Right To Information : An Over View

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Information about Right To Information : An Over View

Published on December 18, 2007

Author: rajankila

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A Presentation on Right to Information Act 2005 by K Rajsekharan Kerala Institute of Local Administration ( KILA), Mulagunnathukavu.

Right To Information An Overview by K Rajasekharan Kerala Institute of Local Administration

Purpose of the Act Ensure citizens right to information Under the control public authorities to promote transparency/accountability to the governed to contain corruption to have informed citizenry & democracy while harmonizing the conflict between the RTI & efficient operation of the govt/optimum use of financial resources

Ensure citizens right to information

Under the control public authorities

to promote transparency/accountability to the governed

to contain corruption

to have informed citizenry & democracy

while harmonizing the conflict between the RTI & efficient operation of the govt/optimum use of financial resources

Supreme court on RTI in 1975 K K Mathew J. (SC) declared that the citizens right to know flow's directly from the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in article 19(1) (a) ( State of UP Vs Raja Narain )‏

K K Mathew J. (SC) declared that

the citizens right to know flow's directly from the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in article 19(1) (a)

( State of UP Vs Raja Narain )‏

The links RTI has with other fundamental rights RTI is directly linked to the Right to Life which includes the right to food, health, education, liberty, etc. and the denial of information is a denial of these rights

RTI is directly linked to the

Right to Life which includes the

right to food, health, education, liberty, etc. and

the denial of information is a denial of these rights

Problems in flow of information Laws like the Official Secrets Act / Code of Conduct of Civil Servants Culture of secrecy that prevailed in Government Lack of accountability in public offices Badly kept records People do not know where to go for information Illiteracy of people

Laws like the Official Secrets Act / Code of Conduct of Civil Servants

Culture of secrecy that prevailed in Government

Lack of accountability in public offices

Badly kept records

People do not know where to go for information

Illiteracy of people

The States enacted Acts earlier Tamilnadu (1997)‏ Goa (1997)‏ Rajasthan (2000)‏ Karnataka (2000)-law come into effect in 2002 Delhi (2001)‏ Maharashtra (2002)‏ Assam (2002)‏ Madhya Pradesh (2003)‏ J & K (2004)‏ Chattisgarh no law but issued executive orders Orissa (draft bill). Executive order with respect to Panchayat matters on freedom of information

Tamilnadu (1997)‏

Goa (1997)‏

Rajasthan (2000)‏

Karnataka (2000)-law come into effect in 2002

Delhi (2001)‏

Maharashtra (2002)‏

Assam (2002)‏

Madhya Pradesh (2003)‏

J & K (2004)‏

Chattisgarh no law but issued executive orders

Orissa (draft bill). Executive order with respect to Panchayat matters on freedom of information

Time line on Right to Information in India 1975 Supreme Court declared the citizens right to know flows from the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression in Art 19(1)(a) of the constitution 1990 - Prime Minister V.P Singh stressed the importance of Right to Information as a legislated right. 1994 – MKSS started a grassroots campaign for right to information which resulted in the enactment of a law in 2000 1996 - Press Council of India under guidance of its Chairman Justice P.B Sawant drafted a law “Freedom of Information Act, 1997.”

1975 Supreme Court declared the citizens right to know flows from the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression in Art 19(1)(a) of the constitution

1990 - Prime Minister V.P Singh stressed the importance of Right to Information as a legislated right.

1994 – MKSS started a grassroots campaign for right to information which resulted in the enactment of a law in 2000

1996 - Press Council of India under guidance of its Chairman Justice P.B Sawant drafted a law “Freedom of Information Act, 1997.”

1997 – The Working group appointed by the United Front Government under the Chairmanship of Mr H.D Shourie drafted a law called the Freedom of Information Bill, 1997. 1997- Tamilnadu became the first state in India to pass a law 1997 - The MP Govt issues executive orders to 36 departments to implement Right to Information later issued in more than 50 departments 1997- Goa legislature enacted a law on RTI 1998 – The Government of Madhya Pradesh passed a Bill on Right to Information. But the Governor denied assent.

1997 – The Working group appointed by the United Front Government under the Chairmanship of Mr H.D Shourie drafted a law called the Freedom of Information Bill, 1997.

1997- Tamilnadu became the first state in India to pass a law

1997 - The MP Govt issues executive orders to 36 departments to implement Right to Information later issued in more than 50 departments

1997- Goa legislature enacted a law on RTI

1998 – The Government of Madhya Pradesh passed a Bill on Right to Information. But the Governor denied assent.

1998 – The P M Shri Vajpayee announces that a Law on right to information shall be enacted soon. 2000 - Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra pass legislations and UP issued Code of Access to some depts. 2000 - Freedom of Information Bill, 2000, tabled in Parliament and referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs 2002- Maharashtra Govt. passed an RTI Ordinance overriding the Maharashtra RTI Act 2000. 2003- Parliament passed FOI Act and notified in 2003 2003- On Jan 31 st MP Govt. passes MP RTI Act. 2003- In Aug. Maharashtra converted its Ordinance into new RTI Act.

1998 – The P M Shri Vajpayee announces that a Law on right to information shall be enacted soon.

2000 - Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra pass legislations and UP issued Code of Access to some depts.

2000 - Freedom of Information Bill, 2000, tabled in Parliament and referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs

2002- Maharashtra Govt. passed an RTI Ordinance overriding the Maharashtra RTI Act 2000.

2003- Parliament passed FOI Act and notified in 2003

2003- On Jan 31 st MP Govt. passes MP RTI Act.

2003- In Aug. Maharashtra converted its Ordinance into new RTI Act.

Which is a Public Authority? Any authority, body or institution by or under the Constitution By any law of Parliament/Legislature By notification of Government Body owned, controlled or substantially financed NGO substantially financed directly or indirectly

Any authority, body or institution by or under the Constitution

By any law of Parliament/Legislature

By notification of Government

Body owned, controlled or substantially financed

NGO substantially financed directly or indirectly

What kinds of information need to be provided? [S.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 and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force

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 and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force

Record includes [S. 2(i)] any document, manuscript and file any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not)‏ any other material produced by a computer or any other device

any document, manuscript and file

any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document

any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not)‏

any other material produced by a computer or any other device

What does the “right to information” mean ? [S. 2(j)] inspection of work, documents, records taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records certified samples of material Obtain information in 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 Held by /under the control of Public Authorities Dissemination includes inspection of office

inspection of work, documents, records

taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records

certified samples of material

Obtain information in 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

Held by /under the control of Public Authorities

Dissemination includes inspection of office

Obligations of Public Authorities [S.4] Catalogue, index, and computerize the records to a country wide network, to facilitate access to information [S. 4(1)] within a reasonable time Publish Particulars of organization, powers and functions of officers and employees, rules regulations, instructions, manuals suo moto Publish all facts, policies and decisions which affect the public Provide reason for its decisions to affected persons

Catalogue, index, and computerize the records to a country wide network, to facilitate access to information [S. 4(1)] within a reasonable time

Publish Particulars of organization, powers and functions of officers and employees, rules regulations, instructions, manuals suo moto

Publish all facts, policies and decisions which affect the public

Provide reason for its decisions to affected persons

Suo-moto dissemination of information function/duties of organization/officers decision making procedures Norms, rules, manuals governing the organization Statement of records under its custody procedure for public involvement in policy making Statement of its committees Directory and remuneration of officers budget, subsidiary program, recipient of concessions Details of electronic information the manner of obtaining information & about PIO/APIO

function/duties of organization/officers

decision making procedures

Norms, rules, manuals governing the organization

Statement of records under its custody

procedure for public involvement in policy making

Statement of its committees

Directory and remuneration of officers

budget, subsidiary program, recipient of concessions

Details of electronic information

the manner of obtaining information & about PIO/APIO

Citizens Charter Citizens Charter enlisting all services, the conditions a citizen should follow to get those services and the time limit for providing the service can be issued every year

Citizens Charter

enlisting all services,

the conditions a citizen should follow to get those services and

the time limit for providing the service can be issued every year

Who should provide information? [S. 5(2)] State Public Information Officer assisted by State Assistant Public Information Officer Other officers

State Public Information Officer

assisted by

State Assistant Public Information Officer

Other officers

What a Public information officer shall do? accept/reject the application if application is oral reduce it to writing provide information within 30 days (life &liberty 48 hours) on acceptance Failure to provide information is deemed to denial of information. No fee for delayed response If rejected, the onus of proving the rejection lies with PIO No action equals rejection seek third party information transfer application to other Pub Authority within 5 days & inform the applicant

accept/reject the application

if application is oral reduce it to writing

provide information within 30 days (life &liberty 48 hours) on acceptance

Failure to provide information is deemed to denial of information. No fee for delayed response

If rejected, the onus of proving the rejection lies with PIO No action equals rejection

seek third party information

transfer application to other Pub Authority within 5 days & inform the applicant

Rejection order should state [S. 7(8)] The reasons for such a rejection The period within which an appeal against the rejection is preferred The particulars of the appellate authority

The reasons for such a rejection

The period within which an appeal against the rejection is preferred

The particulars of the appellate authority

When to transfer the application ? If Information is with other public authorities [S. 6(3)] Transfer the application to it & inform the applicant

If Information is with other public authorities [S. 6(3)]

Transfer the application to it & inform the applicant

Third Party Information Third party is a person/public authority other than the applicant for information Any other private entity with its permission Third party have a right to get notice and to be heard in RTI application /appeals Notice to third party to include the appeal possibilities

Third party is a person/public authority other than the applicant for information

Any other private entity with its permission

Third party have a right to get notice and to be heard in RTI application /appeals

Notice to third party to include the appeal possibilities

Exemptions [S. 8] affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, scientific or economic interests of the State,relation with foreign State/ lead to incitement of an offence forbidden by any court of law or tribunal breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature information related to agencies such as I B,Crime Branch etc listed in the Second Schedule of the Act

affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, scientific or economic interests of the State,relation with foreign State/ lead to incitement of an offence

forbidden by any court of law or tribunal

breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature

information related to agencies such as I B,Crime Branch etc listed in the Second Schedule of the Act

Commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property that harms competitive position of third party Information from a foreign government Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries or prosecution of offenders That impedes investigation / apprehension / prosecution of offenders Information relating to personal matters, the disclosure of which has no bearing on any public activity or interest Corruption & human right violation not exempted

Commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property that harms competitive position of third party

Information from a foreign government

Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries or prosecution of offenders

That impedes investigation / apprehension / prosecution of offenders

Information relating to personal matters, the disclosure of which has no bearing on any public activity or interest

Corruption & human right violation not exempted

Can partial information be given? [S. 10] Partial information can be given along with The reasons for the decision The name and designation of the officer giving the decision Details of the fees calculated Right of the petitioner w.r.t. review of the decision

Partial information can be given along with

The reasons for the decision

The name and designation of the officer giving the decision

Details of the fees calculated

Right of the petitioner w.r.t. review of the decision

Appeals First appeal to be submitted within 30 days ( 19(1) )‏ to be disposed of within 30 days but not to exceed 45 days, for reasons to be recorded Second appeal to SIC within 90 days 19(3)) No time limit fixed for its dispensing right now the onus to prove denial of information is on the public information officer

First appeal to be submitted within 30 days ( 19(1) )‏

to be disposed of within 30 days but not to exceed 45 days, for reasons to be recorded

Second appeal to SIC within 90 days 19(3)) No time limit fixed for its dispensing right now

the onus to prove denial of information is on the public information officer

When to provide information ? 48 hours [S. 7(1)] if application is concerned with the life & liberty of persons 30 days normally [S. 7(1)] 35 days [S. 5(2)] for application submitted through SAPIO 40 days, if Third Party information [S. 11(3)] Failure to provide information in time is a deemed refusal Corruption & human right violation in exempted organizations within 45 days

48 hours [S. 7(1)] if application is concerned with the life & liberty of persons

30 days normally [S. 7(1)]

35 days [S. 5(2)] for application submitted through SAPIO

40 days, if Third Party information [S. 11(3)]

Failure to provide information in time is a deemed refusal

Corruption & human right violation in exempted organizations within 45 days

Types of Fees Application fee Fee for providing information Such further fee – cost of the document / sample etc No fee for Below Poverty Line [S. 7(5)] No fee when response is delayed [S. 7(6)] Applicant can appeal on the decision regarding fees

Application fee

Fee for providing information

Such further fee – cost of the document / sample etc

No fee for Below Poverty Line [S. 7(5)]

No fee when response is delayed [S. 7(6)]

Applicant can appeal on the decision regarding fees

Rate of Fees Rs 2/- for A4 size For inspection, no fee for first hour Rs 10/- for every thirty minutes further For providing in floppy Rs 50/- For others –Actual charges

Rs 2/- for A4 size

For inspection, no fee for first hour

Rs 10/- for every thirty minutes further

For providing in floppy Rs 50/-

For others –Actual charges

Mode of Fees Court fee stamp Remittance in Treasury Cash remittance By DD/bankers cheque/pay order in favour of SPIO / SAPIO

Court fee stamp

Remittance in Treasury

Cash remittance

By DD/bankers cheque/pay order in favour of SPIO / SAPIO

Information Officer - Hierarchy State Information Commission Officer senior in rank to the State Public Information Officer State Assistant Public Information Officer State Public Information Officer

State Information Commission State Chief Information Commissioner in each State - in the rank of a Central Election Commissioner State Information Commissioner – Chief Secretary rank Five year term/ attainment of 65 years of age

State Chief Information Commissioner in each State - in the rank of a Central Election Commissioner

State Information Commissioner – Chief Secretary rank

Five year term/ attainment of 65 years of age

The SIC can penalise for refuse to receive application / access information late furnishing of information denying information with malafide intention give incorrect information knowingly destroying /obstructing furnishing information SPIO will get reasonable opportunity for explanation before penalised by SIC Disciplinary action to be recommended by SIC Bonafide action not to bring in punishment

refuse to receive application / access information

late furnishing of information

denying information with malafide intention

give incorrect information knowingly

destroying /obstructing furnishing information

SPIO will get reasonable opportunity for explanation before penalised by SIC

Disciplinary action to be recommended by SIC

Bonafide action not to bring in punishment

Penalty is SIC can impose penalty of Rs. 250 per day, but not to exceed Rs. 25,000- Any officer denying or delaying information can get this penalty SIC can recommend for disciplinary action in case of malafide denial of information Burden of proof lies with the SPIO

SIC can impose penalty of Rs. 250 per day, but not to exceed Rs. 25,000-

Any officer denying or delaying information can get this penalty

SIC can recommend for disciplinary action in case of malafide denial of information

Burden of proof lies with the SPIO

SIC can direct Public Authorities in providing information in any form appointing SPIO Publishing information maintenance of records to provide training to provide with an annual report compensate any loss/detriment suffered the steps to take to promote RTI

in providing information in any form

appointing SPIO

Publishing information

maintenance of records

to provide training

to provide with an annual report

compensate any loss/detriment suffered

the steps to take to promote RTI

Other powers of the SIC receive & inquire into complaints Receive and decide appeal from any citizen exercise the powers of a civil court to summon examine any records under the purview of this act issue decision binding on Public Authorities on RTI impose penalty under the act reject any application

receive & inquire into complaints

Receive and decide appeal from any citizen

exercise the powers of a civil court to summon

examine any records under the purview of this act

issue decision binding on Public Authorities on RTI

impose penalty under the act

reject any application

Documents to accompany appeals Appeals in the form /should have contents Self-attested copy of the order relied on Other documents to prove the request An index of the documents referred to

Appeals in the form /should have contents

Self-attested copy of the order relied on

Other documents to prove the request

An index of the documents referred to

Appeal procedure Take oral /written evidence/affidavit of concerned persons Inspection of records or documents Inquire through authorized officer Hear SPIO/ third party Affidavit of SPIO or others including the third party

Take oral /written evidence/affidavit of concerned persons

Inspection of records or documents

Inquire through authorized officer

Hear SPIO/ third party

Affidavit of SPIO or others including the third party

Reasons for complaints to SIC[S. 18(1)] No Information officer appointed Request refused No response Unreasonable fee Incomplete, misleading or false information Or similar violations of RTI act

No Information officer appointed

Request refused

No response

Unreasonable fee

Incomplete, misleading or false information

Or similar violations of RTI act

RTI act override other acts provisions in official secrets act 1923 or other acts/rules do not sustain, if they are in conflict with RTI act

provisions in official secrets act 1923 or

other acts/rules do not sustain, if they are in conflict with RTI act

Govt. can issue rules for print-cost price of materials to be disseminated -issued fee for application -issued fee for information -issued procedure for appeals –not issued

print-cost price of materials to be disseminated -issued

fee for application -issued

fee for information -issued

procedure for appeals –not issued

The Government shall Issue a guide within 18 months in official language containing everything required to exercise the rights

Issue a guide within 18 months in official language containing everything required to exercise the rights

Jurisdiction of courts lower courts are barred from entertaining suits High/Supreme court can entertain writs under 32 / 225

lower courts are barred from entertaining suits

High/Supreme court can entertain writs under 32 / 225

Take home message The act envisages proper upkeep of information Proper dissemination of information to public Giving information is the rule, not other way round Bonafide actions will not bring punishment But you should be able to justify it

The act envisages proper upkeep of information

Proper dissemination of information to public

Giving information is the rule, not other way round

Bonafide actions will not bring punishment

But you should be able to justify it

Thank you !

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