Information Commissioners ( not  exceeding 10 )

MAKING REQUEST TO WHOM?

  • PIO
  • APIO

HOW TO REQUEST?

In writing or through electronic means
In English or Hindi or official language
Accompanying fees (prescribed)
free for BPL

DISPOSAL OF REQUEST?

Register the request
Acknowledge the receipt of fees (bpl no)
Information with another authority – transfer it immediately (within 5 days, with intimation)

REJECTION?

If decision is not given in writing within 30 days —– deemed to have refused communicate in writing
–reasons for rejection
–the period of appeal
–the particulars of appellate authority

EXEMPTION FROM DISCLOSURE

  • Information affecting:
  • Sovereignty and integrity of India
  • The security
  • The strategic scientific or economic interests of the state
  • Foreign relations
  • Leading to incitement of offences
  • Information forbidden to be published by any court of law / constituting contempt of court

If public  interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interest

The information which cannot be denied to the parliament or state          legislature shall not be denied to any persons ever ability/ part information    serve from any part that contains exempt information

If access is given to the part of record

THIRD PARTY INFORMATION

Means a person other than the citizen making the request and includes a public authority Information which relates to or supplied by  a 3rd Party and treated as Confidential By 3rd Party

APPEAL

Any person who does not receive the decision within 30 days or aggrieved by a decision. May prefer appeal with Officer senior in rank to PIO within 30 days form (con-donation allowed) the receipt to decision.

PENALTIES

For what ?
– Refusal to receive the request
– Information not given
– Malafidely denied the request
– Knowingly given the incorrect, incomplete or misleading information
– Destroying information which was the subject of request
– Obstruction in any manner in furnishing the information

BAR OF JURISDICTION OF COURTS

No jurisdiction of civil courts

MONITORING AND REPORTING

CIC/SIC will make annual report of its implementation and report to the govt. Each public authority shall provide such information to SIC/CIC report of
– Number of such requests
– No. Of decisions
– No. Of appeals referred to SIC/CIC , nature and out come of the appeals
– Particulars of any disciplinary actions taken against any offices included are

    • The Houses of Parliament
    • The State Legislature
    • The Supreme Court
    • The High Court and All Other Courts
    • Constitutional authorities like EC, CAG, UPSC
    • Institutions of Self Government
    • Organizations/ Institutions Excluded
    • Central Intelligence and Security Agencies

– IB, RAW
– Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
– Dir. Enforcement
– Narcotics Control Bureau
– Aviation Research Center
– Special Frontiers Force
All others mentioned in schedule II

Exemptions not applicable
Information to legislature
If public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interest
Occurrences, events after 20 years except
–security
–contempt of court
–cabinet

POINTS TO REMEMBER

It comes into force on the 12th October, 2005 some provisions have already come in to force viz.

  • Obligations of the public authorities
  • Designations of pios / apios/ by 28th, Sep 2005
  • Constitution of CIC and SIC
  • Non applicability of act to intelligence and security agencies
  • Power to make rules

OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

  • To maintain and catalog all the record or computerize the record and connect through network
  • To publish within 120 days (form 15.6.2005)
  • Particulars of organizations, functions, duties
  • All the relevant information pertaining to the organization (as stated in sec 4)
  • Disseminate information easily accessible to the public