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  1. 1. Right to Information Act, 2005 (No. 22 of 2005) Salient Features 1
  2. 2. Basic Facts about Right to Information• Title of the Act: The Right to Information Act 2005, No. 22 of 2005• Passed by Lok Sabha: 11th May 2005• Assent by the President: 15th June, 2005• Published: The Gazette of India, No. 251, Tuesday, June 21, 2005 2
  3. 3. Basic Facts about Right to Information: Sections Contd…Section Subject 1 Short Title, Extent and Commencement 2 Definitions 3 Right to Information 4 Obligations of Public Authority 5 Designation of Public Information Officers 6 Request for Obtaining Information 7 Disposal of Request 8 Exemption from Disclosure of Information 9 Grounds for Rejection 10 Severability 11 Third Party Information 12 Constitution of Central Information Commission 13 Term of Office and Conditions of Service 14 Removal of Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner 3
  4. 4. Basic Facts about Right to Information Contd…Section Subject 15 Constitution of State Information Commission 16 Term of Office and Conditions of Service 17 Removal of State Chief Information Commissioner or State Information Commissioner 18 Powers and Functions of Information Commissioners 19 Appeals 20 Penalties 21 Protection of Action in Good Faith 22 Act to have Overriding Effect 23 Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts 24 Act not to Apply to Certain Organisations 25 Monitoring and Reporting 26 Appropriate Government to Prepare Programmes 27 Power to Make Rules by Appropriate Government 28 Power to Make Rules by Competent Authority 29 Laying of Rules 30 Power to Remove Difficulties 31 Repeal 4
  5. 5. Objectives of RTI ActOverall Goal: To Promote Transparency and Accountability in the Working of every Public AuthorityKey Objective: Provide for setting up the practical regime of right to information for citizens’ to secure access to information under the control of public authorities. 5
  6. 6. Public Authority Definition under RTI Act - Section 2(h)• Any Authority or Body or Institution of Self- Government established or constituted- (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government,• Includes any— (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; 6
  7. 7. ‘Information’ Defined under RTI Act 2005 - Section 2(f) “ Information" means any material in any form including- o Records o Reports o Documents o Papers o Memos o Samples o e-Mails o Models o Opinions o Data material held in any o Advices electronic form o Press Releases o Information relating to o Circulars any private body (which can o Orders be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time o Logbooks being in force) o Contracts 7
  8. 8. ‘Record’ Defined under RTI Act 2005 - Section 2(i)“Record" includes-c. any document, manuscript and file;d. any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;e. any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); andf. any other material produced by a computer or any other device; 8
  9. 9. Right to Information: Key Dimensions RTI Act 2005 - Sections 2 (j) and 3“Right to Information” includes the right to-iii. inspection of work, documents, records;iv. taking notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records;v. taking certified samples of material;vi. obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts….Section 3: Subject to the RTI Act, 2005, all Citizens shall have the Right to Information 9
  10. 10. Obligations of Public Authorities RTI Act 2005 - Section 4• Every Public Authority Shall -• Maintain all Records duly Catalogued and Indexed- Sec 4(1) • In a manner and form which facilitates Right to Information • Ensure all Appropriate Records are Computerised and Networked within reasonable time so as to provide Country-wide access 10
  11. 11. Obligations of Public Authorities RTI Act 2005 - Section 4• Publish within 120 days of the Enactment of the Act, the Organisational Details - Sec 4(1) ii. Particulars of Organisation, Functions and Duties; iv. Powers and Duties of Officers and Employees; vi. Procedures in Decision-making Process - Channels of Supervision and Accountability; viii. Norms for Discharge of Functions; x. Information regarding the rules, regulations, instructions used for the discharge of its functions; xii. Statement of Categories of Documents held; 11
  12. 12. Obligations of Public Authorities RTI Act 2005 - Section 4 Contd…• Publish within 120 days of the Enactment of the Act, the Organisational Details - Sec 4(1)…. i. Information on Policy Formulation/ Implementation; iii. Advice by Boards, Councils, Committees etc.; v. Directory of Officers/Employees; vii. Monthly Remuneration of Officers/Employees - System of compensation as provided in its regulations; ix. Budget Allocated to each of its agencies - particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; 12
  13. 13. Obligations of Public Authorities RTI Act 2005 - Section 4 Contd…• Publish within 120 days of the Enactment of the Act, the Organisational Details - Sec 4(1)…… i. Details of Implementation of Subsidy Programmes - amounts allocated, details and beneficiaries of such programmes; iii. Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; v. Details of information available to, or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; vii. Particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; ix. Names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers. 13
  14. 14. Obligations of Public Authorities RTI Act 2005 - Section 4 Contd…• Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing decisions which affect public - Sec 4(1);• Provide reasons for its administrative or quasi- judicial decisions to affected persons - Sec 4(1). 14
  15. 15. Sprit of RTI RTI Act 2005 - Section 4• Provide as much information suo moto to the public at regular intervals through various means of communication so that Public have Minimum Resort to the Use of RTI Act to obtain Information – Sec 4(2)• For the purposes of Section 4(1), every information shall be disseminated widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public - Sec 4(3)• Materials to be disseminated with following consideration: • Cost Effective Manner • Local Language • Most effective Method of Communication • Available ‘Free’ or ‘For a Cost’ - Sec 4(4) 15
  16. 16. Designation of Public Information Officers - RTI Act 2005 - Section 5• Every Public Authority Shall Within 100 days of the enactment of the Act, designate as many Officers as Central or State Public Information Officers, as the case may be, in all administrative units or offices under its control to provide information requested under the RTI Act – Section 5(1)• Every Public Authority Shall Within 100 days of the enactment of the Act, designate an Officer at each Sub- Division Level or Sub-district Level as Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case maybe, to receive applications for information or appeals under the RTI Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer specified in Sec 5(1) - Section 5(2) 16
  17. 17. Designation of Public Information Officers - RTI Act 2005 - Section 5 Contd…• Every Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and render reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such information - Section 5(3)• The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties - Section 5(4)• Any officer, whose assistance has been sought under Section 5(4), shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be - Section 5(5) 17
  18. 18. Procedure to Request Information RTI Act 2005 - Sections 6 and 7 Applicant to make request in writing or electronically in English, Hindi, or Local Official Language with Prescribed Fee to appropriate authority- • Central or State Public Information Officer • Central or State Assistant Public Information Officer Filing an Application: • At the Public Information Office in public agencies • Reasons, personal details need not be stated - Sec 6 (1) • Nominal application fee, exempt for BPL applicants - Sec. 7 (5) Disposal Time Limits : • 30 days from date of application (40 days if 3rd party is involved) • Within 48 hours in case of info related to life and liberty • Additional fees (if any) to be paid during receipt of information. 18
  19. 19. Exemption from Disclosure RTI Act 2005 Section 8(1)1. Information that would prejudicially affect the sovereignty, integrity, security, scientific or economic interest and relation with a foreign state3. Information received in confidence from a foreign government5. Information which would lead to commission of an offence7. If information disclosure endangers life and physical safety of any person9. If it is likely to impede investigation and prosecution processes11. If it is about a source of information or assistance given in confidence of law enforcement or security purposes 19
  20. 20. Exemption from Disclosure RTI Act 2005 Section 8(1) Contd…1. Cabinet Papers including deliberations of Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers3. Information whose release is forbidden by a court or tribunal or disclosure which might constitute contempt of court5. Personal or private information . subject to larger public interest . to be decided by the Public Information Officer.7. Commercial and trade secrets, intellectual property etc. that would harm competitive position of third party . subject to public interest . to be decided by Competent Authority.9. Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship . subject to public interest . to be decided by the Competent Authority. 20
  21. 21. Grounds for Rejection to Access inCertain Cases - RTI Act 2005 -Section 9 Without prejudice to the provisions of Section 8, a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may reject a request for information where such a request for providing access would involve an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State – Section 9 21
  22. 22. Third Party Information RTI Act 2005 - Section 11• Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, on a request made under this Act, which relates to/supplied by a Third Party and has been treated as confidential by that Third Party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such Third Party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, and invite the Third Party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the Third Party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information - Sec 11 (1) Except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party. 22
  23. 23. Third Party Information RTI Act 2005 - Section 11 Contd…• Where a notice is served by the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under sub- section (1) to a third party in respect of any information or record or part thereof, the third party shall, within ten days from the date of receipt of such notice, be given the opportunity to make representation against the proposed disclosure. Sec 11 (2)• Notwithstanding anything contained in the Section 7, the Central or the State Public Information Officer, shall, within forty days after receipt of the request make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the information or record or part thereof and give in writing the notice of his decision to the Third Party- Sec 11 (3)• A notice given under sub-section (3) shall include a statement that the third party to whom the notice is given is entitled to prefer an appeal under section 19 against the decision -Sec 11 (4) 23
  24. 24. Constitution of Central Information Commission RTI Act 2005 - Section 12The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,constitute a body to be known as the Central Information Commission –Section 12 (1)The Central Information Commission would consist of:• The Chief Information Commissioner and• The Central Information Commissioners- Section 12 (2)The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissionersshall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of aCommittee consisting of-• the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the Committee;• the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha; and• a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister -Section 12 (3)The Chief Information Commissioner Sec 13 (1) and CentralInformation Commissioners Sec 13 (2) will hold the office for 5years. 24
  25. 25. Constitution of State Information Commission RTI Act 2005 - Section 15Every State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,constitute a State Information Commission- Section 15 (1)The State Information Commission would consist of• The State Chief Information Commissioner and• The State Information Commissioners- Section 15 (2)The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State InformationCommissioners shall be appointed by the Governor on therecommendation of a Committee consisting of-(i) the Chief Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the Committee;(ii) the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly; and(iii) a Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Chief Minister. - Section 15 (3)The State Chief Information Commissioner Sec 16 (1) and StateInformation Commissioner Sec 16 (2) will hold the office for 5years. 25
  26. 26. Powers and functions of the Information Commissions RTI Act 2005 - Section 181. Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person- Sec 18 (1)• Where the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof- Sec 18 (2)• The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908- Sec 18 (3) 26
  27. 27. Provision for Appeal RTI Act 2005 - Section 19Appeal Provision(in cases of non-delivery, delay, etc.)• First appeal within 30 days – with public agencies - Sec.19 (1)• Second appeal within 90 days – with the State Information Commissions - Sec. 19 (3)• Appeals to be cleared within 30 or 45 days - Sec. 19 (6) 27
  28. 28. Provision for Penalties RTI Act 2005 - Section 20In case of denial of requested information or in case ofgiving incorrect information knowingly, a penalty of Rs.250 each day till the information is furnished will beimposed on the Central Public Information Officer /State Public Information Officer – Sec 20 (1)The Central Public Information Officer or the State PublicInformation Officer, shall be given a reasonableopportunity of being heard before any penalty isimposed on him - Sec 20 (1) 28
  29. 29. Miscellaneous RTI Act 2005 - Sections 21-24• Protection of Action taken in Good Faith- No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made thereunder – Section 21• Act to have Overriding Effect - The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act – Section 22 29
  30. 30. Miscellaneous RTI Act 2005 - Sections 21-24 Contd…• Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than way of an appeal under this Act – Section 23• Act not to apply to Certain Organisations Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second Schedule, being organisations established by the Central Government or any information furnished by such organisations to that Government – Section 24 (1) 30
  31. 31. Monitoring and Reporting RTI Act 2005 - Section 25The Central Information Commission or StateInformation Commission, shall, at the end of eachyear, prepare a report on the implementation of theprovisions of this Act during that year and forwarda copy thereof to the appropriate Government –Sec 25 (1) 31
  32. 32. Capacity Building and Training RTI Act 2005 - Section 26The Government depending on the Availability of resources:c) Develop and organise educational programmes to advance the understanding of the public;e) Encourage public authorities to participate in development programmes;g) Promote timely and effective dissemination of accurate information by public authorities about their activities; andi) Train Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers, and produce relevant training materials for use by the public authorities. - Sec 26 (1) 32
  33. 33. Preparation of Programmes RTI Act 2005 - Section 26• The appropriate Government shall, within eighteen months from the commencement of this Act, compile in its official language a guide containing such information, in an easily comprehensible form and manner, as may reasonably be required by a person who wishes to exercise any right specified in this Act- Sec 26 (2)• The appropriate Government must, if necessary, update and publish the guidelines at regular intervals – Sec 26 (4) 33
  34. 34. Power to Make Rules by Government RTI Act 2005 - Sec 27• The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act - Sec 27 (1)• In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—(d) the cost of the medium or print cost price of the materials to be disseminated under sub-section (4) of section 4;(e) the fee payable under sub-section (1) of section 6;(f) the fee payable under sub-sections (1) and (5) of section 7;(g) the salaries and allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees under sub-section (6) of section 13 and sub-section (6) of section 16;(h) the procedure to be adopted by the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, in deciding the appeals under sub-section (10) of section 19; and(i) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed. - Sec 27 (2) 34
  35. 35. Power to Make Rules by Competent Authority RTI Act 2005 - Sec 28• The competent authority may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act – Section 28 (1)• In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely- i. the cost of the medium or print cost price of the materials to be disseminated under sub-section (4) of section 4; ii. the fee payable under sub-section of section 6; iii. the fee payable under sub-section (1) of section 7; and iv. any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed - Section 28 (2) 35
  36. 36. Laying of Rules RTI Act 2005 - Sec 29• Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions – Section 29 (1)• Every rule made under this Act by a State Government shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is notified, before the State Legislature- Section 29 (1) 36
  37. 37. Power to Remove Difficulties RTI Act 2005 - Sec 30• If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removal of the difficulty – Section 30(1)• Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament - Section 30(2) 37

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