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Short title, extent and commencement

  • Known as 'Right to Information Act, 2005'.
  • Extends to whole of India except J&K.
  • Has become enforceable with effect from 12th October, 2005
  • It is more powerful and stringent than Delhi RTI 2001

Coverage

  • Covers all public authorities, bodies or institutions constituted by Parliament, Legislative Assembly.
  • Includes Parliament, Supreme Court/High Court/Lower Courts, Bodies owned, controlled and substantially financed.
  • Including Non-government organizations substantially financed directly or indirectly.
  • Govt. empowered to notify or issue orders to include such other bodies.

Citizens made the Master

  • The act provides for giving almost all information to citizens barring a few exceptions.
  • It makes the citizen the Master.
  • They can now do social audit of any work through getting information and examining it critically and posing inconvenient questions.

Public Information Officers to give information

  • Public Information Officers to be appointed by Public Authorities for handling applications received under the Act (by 22.9.2005).
  • Assistant Public Information Officer to be appointed to receive applications on behalf of the Public Authority by( 22.9.2005.)
  • Assistant Public Information officers to be appointed in each Sub-Division/Sub-Districts by (22.9.2005).
  • First Appellate Authority to be within the department/organization by Public Authority

Right to Information

Right to Information includes:

  • Inspection of works, documents, records.
  • Taking notes, extracts, certified copies.
  • Taking certified samples of material.
  • Obtaining information in floppies, tapes etc.

Definition of Information

Information means any material in any form & includes: -

  • Records, documents, memos, e-mail, opinion, advice, orders, log book, contract, reports, papers, samples etc.

Filing of application

  • Forms prescribed.
  • Applicant can file application in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or local language.
  • PIO to assist disabled persons in writing down requests.
  • Reasons for seeking information not required.
  • Personal information about applicant not to be asked except for delivery of reply.

Fee

The following fee has been prescribed by GOI & U.P.Govt.:

  • Application Fee: Rs 10/-
  • Additional Page: Rs 2/ per page A-4 or A-3
  • Large size: Actual Charges
  • Sample or Model: Actual cost
  • Inspection of records: First hour no fee there after Rs 5/- per 15 minutes
  • Floppy/Diskette: Rs 50/-

NO fee for Below Poverty Line

Mode of payment

The fee can be paid in any of the following modes:

  • Cash
  • Demand Draft
  • Banker cheque

Disposal of request

  • In cases information is sought concerning life or liberty, it is to be given in 48 hours.
  • Reply in other cases to be given in 30 days.
  • 5 days to be added if the application is received through SAPIO.
  • In case of third party – 40 days.

Appeals

  • Appeals lie at two levels.
  • First appeal within department/ organization to senior officer to State Public Information Officer within 30 days.
  • Second appeal before Central Information Commission within 90 days.
  • Appeals to be decided within 30 days.

Third Party Information

  • Where information about third party is sought by the applicant, a notice will be given to third party to present his case within 5 days.
  • An opportunity of hearing will be given within 10 days.
  • Third party will have right to appeal.

Exemption from disclosure of information

  • As per section 8 the following type of information shall not be obligatory to be given.
  • Concerning security and integrity of India.
  • Forbidden to be published by the court of law.
  • Disclosure of which leads to breach of privilege of Parliament/Assembly.
  • Commercial confidence trade secrets and intellectual property.
  • Information received in fiduciary relationship.
  • Information received in confidence from foreign government.
  • Disclosure of which may endanger life and liberty.
  • Which impedes the process of a investigation.
  • Cabinet Papers including record or deliberation.
  • Personal information which has no relationship to any public activity.
  • Leads to infringement of copyright.

Penalty Provisions

  • Can impose penalty @ Rs. 250/- for each day of delay subject to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-.
  • Can issue directions for disciplinary action against PIO in cases of persistent default.
  • Opportunity of hearing to be given.

Need for prompt attention

  • All Officer and staff members need to be sensitized to pay proper attention to this act.
  • Necessary preparatory measures for implementation should be completed as per prescribed schedule in the Act.
  • Officials need to be vigilant in disposal of requests received under the Act.
  • All requests received under the Act need to be dealt within time frame prescribed.

Other Important Points

  • Assistant Public Information Officer can receive applications for any PIO.
  • First Appellate Authority should be senior to PIO.
  • PIO should be senior officers who should be able to control work and dig out information as they have to perform a quasi judicial information.
  • Clear demarcation of work should be done amongst the PIO and Appellate Authorities to avoid confusion.
  • Notify the substantially financed bodies to bring them under the purview of RTI.

Arrangement for receipt for application.

  • Arrangements for receipt of application & fee should be suitably be made to facilitate the work.
  • Information counters should be setup near reception counters.
  • The APIO/PIO/Appellate Authority should be easily accessible to public.
  • Board depicting room number etc of PIO/APIO should be available at the main entrance.

Role of Secretaries /HODs/CEOs

  • Appoint PIO/APIO
  • Appoint first appellate authority.
  • Identify bodies substantially financed to be brought under the purview of the act.
  • Give wide publicity about the provisions of the act.
  • Organize internal workshops for sensitization of officers and staff.
  • Ensure proper arrangements for receipt of application/fee etc.
  • Provide requisite number of counters for guidance.
  • Prepare suo motu information and disseminate to the maximum.
  • Monitor and control the working of all concerned officers.









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