Short title, extent and commencement
- Known as ‘Right to Information Act, 2005’.
- Extends to whole of India except J&K.
- Has become enforceable with effect from 12th October, 2005
- It is more powerful and stringent than Delhi RTI 2001
- Covers all public authorities, bodies or institutions constituted by Parliament, Legislative Assembly.
- Includes Parliament, Supreme Court/High Court/Lower Courts, Bodies owned, controlled and substantially financed.
- Including Non-government organizations substantially financed directly or indirectly.
- Govt. empowered to notify or issue orders to include such other bodies.
Citizens made the Master
- The act provides for giving almost all information to citizens barring a few exceptions.
- It makes the citizen the Master.
- They can now do social audit of any work through getting information and examining it critically and posing inconvenient questions.
Public Information Officers to give information
- Public Information Officers to be appointed by Public Authorities for handling applications received under the Act (by 22.9.2005).
- Assistant Public Information Officer to be appointed to receive applications on behalf of the Public Authority by( 22.9.2005.)
- Assistant Public Information officers to be appointed in each Sub-Division/Sub-Districts by (22.9.2005).
- First Appellate Authority to be within the department/organization by Public Authority
Right to Information includes:
- Inspection of works, documents, records.
- Taking notes, extracts, certified copies.
- Taking certified samples of material.
- Obtaining information in floppies, tapes etc.
Definition of Information
Information means any material in any form & includes: –
- Records, documents, memos, e-mail, opinion, advice, orders, log book, contract, reports, papers, samples etc.
Filing of application
- Forms prescribed.
- Applicant can file application in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or local language.
- PIO to assist disabled persons in writing down requests.
- Reasons for seeking information not required.
- Personal information about applicant not to be asked except for delivery of reply.
The following fee has been prescribed by GOI & U.P.Govt.:
- Application Fee: Rs 10/-
- Additional Page: Rs 2/ per page A-4 or A-3
- Large size: Actual Charges
- Sample or Model: Actual cost
- Inspection of records: First hour no fee there after Rs 5/- per 15 minutes
- Floppy/Diskette: Rs 50/-
- NO fee for Below Poverty Line
Mode of payment
The fee can be paid in any of the following modes:
- Demand Draft
- Banker cheque
Disposal of request
- In cases information is sought concerning life or liberty, it is to be given in 48 hours.
- Reply in other cases to be given in 30 days.
- 5 days to be added if the application is received through SAPIO.
- In case of third party â€“ 40 days.
- Appeals lie at two levels.
- First appeal within department/ organization to senior officer to State Public Information Officer within 30 days.
- Second appeal before Central Information Commission within 90 days.
- Appeals to be decided within 30 days.
Third Party Information
- Where information about third party is sought by the applicant, a notice will be given to third party to present his case within 5 days.
- An opportunity of hearing will be given within 10 days.
- Third party will have right to appeal.
Exemption from disclosure of information
- As per section 8 the following type of information shall not be obligatory to be given.
- Concerning security and integrity of India.
- Forbidden to be published by the court of law.
- Disclosure of which leads to breach of privilege of Parliament/Assembly.
- Commercial confidence trade secrets and intellectual property.
- Information received in fiduciary relationship.
- Information received in confidence from foreign government.
- Disclosure of which may endanger life and liberty.
- Which impedes the process of a investigation.
- Cabinet Papers including record or deliberation.
- Personal information which has no relationship to any public activity.
- Leads to infringement of copyright.
- Can impose penalty @ Rs. 250/- for each day of delay subject to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-.
- Can issue directions for disciplinary action against PIO in cases of persistent default.
- Opportunity of hearing to be given.
Need for prompt attention
- All Officer and staff members need to be sensitized to pay proper attention to this act.
- Necessary preparatory measures for implementation should be completed as per prescribed schedule in the Act.
- Officials need to be vigilant in disposal of requests received under the Act.
- All requests received under the Act need to be dealt within time frame prescribed.
Other Important Points
- Assistant Public Information Officer can receive applications for any PIO.
- First Appellate Authority should be senior to PIO.
- PIO should be senior officers who should be able to control work and dig out information as they have to perform a quasi judicial information.
- Clear demarcation of work should be done amongst the PIO and Appellate Authorities to avoid confusion.
- Notify the substantially financed bodies to bring them under the purview of RTI.
Arrangement for receipt for application.
- Arrangements for receipt of application & fee should be suitably be made to facilitate the work.
- Information counters should be setup near reception counters.
- The APIO/PIO/Appellate Authority should be easily accessible to public.
- Board depicting room number etc of PIO/APIO should be available at the main entrance.
Role of Secretaries /HODs/CEOs
- Appoint PIO/APIO
- Appoint first appellate authority.
- Identify bodies substantially financed to be brought under the purview of the act.
- Give wide publicity about the provisions of the act.
- Organize internal workshops for sensitization of officers and staff.
- Ensure proper arrangements for receipt of application/fee etc.
- Provide requisite number of counters for guidance.
- Prepare suo motu information and disseminate to the maximum.
- Monitor and control the working of all concerned officers.