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THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT – 2005 (Central Act No.22 of 2005)

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THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT – 2005 (Central Act No.22 of 2005). K. Ambarish, IAS., (Retd.) Chief Consultant, AMR-APARD Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. Enacted on 15-06-2005. Came into force w.e.f. 13-10-2005 Contains 31 Sections and 2 Schedules.

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THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT – 2005(Central Act No.22 of 2005)

K. Ambarish, IAS., (Retd.)

Chief Consultant, AMR-APARD

Rajendranagar, Hyderabad


Enacted on 15-06-2005.

  • Came into force w.e.f. 13-10-2005
  • Contains 31 Sections and 2 Schedules.
  • Rules are also made on the Regulation of Fees and Cost by Central and State Government for obtaining information by the citizens.

Main Objectives :

  • To provide right to information to citizens
  • To secure access to information, inspect files, obtain copies of documents etc., from Public Authorities.
  • To promote transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities.
  • Constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commission to oversee the Act and hear apeals.

Definitions :

  • “Information” means any material including records, documents, e-mails, advices, samples, models and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a Public Authority. (Section 2-f)
  • “Right to Information” means right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under control of any Public Authority. (Section 2-J)

“Public Authority” - any authority or body or institution or Local self-Government body established or constituted under Law and includes :-

a) Any body owned, controlled or substantially

financed by Government.

b)Any Non-Government Organization substantially financed by Government. (Sec.2h)


Obligations of Public Authorities(S– 4):

  • Maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and form, facilitating the right to information.
  • Publish information regarding structure, functions and duties, procedure followed, decision making process, directory of officers and employees, names and designations of public information officers etc.,
  • Provide information suo-motu to public at regular intervals through various means of communications.

Designation of Public Information Officers (Section - 5):

  • Every Public Authority designate Public Information Officers for providing information to persons requesting for information.
  • Designate a Asst. Public Information Officer at Sub-Divisional level to receive applications or appeals and forward them to the Public Authority.

Procedure for obtaining information (S-6) :

  • Persons to make request for information to Public Information Officer orally or in writing or through electronic means paying requisite fees :

At the Village Level – No fee; At Mandal Level Rs.5/- per application; for other areas Rs.10/- per application; No fee for persons below poverty line.

  • Information in Electronic format viz., Floppy,

CD or DVD:

  • Rs. 50/- for Floppy of 1.44 MB; Rs. 100/- for CD of 700 MB; Rs. 200/- for CD (DVD).



Samples and models – actual cost thereof;

  • Inspection of records – no fee for the first

hour; and a fee of rupees five for each fifteen

minutes (or fraction thereof) thereafter;

  • Actual postal charges for material to be sent

by post.

  • Applicant not required to give any reason or

any other personal details except those

necessary for contacting him.


Disposal of Request (Section 7) :

  • Public Information Officer within 30 days to either provide information or reject with reasons indicating time allowed for appeal and details of appellate authority.
  • Information concerning life and liberty of a person to be provided within (48) hours of receipt of request.
exemption from disclosure of information section 8
Exemption from disclosure of information :(Section – 8)
  • Information - prejudicially affecting sovereignty and integrity of India or State.
  • Expressly forbidden by any Court or Tribunal.
  • Causing breach of privilege of Parliament or State Legislature.
  • Of a person’s fiduciary relationship.
Received in confidence from foreign Government.
  • Endangering life or physical safety of any person.
  • Process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
  • Cabinet papers, deliberations of Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.

Constitution of Commissions :

  • Appointment of Central Information Commission by the President of India. (Section 12)
  • Appointment of State Information Commission by the Governor. (Section 15)
  • Above Commissions shall consist of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners not exceeding 10.
  • Term 5 years.(Sections 13 & 16)


65 years whichever is earlier


Powers and Functions of Commissions (Section - 18):

  • To receive and enquire into a complaint from any person.
  • Disposal of Appeals against the orders of Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be.
  • To require the Public Authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.
  • Impose any of the penalties provided under this Act.
  • Decisions of Commissions are binding.

Appeal Provisions (Section 19):

  • Decision within 30 days, if not appeal to next higher authority.


Prefer an appeal, if aggrieved by the decision

  • Second appeal lies within 90 days to the State Information Commission. [Section 19(3)]

Penalties :

  • Public authority to compensate complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.
  • Penalty of Rs.250/- each day not exceeding Rs.25,000/- till application is received or information furnished.
  • Also may recommend for disciplinary action.

Miscellaneous :

  • Bar of jurisdiction of Courts. (Section 23)
  • Act not to apply to intelligence and security organisations as mentioned in Second Schedule. (Section 24)

Information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations not excluded.


Monitoring and Reporting:

  • Central Information Commission/State Information Commission to prepare report on implementation of the Act at the end of every year and forward it to Government.
  • Government to cause a copy of such report to be laid before each House of Parliament or State Legislature. (Section 25)