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    Right to information act Right to information act Presentation Transcript

    • Right to Information Act - An overview M.L Sharma Central Information Commissioner BY
    • General RTI Act, 2005 came into effect on 12th October, 2005. Establishes a regime of RTI for citizens of India Over rides Official Secrets Act, 2003 Transparency –a norm & secrecy an exception Informed citizenry vital to the functioning of democracy
    • International Context
      • UN General Assembly Resolution of 1946.
      • “ Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and the touch stone of all the freedoms to which the UN is consecrated.”
      • Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (Art 19).
      • International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (Art 19(2)).
      • UN Convention Against Corruption, 2003 (Art-13).
      • European Convention of Human Rights, 1950.
      • The African Chapter on Human and Peoples Right, 1981.
      • Inter American Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression, 2000.
      • Declaration of the Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa, 2000.
    • Indian Context
      • Art 19 of Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression.
      • Supreme Court in Secretary, Ministry of I&B Vs Cricket Association of Bengal (1955).
      • Bennett Coleman (1973) - RTI held to be included in Art 19.
      • In Raj Narain (1975)-held that people have a right to know every public act.
      • S P Gupta case (1982)
      • PUCL Case (2004) –RTI, a Human Right.
    • Initiative of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangthan
      • Assertion of RTI by asking for copies of bills, vouchers and names of persons shown in the muster rolls.
      • Purpose of preventing misappropriation of funds.
      • MKSS succeeded in getting photocopies of relevant documents revealing misappropriation of funds.
      • MKSS organized Jan Sunwai, first ever in history of Rajasthan, during 1994-95.
      • Similar exercise by Lok Satta, an NGO in Andhra Pradesh.
      • DoPT set a Working Group on RTI and Promotion of Open and Transparent Govt. in Jan, 1997 under Shri H. D. Shourie.
      • Submitted draft bill of Freedom of Information in May, 1997.
      • Government of India enacted Freedom of Information Bill, 2000.
      • Freedom of Information Act passed in 2002.
      • Freedom of Information Act repealed in 2005 and substituted by RTI Act, 2005.
    • State Acts Karnataka : 2000 Maharashtra : 2000 Delhi : 2001 Assam : 2001 Madhya Pradesh : 2002 Jammu & Kashmir : 2004
    • Definition of Information [Section 2 (f)] Any material in any form, including -
      • Records,
      • Documents,
      • Memos,
      • E-mails,
      • Opinions,
      • Advices,
      • Press Releases,
      • Circulars,
      • Orders,
      • Logbooks,
      • Contracts,
      • Reports,
      • Papers,
      • Samples,
      • Models,
      • Data material held in any electronic form and
      • Information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.
    • Definition of Right to Information [Section 2(j)] Right to information accessible under the RTI Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to -
      • Inspection of work, documents, records
      • Taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents of records;
      • Taking certified samples of material;
      • 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.
    • Suo moto disclosure – Sec 4
            • Public Authorities obligated to maintain all records duly cataloged and indexed
            • Before within 120 days from the enactment of this Act –
            • - Particulars of organization, functions and duties
            • - Powers and duties of officers/employees and procedure followed in decision making process
      • Rules, regulations, instructions, manuals.
      • Designation of Public Information Officers – Sec 5
      • Request for obtaining information - Sec 6
    • Time Limit for disposal of requests
            • CPIO – 30 days
            • 48 hrs if information sought concerns life or liberty of a person
            • 40 days when third party is involved
      • - 45 days if information pertains to corruption or Human Rights violations by scheduled Security & Int Agencies
    • Institutional Framework
      • Public Authorities
      • Public Information Officer (PIO)
      • Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO)
      • Other Officers
      • Designated Appellate Officers
      • Information Commission
      • Ministries & Departments
      • Appropriate Governments
      • Competent Authority
    • Information Exempted from Disclosure
      • Prejudicially affects sovereignty and integrity of India and strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State or relation with foreign States.
      • Information forbidden to be published by court.
      • Disclosure which would cause breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.
      • Trade Secrets or intellectual property or information held in commercial confidence.
      • Information obtained in fiduciary relationship.
      • Information which would endanger life or physical safety of any person or identity of the sources etc.
      • Information which would impede investigation or prosecution or apprehension of criminals.
      • Cabinet Papers.
      • Personal information having no relationship to public activity or unwarranted invasion of privacy.
      • Protection of copyright.
      • Primacy of public interest as per section 8 (2)
    • Certain organisations exempted from operation of RTI Act
      • Intelligence Bureau.
      • Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat.
      • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
      • Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
      • Directorate of Enforcement.
      • Narcotics Control Bureau.
      • Aviation Research Centre.
      • Special Frontier Force.
    • Appeal Procedure
      • Appeal to be filed within 30 days against decision of CPIO
      • Appeal to be disposed of within 30 days, extendable to 45 days for special reasons
      • Second Appeal to be filed before CIC within 90 days from the date of decision of First Appellate Authority
      • Decision of CIC shall be binding
    • Penalties Section 20 of RTI Act provides for penalties against CPIOs on their refusal to receive an application or inability to furnish information within a specified time-frame or malafidely giving incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroying information.
      • Penalty of Rs.250 per day – total amount not exceeding Rs.25,000/-.
      • Opportunity to be given to CPIO before imposition of penalty.
      • CIC can also recommend disciplinary action against CPIO
    • THANK YOU