Right to Information Act as a tool toimprove governance process in the hands of Stake holders Presented By : Group 6
“We live in an age of information, in which the free flow ofinformation and ideas determines the pace of development and wellbeing of the people. The implementation of RTI Act is, therefore, animportant milestone in our quest for building an enlightened and atthe same time, a prosperous society. Therefore, the exercise of theRight to Information cannot be the privilege of only a few.” Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Valedictory Address at the National Convention on RTI, October 15, 2006
OUTLINE• Background of RTI ACT• Objective• Important Sections Under the ACT• How to file an RTI application• Roles Played by Stakeholders and how they have helped to improve governance• RTI Activist• Case study• Conclusion and recommendation
Background• “Jan Sunvai” started in Rajasthan, Bhim, Tehsil in 1994.• Press council prepared the draft in 1996.• Introduced in various State Legislature from 1995 to 2001• This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 12 October 2005
OBJECTIVE• This act is implemented so as to bring the citizen at par with the members of parliament and members of legislature.• To empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government.
Important Sections under RTI ACT,2005 Records Data in electronic documents form Information Samples Emails u/s 2(f) Press reports release Contracts
Right toinformation U/s Public authority Record U/s 2(j) U/s 2(h) 2(i) Take notes/ copy of documents or under the document, records Constitution manuscript and file; Take certified other material samples any other law produced by a computer or any other device. Obtain information in Body owned, any mode controlled or substantially financed; Inspect work/ document/ record
Public Information Officer - U/s 5(3)• Responsible to give information Cause of Information - U/s 6(2)• not required to give any reasonTime limit for supply of information – U/s 7(1)• within 30 (Thirty) days of the receipt of the request• If concerns the life or liberty of a person, then, within 48 (Forty-Eight) hoursNon applicable to Intelligence and Security Agencies – U/s 24 (1)
Reasons to Rejection – U/s 7(8) communicateThe reasons The period within which an appeal may be preferred Supply of partial Information – U/s 10 (i) • Information which is exempt from disclosure • access may be provided to some part of the record
How to file an RTI application • Consider your problem • Identify the public authority and PIO you think has the information. PROBLEM • Frame your question • Draft and submit your application with application fee of Rs. 10/- to PIO. MAKE PAYMENT • Obtain acknowledgment/ receipt of your application and the application fee from the PIO. • PIO has 30 days to approve or reject your application TIME LIMIT • PIO to notify you in writing of:1. Application is • Additional fees(cost of information) to be paid; accepted • Information concerning your right to review the decision, fees, form o access, details of Appellate Authority and relevant forms to make an appeal. • PIO has to notify you in writing reasons for the rejection;2. Application is • Period in which any appeal can be made; rejected. • Details of the Appellate Authority.INFORMATION • PIO provide you the information. (Information will be provided free if provided after the time limits.) • If you are not satisfied with the information. APPEAL • If information is not provided within the time limits.
Procedure to get the information under RTI.• Information about concerned Public Authority• How to write an Application• Charges for Application of RTI• Ways to submit RTI application• Time period to get Information
Roles Played by Stakeholders• Civil Society Organizations• Media• Central Government• State Government
How RTI Act has helped in better Governance• Greater transparency• Greater Accountability• Reduction in Corruption• Poverty Alleviation• Many more……...
RTI Activist• Self appointed volunteers to help people with the issues related to RTI• How do they help society and people• Threats to RTI Activists• Some work done by RTI Activisti. Adarsh Scamii. Kerosene Marker Scamiii. Oil for Food Scam
Case Study 1 CPIO, Supreme Court of India v/s Subhash Chandra Agrawal (26-09-2010)• Whether information relating to the appointment of Judges can be sought under RTI?• Constitution v/s Constitution• Independence of Judiciary v/s Fundamental right to free speech and expression• Both of great value and require to be balanced.
Case Study 2 CPIO, Supreme Court of India v/s Subhash Chandra Agrawal (02-09-2009)• Every Judge to make a declaration of all assets to ensure just decision-making.• Information relating to assets given too CJI who holds the information in his capacity which is a “public authority” under the Act.• Judges duty to not only do justice, “appear to be doing justice” . Therefore Judge is not completely free.
Conclusion• RTI has definitely helped in better governance• Even though it has been 7 yrs, but still the act has not been used to its full power because of many reasons like less awareness, threats, political power and corruption.• There are no amendments in the law since the time it has been passed even though there is a need to change.