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2 Right to Information Act, 2005 Provides a legal framework of citizens’ democratic right to access to information under the control of public authorities;

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Presentation on theme: "2 Right to Information Act, 2005 Provides a legal framework of citizens’ democratic right to access to information under the control of public authorities;"— Presentation transcript:

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2 2 Right to Information 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

3 3 COVERAGE Came into effect from 12 October, Covers central, state and local governments, all bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by government; Non-government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Govt.

4 4 COVERAGE (continued)  Covers the executive, judiciary and legislature  Includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.

5 5 INFORMATION Means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, s, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form.

6 6 RECORD Record includes – Any document, manuscript and file; Any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; Any reproduction of image or images; embodies in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not; and Any other material produced by a computer or any other device.

7 7 Change in Scenario Records ManagementRecords Management -In earlier times, it was Storage Driven. -In new environment, now it is Retrieval Driven  Flow of Information -Earlier flow of communication was inward (to Superiors only). -Now it is Outward (to all the Citizens)

8 8 Change in Scenario Regime -Earlier for information, there was a Restrictive Regime. -Now it is time for suo motu disclosures.  Arbitrariness -Earlier, there was greater scope for arbitrariness in decision making. -RTI Act, is intended to bring about more transparent and ethical decisions making.

9 9 So RTI will lead to:- Improve Records Management Computerization Put more information suo motu in the Public Domain Facilitating easy and relatively safe access for public Awareness about the utility of whistle blowers

10 10 Improve Decision Making process Critically examine the existing operating procedures including channels of supervision and accountability Develop standards of performance/norms Review operating Manuals Set up Documentation/Learning Resource Centers So RTI will lead to:-

11 11 PUBLIC AUTHORITY Designation of CPIOs/APIOs etc. Timely submission Annual Report on RTI Maintenance and Computerization of Records Suo Motu Disclosure Section 4(1)(b) of the Act, in particular, requires every public authority to publish sixteen categories of information (i.e. the particulars of its organization, functions and duties; the powers and duties of its officers and employees; the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, etc. etc.)

12 12 PUBLIC AUTHORITY (contd..) Dissemination of Information It may be done through notice boards, newspapers, public announcements, media broadcast, the internet or any other means. The public authority should take into consideration the cost effectiveness, local language and most effective method of communication in the local area while disseminating the information. Publication of Facts about Policies and Decisions. Providing Reasons for Decisions. Compliance with the Orders of the CIC

13 Information seeker 13  A Citizen has a right to seek information from a public authority which is held by the public authority  This right includes inspection of work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; taking certified samples of material

14 14 An applicant, along with his application, is required to pay a sum of Rs.I0/- as application fee in cash or by way of a demand draft or a banker's cheque or an Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority as prescribed by the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005 for supply of information (a) rupees two (Rs. 2/-) for each page (b) for inspection of records, no fee for the first hour; and a fee of rupees five (Rs.5/-) for each subsequent hour (or fraction thereof) etc. Information seeker (contd..)

15 If the applicant belongs to 'below poverty line (BPL category, he/she is not required to pay any fee. However, he/she should submit a proof in support of his/her claim to belong to the below poverty line. The application not accompanied by the prescribed fee of Rs.l 0/- or proof of the applicant's belonging to below poverty line, as the case may be, shall not be a valid application under the Act and, therefore, does not entitle the applicant to get information. 15 Information seeker (contd..)

16 Duties and Responsibilities of CPIOs Accept requests for Information Render reasonable assistance to citizens requesting for information –Reduce oral request into writing –Assist sensorily disabled persons Seek assistance of any other officer where necessary but information is to be provided by CPIO Disposal of Requests Communicate the right to appeal and the details of the Appellate Authority to whom the applicant can appeal. (Contd..)

17 17 The Act gives the right to information only to the citizens of India. Corporations, Associations, Companies etc. which are legal entities/persons, are not citizens. However, if an employee or office-bearer of any Corporation, Association, Company etc. indicating his name seeks information, it may be supplied to him/her. Only such information is required to be supplied under the Act which already exists and is held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. It is beyond the scope of the Act to create information; or to interpret information; or to solve the problems raised by the applicants; or to furnish replies to hypothetical questions. CPIO (Contd….)

18 18 CPIO Provide Information The PIO on receipt of a request shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9. Transfers the application / part of it to another public authority, if required. Transfer the application within five days of receipt of application Informs the applicant about such transfers. Makes necessary entries in the Register being maintained PIOs/APIOs shall accept request in writing/electronic means: In English, Hindi or official language of the area Accompanied by prescribed fees With contact details (Name/Address) With particulars of information specified No Fees for persons Below Poverty Line Reasons for seeking information not required (Contd..)

19 19 Third Party Information Where the PIO intends to disclose any information, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the PIO shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, and such submission shall be kept in view while taking a decision. CPIO (Contd..)

20 20 CPIO Deemed refusal If the PIO fails to give decision on the request for Information within the period specified, the PIO shall be deemed to have refused the request. Time limits Within 30 days from the date of receipt of request in general cases Within 48 hours of receipt of request in cases where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person Add five days, where an application is given to the APIO (Contd..)

21 Rejection of Requests where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the person making the request — (i)the reasons for such rejection; (ii)the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred; and (iii) the particulars of the appellate authority Action 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 there under CPIO (Contd..) Supplementary Roles of PIOs Proper Records Management Be alert about decisions of Information Commission Maintain register of requests for information and decisions taken on the same Speaking Orders

22 22 The time limits prescribed under the Act for disposal of requests for information are as follows: 30 days :On receipt of a request for information, the PIO has either to provide information on payment of such fees as prescribed or reject the request with reasons for the same. 48 hours:If the information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same has to be provided immediately, in any case, within 48 hours. 35 days: 5 more days to be added to the above time limits if the application is submitted to the Assistant Public Information Officer. TIME LIMITS

23 23 40 days: of request inviting such third party to make a submission). Where third party is involved (If the PIO intends to disclose any information which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by it, the PIO has to give a written notice to such third party within 5 days from the receipt 45 days: Information pertaining to allegations of human right violations from scheduled security and intelligence agencies. Under Section 6 (3) of the Act, if a request application is made to a public authority on a subject that pertains to another public authority, the same shall be transferred to that other authority within 5 days from the date of receipt of the application. The other public authority will be subject to time limit for disposal from the date of receipt of the application. TIME LIMITS (CONTD..)

24 If a public authority fails to comply with the specified time limit, the information would have to be provided free of charge. The information sought by an applicant should either be supplied to him or his application should be rejected within the time prescribed by the Act. If additional fee need be charged from the applicant, communication in this regard should be sent to him within the time limit prescribed for sending information. 24 TIME LIMITS (Contd…)

25 FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY If the applicant does not receive information or decision about rejection of request or communication about payment of additional fee within the specified time, he can make an appeal to the First Appellate Authority. Appeal can also be made if the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the CPIO regarding supply of information or the quantum of fee decided by the CPIO. 25

26  The first appeal may be made within 30 days from the date of expiry of the prescribed period or from the receipt of communication from the CPIO. If the First Appellate Authority is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal, the appeal may be admitted after 30 days also.  Deciding appeals under the RTI Act is a quasi-judicial function. It is, therefore, necessary that the appellate authority should see to it that the justice is not only done but it should also appear to have been done. In order to do so, the order passed by the appellate authority should be a speaking order giving justification for the decision arrived at. 26 FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY (Contd…)

27 Time Limit for Disposal of Appeal The appeal should be disposed of within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. In exception cases, the Appellate Authority may take 45 days for its disposal. However, in cases where disposal of appeal takes more than 30 days, the Appellate Authority should record in writing the reasons for such delay. If an appellate authority decides that the appellant should be supplied information by the CPIO, he may either (i) pass an order directing the CPIO to give such information to the appellant; or (ii) he himself may give information to the appellant while disposing of the appeal. 27 FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY (Contd…)

28 28 Central Information Commission - Functions Information Commission has a duty to receive complaints from any person-  who has not been able to submit an information request because a PIO has not been appointed.  who has been refused information that was requested.  who has received no response to his/her information request within the specified time limits

29 29 C.I.C.-Functions Contd….  who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable.  who thinks the information given is incomplete or false or misleading.  and any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law. CIC may initiate inquiry in the above situations if there are reasonable grounds for so doing.

30 30 C.I.C.- Powers CIC/SIC will have powers of Civil Court such as- a)summoning and enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things b) requiring the discovery and inspection of documents c) receiving evidence on affidavit d) requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office e) issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.

31 31 C.I.C.- Powers Contd… Power to secure compliance of its decisions from the Public Authority includes:  appointing a PIO where none exists.  publishing certain information or categories of information  making necessary changes to the records management, maintenance and destruction procedures of the Public Authority.  enhancing training provision for officials on RTI.

32 32 C.I.C. Powers contd….  Seeking an annual report from the Public Authority on compliance with this law.  Require it to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the requestor.  Impose penalties under this law.  Reject the appeal.

33 33 EXEMPTIONS Where disclosure prejudicially affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence. Release of which has been expressly forbidden by any court of tribunal or may be contempt of court. Where disclosure would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or Legislature.

34 34 EXEMPTIONS (continued) Commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual properly, where disclosure would harm competitive position, or become available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless larger public interest so warrants. Received in confidence from foreign government. Endangers life or physical safety or identifies confidential source of information or assistance.

35 35 EXEMPTIONS (continued) Impedes the process of investigation or apprehension. Cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers: * provided that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decision were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over.

36 36 EXEMPTIONS (continued) Cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers: * provided that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decision were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over.

37 37 EXEMPTIONS (continued) Personal information which would cause invasion of privacy unless larger public interest justifies it. Infringes copyright, except of the state. Where practicable, part of record can be released. Intelligence and security agencies exempt – except for corruption and human rights violation charges. Third party information to be released after giving notice to, and hearing, third party.

38 38 EXEMPTIONS (continued) All exempt information to be released after 20 years. EXCEPT UNDER CLAUSES a, c & i OF SUB-SECTION 8(1) Provided that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a state legislature shall not be denied to any person. Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interests in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

39 39 APPEALS First appeal with senior in the Department. Second appeal with Information Commission. Envisages an independent Information Commission at the central and state level to be an appellate authority and to oversee the functioning of the act. Has various powers under the act.

40 40 PENALTIES Penalties imposable by Information Commission on PIO or officer asked to assist PIO -for illegitimate refusal to accept application, malafide denial, knowingly providing false information, etc fine up to Rs. 25,000; -recommendation for departmental action for persistent or serious violations. Immunity for actions done in good faith.

41 41 CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION  CRITERIA, NORMS AND GUIDELINES FOR PROMOTION - Arun Kumar case decision dt  THRESHOLD MARKS FIXED BY THE BOARD FOR PROMOTION -Akhila Anand case decsion dt  MARKS AWARDED BY COMMITTEE MEMBERS -Vijender Singh case decision dt  DETAILS OF OFFICERS PROMOTED OR PLACED IN SENSITIVE POSITIONS CONCURRENTLY WITH AGREED LIST- S.R. Sawant case decision dt

42 42  RECOMMENDATION OF SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR APPOINTMENT (U.C. Lavania case decision dt )  FILE NOTING [Satyapal case decision dt ]  PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUGGESTION COMMITTEE AND INCENTIVES CAL- CULATIONS THEREUNDER[ K.B. Singh case dt ] CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (Contd.)

43 43 GROUNDS OF RE-EMPLOYMENTS AND GUIDELINES FOR RE-EMPLOYMENT - Vijay Goswami case decision dt INVESTIGATION REPORT AFTER ACTION IS COMPLETE IN EVERY RESPECT -P.S. Pattabiraman case decision dt PROCEEDINGS OF THE GRIEVANCE REDRESSED AND SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES COMMITTEE CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (Contd.)

44 44 COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY (FACT FINDING) ENQUIRY REPORT AFTER APPLYING SEVERABLITY REQUIRED TOUR PORGRAMME AND TRAVEL EXPENSES - Dinesh Berry case decision dt INFO RELATING TO DONATIONS ETC. -Kishur J. Agarwal case decision dt DETAILS OF EXPENDITURE ON TRANSPORT Kishur J. Agarwal case decision dt SALARY DRAWN BY EMPLOYEES Kishur J. Agarwal case decision dt INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ORDERS -Farida Hoosenally case decision dt CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (Contd.)

45 45  CABINET NOTE FOR ACC AFTER THE MATTER IS COMPLETE - Anil Kumar case decision dt  CBI REPORTS/CVC REPORTS ON COMPLETION / FILING OF CHARGE SHEET -S. Malik case decision dt  DETAILS OF POSTINGS / COMPLAINTS RECEIVED/VIGILANCE ENQUIRY SET UP/ DEs AND FINDINGS THEREOF/ STRICTU- RES BY COURTS IN RESPECT OF SPECIFIC OFFICERS - Raj Kumar case decision dt CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (Contd.)

46 46  EMPANELMENT/PICKING UP FOR APPOINTMENTS - R.K. Potdar case decision dt  DETAILS OF CARS USED AND OTHER FACILITIES – H.J. Mahatre case decision dt  ALLOTMENTS/ LICENCES  MERIT LISTS  STATUS OF CLAIMS CASE LAW DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (Contd.)

47 47 CASE LAW NOT DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (EXEMPTED)  PERSONAL DETAILS, INCOME, PAN, SOURCES OF FUNDS, PARTNERSHIP DETAILS -Dhiraj Manilal Thakkar case decision dt  MARKS AWARDED BY INDIVIDUAL PANEL EXPERTS UNDER DIFFERENT PARAMETERS - Manish Dnyaneshwar Thool case decision dt

48 48  PROPERLY RETURN AND DETAILS OF PROPERTY  ASSESSMENT REPORTS {Court has given a decision for ACR but notification not issued by DOPT}  LEAVE ACCOUNT  MEDICAL REPORT - Bhagwan Chand Saxena case decision dt CASE LAW NOT DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (EXEMPTED)

49 49  AGREED LIST  DETAILS OF THE BANK ACCOUNTS  ANSWER SHEETS - Treesa Irish case decision dt  INFORMATION RELATING TO PENSIONERS - R.K. Jain case decision dt  CONFIDENTAIL REPORTS - Ranju Prasad case decision dt  DPC PROCEEDINGS - Ranju Prasad case decision dt CASE LAW NOT DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (EXEMPTED)

50 50 CASE LAW NOT DISCLOSABLE INFORMATION (EXEMPTED) (Contd.) Frivolous queries that are prefixed with wholly unsubstantiated adjective such as “fake”. Queries asking for an explanation from the Authority

51 51 MISCELLANEOUS (Information need not to furnish)  QUESTIONS/QUERRIES ABOUT THE NATURE AND QUALITY OF ACTIONS – WHY, WHAT, WHEN AND WHETHER  CONTESTING ACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT  FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION  PRESCRIBING REMEDY FOR THE GRIEVANCE

52 52 INFORMATION FOR PERSONAL INTEREST-BARRED CIC in its decision dated in case of Dr. K.C.Vijaykumaran Nair has clarified the position that under the R.T.I. the employees are not expected to question the decisions of the superior officers in the garb of seeking information. MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

53 53 IMPORTANT CIC’s OBSERVATION MISCELLANEOUS CIC in the case of Shri Sadachari Singh Tomar, Principal Scientist, IASRI dt has noted that wherever a public authority attempts to discipline an employee, such employee promptly files multiple RTI- applications aimed at extracting personal information of those charged with taking decision in such disciplinary matters. Since the replies under the RTI Act are to be made in a time-bound manner, quite frequently such enquiries create wholly unnecessary and avoidable pressures on offices of the public authority. There should be nothing surprising if such actions distract that authority from its ordained functions. The Commission will take strict note of the proclivities of employees of public authorities whole attempt to use RTI Act to settle personal scores (Contd.)

54 54  SECTION 6(3) NOT APPLICABLE FOR DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS IN THE SAME PUBLIC AUTHORITY  APPEAL BY CPIO AGAINST OWN APPELLATE AUTHORITY NOT TENABLE  INFORMATION TO BE SUPPLIED FREE OF CHARGE AFTER THE EXPIRY OF THE STIPULATED TIME  DEEMED CPIO LIABLE FOR CONSEQU - ENCES MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

55 55  INFORMATION DESTROYED AS PER RETENTION SCHEDULES IS NON- EXISTENT  REASONS FOR DECISIONS TO BE SPECIFICALLY RECORDED  FRESH ISSUES NOT ADMISSIBLE AT APPELLATE LEVEL  CPIO HAS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION NOT OPINION MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

56 56  COST OF WAGES OF MANPOWER NOT TO BE COMPUTED FOR REMITTANCE BY APPLICANT  ALL INFORMATIONS MORE THAN 20 YEARS DISCLOSABLE EXCEPT UNDER CLAUSES a, c & i OF SUB-SECTION 8(1)  PROVISIONS OF THIRD PARTY AND EXEMPTIONS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION MAY BE WAIVED ON ACCOUNT OF PUBLIC INTEREST MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

57 57  CPIOs TO SIGN REPLY - M.L. Meena case decision dt  APPELLATE AUTHROITY DECISIONS TO BEAR HIS SIGNATURES M.L. Meena case decision dt  UNTRACEABILITY OF INFORMATION IS ACCEPTABLE WHERE DILIGENT SEARCH TO TRACE IS EVIDENT  INFORMATION TO BE COLLECTED FROM MANY SOURCES/ KEEP THE APPLICANT INFORMED AND BUILT AIR OF CONFIDENCE ABOUT DELAY MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

58 58  PERIOD OF DEFAULT FOR PENALTY NOT DETERMINED MECHANICALLY  INFORMATIONS SOUGHT SHOULD BE RELATED TO FUNCTIONING OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY - Gaurav Kisan case decision dt  RESPONSES TO REQUEST SHOULD BE FORMULATED ON EACH SPECIFIC QUERRY  CASE BEING SUB-JUDICE IS NOT SPECIFIED GROUND FOR EXEMPTION - Keshav Kumar Bhardwaj case decision dt MISCELLANEOUS (Contd.)

59 59 Partial disclosure of information Section 10 of the RTI Act provides where a request for access to information is rejected on the ground that it is in relation to information which is exempt from disclosure, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, Access may be provided to that part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure under this Act and which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information.

60 60 Jurisdiction of Courts As per Section 23 of the RTI Act, 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 by way of an appeal under this Act. However, as per the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have the writ jurisdiction to look into the matters relating to the fundamental rights of the citizens.

61 61 IMPORTANT WEBSITE Given below are the address of some important web-sites which contain substantial information relevant to the right to information: (i)Portal of the Government of India(http://indiaimage.nic.in)http://indiaimage.nic.in (ii)Portal on the Right to information (www.rti.gov.in)www.rti.gov.in (iii)Website of the Central Information Commission(http://cic.gov.in)http://cic.gov.in (iv)RTI circulars of Dop&T (http://www.righttoinformation.gov.in/Circulars/CircularReportForRTI.asp)


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