Right to information act

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Right to information act

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Freedom of Information Act repealed in 2005 and substituted by RTI Act, 2005.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

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