Law: Right to Information Act, 2005

3,515 views

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,515
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
86
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Law: Right to Information Act, 2005

  1. 1. Right to Information Act, 2005 Submitted to: Prof. Harpal SinghGroup No. 5:Janmey Patel (202)Nikhil Arora (206)Shashank Mohore (228)Aniket Gupta (229)Parandeep Singh Chawla (231)
  2. 2. ContentsWhat is Right to Information? ................................................................................................................... 4 Secrecy, Build In..................................................................................................................................... 4 Global background to RTI: .................................................................................................................... 4 Events Back Home: ............................................................................................................................... 4 Cases Leading to RTI Act, 2005: ......................................................................................................... 5What is RTI Act, 2005 .................................................................................................................................... 5 Long Title to the Act ............................................................................................................................... 5 Preamble to the Act ............................................................................................................................... 5 Coverage ................................................................................................................................................. 5 Need for RTI Act ..................................................................................................................................... 6 Definition of Right to Information [Section 2(j)] .................................................................................. 6 Definition of Information [Section 2 (f) ................................................................................................. 6Who is a Public Authority? ............................................................................................................................ 7 Application Process: .............................................................................................................................. 7 Time Frame: .............................................................................................................................................. 7 Fees Payable: ............................................................................................................................................ 7 Exemption from Disclosure of Information ......................................................................................... 8 Organizations not covered under the purview of RTI: ...................................................................... 8 Central Information Commission .............................................................................................................. 8 State Information Commission ............................................................................................................. 9 Appellate Authority (AA) ........................................................................................................................ 9 Penalty Provisions .................................................................................................................................. 9 Implications of RTI Act, 2005 on the Indian Society: ........................................................................ 9 Greater Transparency ....................................................................................................................... 9 Citizen-Centric Approach to Development: .................................................................................. 10 Democratization of information and knowledge: ......................................................................... 10 Reduction in Corruption: ................................................................................................................. 10 Greater Accountability: .................................................................................................................... 10 Success Stories: ................................................................................................................................... 10 Adarsh Society Scam ...................................................................................................................... 10 Public Distribution Scam in Assam ................................................................................................ 10 Appropriation of Relief Funds: ........................................................................................................ 10 IIM’s Admission Criteria:.................................................................................................................. 11
  3. 3. The Real ‘Swaraj’ will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by theacquisition of capacity by all to resist authority when abused.–Mahatma Gandhi"I believe that the passage of this Bill will see the dawn of a new era in ourprocesses of governance, an era of performance and efficiency, an era which willensure that benefits of growth flow to all sections of our people, an era which willeliminate the scourge of corruption, an era which will bring the common mansconcern to the heart of all processes of governance, an era which will truly fulfillthe hopes of the founding fathers of our Republic”-- Dr Manmohan Singh (Parliament, May 11, 2005)
  4. 4. What is Right to Information? The Right to Information is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. Asking for and being given information as a matter of right is called “Right to Information.” Information is necessary for protection of the right to life and liberty. It is therefore a part of Article 21. Information is necessary to form and express opinions, dissent or support on any matter. It is therefore a part of Article 19 (1) (a).Secrecy, Build InThe Indian Bureaucracy has inherited administrative culture of secrecy as a colonial and feudal legacy.Secrecy has been the most common culture of bureaucratic culture. There are various laws, enacted bothbefore and after independence respectively, which restrict and prohibit the free flow of information. Theselaws are: The Official Secrets Act, 1923 Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 It provides that the head of the department can refuse to part with information. Rule 11 of the Central Services(Conduct) Rules, 1964 It prohibits a government servant to part with any official document. Rule 9 of the All India Services(Conduct) Rules, 1968 It prohibits any communication of Information.Global background to RTI:There are numerous precedents available when it comes to RTI Act. Sweden was the first Country topass a act of this type in the year 1776. In an assembly Resolution at UN, it was declared that peoplehave the right to access the official information. Freedom of Information was declared as a fundamentalhuman right. In USA, the law was enacted in the year 1966.So far 56 Countries have enacted an RTI Act or a similar Act which includes North America, most ofEurope, Australia, Columbia, Peru, Japan, etc.Events Back Home: • Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangthan asserted on RTI by asking for copies of bills, vouchers and names of persons shown in muster rolls. Purpose was to prevent the mis- appropriation 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. Taking a cue from it, similar exercise by Lok Satta, was organized in Andhra Pradesh.
  5. 5. • DoPT set a Working Group on RTI and Promotion of Open and Transparent Govt. in Jan, 1997 under Shri H. D. Shourie. It submitted draft bill of Freedom of Information in May, 1997. Based on the draft Bill Government of India enacted Freedom of Information Bill, 2000 and subsequently Freedom of Information Act passed in 2002. However, Freedom of Information Act repealed in 2005 and substituted by RTI Act, 2005.Cases Leading to RTI Act, 2005: Union of India v. Association for Democratic Reforms (2002) 5 SCC 294- “The court recognized the citizen’s fundamental right to information and even went to the extend saying that such a right should be recognized and fully effectuated” Onkar Lal Bajaj v. Union of India(2003) 2 SCC 673- “Articles 21 & 14-right to information-allotment of retail outlets, distributorships and dealerships of petroleum products-political patronage for allotment were alleged by the press-Under such circumstances, the public in general has a right to know under what basis their elected representatives got such allotments.”What is RTI Act, 2005 Provides a legal framework of citizens’ democratic right to access to information under the control of public authorities; To promote transparency and accountability in the functioning of every public authority.Long Title to the ActAn Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access toinformation under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability inthe working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and StateInformation Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.Preamble to the Act Informed citizenry and transparency of information are vital to the functioning of our democratic republic To contain corruption To hold Government and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.Coverage Covers all of India except Jammu and Kashmir. Covers central, state and local governments, and  all bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed;
  6. 6.  non-government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government (2(h)) Covers executive, judiciary and legislature (2(e) Includes information relating to private body which can be accessed by under any other law for the time being in force (2(f))Need for RTI ActFollowing points highlight the importance of the RTI Act: Promote openness, transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. Reduce Corruption Prevent administrative arbitrariness Bride the gap between providers and recipient of public services Make citizens part of decision making Make administrative responsive Strengthen the foundations of democracyDefinition 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 publicauthority 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.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 Information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.
  7. 7. Who is a Public Authority?“Public Authority” means any authority or body or institution established or constituted By or under the constitution; By any other law made by Parliament; By any other law made by State Legislature; By notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes any  Body owned, controlled or substantially financed,  Non - Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;Application Process:One has to apply in person or electronically to the concerned PIO accompanied by prescribed fees. Therequest should either be in English or the local official language. No personal details required except forthe details of contacting. If the request is To be transferred to another public authority if pertains to them(in 5 days) and in the meantime the applicant is to be informed.Time Frame: In 30 days if direct to PIO In 35 days if through APIO In 48 hours if life & liberty at stake If redirected, in 5 days If not given in time, deemed refused If further fees required, period between dispatch of request and deposit of fees will not countFees Payable: Must be reasonable. No fees for Below Poverty Line applicant Application fees prescribed by appropriate Govt. (Rs.50/-) Cost of giving information may be charged on the requestor st Rs. 2/- per page; Rs. 50/- per floppy, others and samples - actual cost; inspection – 1 hour free, Rs. 5/ - every subsequent 15min Requestor may seek review of the fees from the Appellate Authority if it is unreasonable Time between date of dispatch of intimation about fees and actual payment excluded while calculating 30 day time limit If information is not given within time limit it must be given free of cost
  8. 8. Exemption from Disclosure of Information National security Contempt of court Parliamentary privilege Trade secrecy Fiduciary relationship Foreign government Safety of informer in law enforcement Investigation Cabinet papers Privacy (K) Copyright - disclosure which would involve an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State may be rejected. [Section 9]Organizations not covered under the purview of RTI: IB & RAW Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Central Economic Intelligence Bureau Directorate of Enforcement Narcotics Control Bureau Aviation Research Centre Special Frontier Force CRPF, ITBP, CISF, NSG Special Service Bureau Assam Rifles Special Branch (CID) Andaman and Nicobar Crime Branch (CID) Dadra and Nagar Haveli Special Branch Lakshadweep Police and any other intelligence or security organization established by State govts.Central Information CommissionThere is only one Chief Information Commissioner with a term of 5 years and a maximum of 10Information Commissioners with a single term of 5 years.Central Information commission is based in Delhi and so is the Chief Information Commissioner.However, Information Commissioners could be based in other parts also. The Central InformationCommission is independent of the Governmental Control. The Chief Information Commissioner and theInformation Commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committeechaired by the Prime Minister and including Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and a Cabinet Minister tobe appointed by the Prime Minister.
  9. 9. State Information CommissionAs is the case with Central Information Commission, there is only one state chief InformationCommissioner with a term of 5 years and a maximum of 10 state Information Commissioners with amaximum of one term of 5 years.State Information Commission could be in any part of the state-as decided by the respective state.Commission will be Independent of the control of State Government. State Chief InformationCommissioner and Sate Information Commissioner are appointed by the Governor on therecommendation of the committee chaired by the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition in the VidhanSabha and one Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Chief Minister.Appellate Authority (AA)One can file a appeal within 30 days from the date of refusal letter (delay may be condoned if sufficientcause is shown). The first Appeal has to be filed with the officer senior in rank to the PIO in the concernedpublic authority. The complaint has to satisfy within 30 days of Receive of Complaint.In case there is no action taken on the first appeal, the second appeal can be filed with the Central/StateInformation Commission within 90 days from the date of decision of first appeal, but the delay may becondoned if sufficient cause is shown. There is no time limit for CIC/SIC to decide on appeals. Decision ofCIC/SIC will be binding. Appeal against IC’s decision can be filed in High Court/Supreme Court and notthe lower Courts.Penalty ProvisionsIC can penalize PIO Rs. 250/- per day up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- for – Refusal to receive application Not furnishing information within time limit Malafidely denying information Knowingly giving incorrect, incomplete, misleading information Destroying information which was the subject of request Obstructing furnishing of information in any mannerImplications of RTI Act, 2005 on the Indian Society:Greater TransparencyWith a view to ensuring maximum disclosure of information regarding government rules, regulations anddecisions, every public authority is mandated to maintain all its records. This has increased the interactionbetween the public authorities and the society.
  10. 10. Citizen-Centric Approach to Development:Now Govt. has shifted to citizen centric approach of development. Now the Government is aware of thisfact that the citizens can ask for any type of information and now the approach is concerned with thedevelopment of the country.Democratization of information and knowledge:Information and knowledge regarding the activities of the government is easily available now. The Govt. iseasily assessable.Reduction in Corruption:Lack of transparency and accountability encourage the government officials to indulge in corruptpractices, which result in lower investments due to miss-use or diversion of funds for private purposes.But RTI Act has reduced corruption to a great deal because Govt. is aware of the fact that now it can beasked for any type of information so it needs to be cautious.Greater Accountability:It means that the Govt. is required or expected to justify actions or decisions which it is taking. If anyoneisn’t getting the benefits which come under the Govt. policies then he/she can make use of RTI Act.Success Stories:Adarsh Society ScamThe applications filed by RTI activists like Yogacharya Anandji and Simpreet Singh in 2008 wereinstrumental in bringing to light links between politicians and military officials, among others. The 31-storey building, which had permission for six floors only, was originally meant to house war widows andveterans. Instead, the flats went to several politicians, bureaucrats and their relatives. The scandal hasalready led to the resignation of Ashok Chavan, the former chief minister of Maharashtra. Other stateofficials are also under the scanner.Public Distribution Scam in AssamIn 2007, members of an anti-corruption non-governmental organization based in Assam, the KrishakMukti Sangram Samiti, filed an RTI request that revealed irregularities in the distribution of food meant forpeople below the poverty line. The allegations of corruption were probed and several government officialsarrested.Appropriation of Relief Funds:Information obtained through an RTI application by an NGO based in Punjab, in 2008 revealed thatbureaucrats heading local branches of the Indian Red Cross Society used money intended for victims ofthe Kargil war and natural disasters to buy cars, air-conditioners and pay for hotel bills – among otherthings. Local courts charged the officials found responsible with fraud and the funds were transferred tothe Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
  11. 11. IIM’s Admission Criteria:Vaishnavi Kasturi a visually-impaired student, in 2007 was denied a seat in the Indian Institute ofManagement in Bangalore, one of the country’s premier management institutes – despite her impressivescore at the entrance examination. Ms. Kasturi wanted to know why, and wondered whether it wasbecause of her physical disability. She filed an RTI application to request the institute to disclose theirselection process. Although she failed to gain admission to the institute, her RTI application meantthat IIM had to make its admission criteria public. It emerged that the entrance exam, the CommonAdmission Test, actually mattered little compared to Class 10 and 12 results.The largest democratic nation, India has survived all vicissitudes, turbulences ofall kinds over the last half century and more. In that context, the bringing intobeing of the RTI has been an important milestone. The Act that came into beinglast year assures every citizen the right to know what the citizen should, andthrows open the system of governance to total transparency and thereforeinescapable accountability.-- Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam (Inaugural Address on RTI, National Convention, October, 13, 2006)

×