Legal Dimension of Indian RTI Act.


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Legal Dimension of Indian RTI Act.

  1. 1. Provisions & Legal Dimensions of the Right to information Act,2005
  2. 2. Every Public Authority shall provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons. Section 4(1)d Another substantive right
  3. 3. Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affects public Section 4(1)c
  4. 4. whether material is information? Section.2(f) defines information as any material in any form including • records, documents, memos, e-mails • files, microfilm, manuscript • log books, contracts, reports, papers • data material stored in computer
  5. 5. Whether opinion to be formed ? No, as per Sn 2(j) RTI includes the rights (i)inspection of work, documents, records (ii) extracts or certified copies of records/files (iii) obtaining information in disk, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or printouts of any material stored in a computer etc. • Taking certified sample of material
  6. 6. Is there any format for request ? There is no prescribed request form. Section 6(1) says that request shall be in writing specifying the information requested for with fee.
  7. 7. Is signature of requester is necessary in the request ? The details necessary to contact him shall be required;no other personal details shall be required in the request. [ section.6(2)]
  8. 8. Is proof of citizenship required for seeking information ? Section 3 says that citizens shall have Right to Information subject to the provisions of this Act Act does not prescribe for any proof of citizens for RTI
  9. 9. Should we receive request in Hindi also ? Request shall be written in English or Hindi or in the Official Language of the area where the request is made Section 6(1)
  10. 10. Should PIO invite third party for his objection, in all cases, as per Sn 11? In case of third party’s confidential information, 1.send a notice to him within five days for his objection within ten days 2.Overrule objection on public interest 3.Decide on the request within 40 days 4.Inform parties with right of Appeal 5.Furnish information subject to Appeal
  11. 11. Can citizen inspect office of a public authority ? Proactive dissemination of information through notice boards/booklets/ broadcast/public announcements/news papers/the internet or any other means including inspection of the office of any public authority. Sn 4(4) Intimate requester to clarify which information ,in which form, he is in need
  12. 12. Can head of office ask PIO not to give information ? • Sections 5(1)&(3) and Section 7(1) say that P I O shall deal with and decide on the requests • Govt Circular No.77000/CDN5/06/GAD Dt 30.10.2006 prescribes that the P I O shall be an independent officer who need not seek approval of his any officer including seniors for deciding on RTI requests.
  13. 13. What is meant by Deemed P I O Under Sn 5(4)&(5)? Any officer whose assistance had been sought by the PIO shall be treated as P I O for the purpose of contravention of the provisions of the Act. Hence any officer whose inaction/dereliction caused delay/failure in furnishing information can be punished by IC under Sn 20
  14. 14. SHOULD REQUESTER SHOW REASON FOR SEEKING INFORMATION ? Section 6 (2) The requester shall not be required to show the reason for seeking the information in the request.
  15. 15. SHOULD e –MAIL ADDRESS OF THE REQUESTER WOULD BE SUFFICIENT IN REQUEST ? As per Section 6 (2) except his details to contact him, no other personal details are required in the request.
  16. 16. What is the time limit within which the requester shall remit the cost ? Calculate cost and intimate. Intimate A A’s details to approach in case of objection to the cost calculated 7(3)
  17. 17. Avail of more than30 days to provide information? The time taken by the requester to deposit cost will be added to the time limit of 30 days. section-7(3)
  18. 18. Should salary be exhibited in front of office? As per section 4(1) b every public authority shall publish pro actively, information on 17 heads including directory and monthly salary of every officer
  19. 19. How many years files should be kept for RTI? • Public authority shall catalogue and index record/ file to facilitate RTI[S.4(1)a] • No prescription in the Act that files should be kept for ever • IC can order changes in file management[S.19(8) a] • KSIC upheld L.dis,K.dis(AP.307/07 Dt3.10.07)
  20. 20. Relevance of 20 years u/s 8(3) • Information coming under clauses a to j, u/s8(1) are exempted from disclosure • However S.8(3) says that information coming under clauses b,d to h and j can be disclosed after 20 years.
  21. 21. Requester need not pay cost of delayed information In case a Public Authority fails to comply with the time limit to provide information it shall provide free of cost to the requester.Sec7[6]
  22. 22. Who will bear the cost of information to BPL? In case of insufficiency of fund to provide information to BPL (at free of cost) permit him to inspect the Information or provide information in CD if it is available in e form. (Section-7[9])
  23. 23. Should PIO meet the cost when requester remitted it in treasury? • Explain insufficiency of fund and inform requester to remit cost in the office of PIO • Issue written receipt instead of TR 5 • Meet the expenditure out of the amount remitted by the requester and remit balance, if any, in treasury
  24. 24. RTI will not adversely affect smooth working of office In case furnishing of information in the requested form would disproportionately divert the resources of the office provide information in another convenient form Section 7 (9)
  25. 25. Is First Appellate Authority a Quasi Judiciary ? As per Section 18 (3) the CIC and SIC alone are given powers of Civil Court
  26. 26. Can PIO file second Appeal ? Sections 19(1) &(3) show that only the requester/first appellant or the third party who was not invited by PIO under Section 11, can make second appeal before the Commission
  27. 27. Can auditor objects the actions of PIO ? No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or indented to be done under this Act or any rule made there under. Section-21
  28. 28. Is delayed information punishable in all cases,as per Sn 20(1)? Without any reasonable cause • PIO refused to receive application • PIO not furnished information within time • Malafidely denied request • Knowingly given incorrect/incomplete/misleading information or destroyed information • Obstructed in any manner in furnishing information
  29. 29. Shall disciplinary action be recommended in all cases as per Sn 20(2)? Without any reasonable cause and persistently • PIO refused to receive application • PIO not furnished information within time • Malafidely denied request • Knowingly given incorrect/incomplete/misleading information or destroyed information • Obstructed in any manner in furnishing information
  30. 30. What is the remedy against the decision of SIC ? No court shall entertain any proceedings against any order made under this Act.Sn 23 writ jurisdiction under Art.32(SC),226 HCs can be invoked
  31. 31. Civil Appeal No.6454 of 2011 Central Board of secondary Education Vs Aditya Bandopadhyay and others judgment Dt 9.8.2011 by Js. RV Raveendran & AK Patnaik,S C of India
  32. 32. Special Leave Petition(civil) No.27734 of 2012 Girish Ramachandra Deshpande Vs Central Information Commissioner and others Judgment dt 03.10.2012, by Js.K S radhakrishnan & Dipak Misra
  33. 33. ‘Information’ costs Rs. 25,000/- only ! Information Commission shall have power to require any public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered Section-19(8)b
  34. 34. Right to Information ?