Making section 4 work


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Section 4 is the most important Section in the Right to Information Act. As yet it is the least used by information seekers, the least enforced by Information Commissioners and the least complied to by government agencies.

This presentation makes a case for making Section 4 work.

Presentation at seminar on "Role of Civil Society in enhancing transparency".

Published in: News & Politics, Design, Education
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Making section 4 work

  1. 1. 1st May 2014 Making Section 4 Work Anupam Saraph
  2. 2. The Purpose of RTI ✤ “setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”
  3. 3. Section 2: The Right to Information ✤ 2 (j) "right to information" means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to— ✤ 2 (j)(i) inspection of work, documents, records; ✤ 2 (j)(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; ✤ 2 (j)(iii) taking certified samples of material; ✤ 2 (j)(iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;
  4. 4. Section 6: Access as Privilege ✤ Requires application for Information from Public Authority ✤ Such application implies information is not available publicly ✤ Such application is a failure of Section 4 implementation ✤ An appeal further implies denial or absence of information
  5. 5. Section 4: Access as a Right ✤ 4(2) Provide as much information suo motu so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information ✤ 4(3) Disseminate information widely ✤ 4(4) Make information easily accessible
  6. 6. Section 4: Statutory Information ✤ 4(1)(a) Maintain catalogued and indexed records and ensure computerized access across networks ✤ 4(1)(b) Publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act ✤ 4(1)(c) Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public ✤ 4(1)(d) provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons
  7. 7. Duty of Information Commission ✤ Order information sought to be available under Section 4 wherever possible ✤ Seek compliance reports on Section 4 ✤ Use 19(8)(a) require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act
  8. 8. Making Section 4 Work ✤ Section 4 enables the Right, Section 6 enables only Access ✤ Every Section 6 request should find its way as Section 4 declaration by the Public Authority ✤ Information Commissioners must ensure minimum use of Section 6 is required by citizens to obtain information