Maharashtra Right to Information Act, 2002
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Maharashtra Right to Information Act, 2002. Presentation by. What is Right to Information?. Recognized by the Supreme Court as a part of Right to Freedom of Speech. People have a right to ask for information. It is the duty of the government and public bodies to provide this information. .

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What is Right to Information?

  • Recognized by the Supreme Court as a part of Right to Freedom of Speech.

  • People have a right to ask for information.

  • It is the duty of the government and public bodies to provide this information.


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How information helps

Information helps to:

  • Increase Transparency

  • Increase Accountability

  • Reduce Corruption

  • Increase Efficiency

  • Increase Participation


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Maharashtra Right to Information Act, 2002

  • Notified on 11th August, 2003, with retrospective effect from September 23, 2002

  • Nine States in India have Acts on RTI

  • MRTI is one of the best Acts


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What information can you ask for?

  • Information regarding affairs of the government or any Public Authority.

  • Any information available to Parliament / State Legislature.


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Suo Moto Disclosures

Particulars of organization

  • Functions and duties

  • Rules & regulations

  • Facilities for obtaining information

  • Details of Public Information Officers etc

    Particulars of projects undertaken

  • Eg. benefits, expected time for completion etc


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Information exempt from disclosure

  • Which affects national security, international relations or lead to incitement of offence. - Special Committee to decide

  • Has been forbidden by law, Official Secrets Act

  • Commercial information eg. trade secrets etc

  • Personal information or service records

  • Which endangers life or safety of a person


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Other grounds for refusal

Even if not exempted, information may be refused if:

  • Already published in Official Gazette

  • Required by law to be published at a particular time

  • Volume is too large


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Exempted information can be disclosed

  • When in larger public interest – eg. commercial / personal information.

  • When it can be severed from an exempted document.

  • After the decision is taken or deemed to have been taken.

  • Pertains to a matter 15 years before request.


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How to ask for information

  • Every department has one or more Public Information Officers (PIOs)

  • Written applications to be made to the PIO on plain paper in format

  • Court fee stamp of Rs. 10/- on application


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Fee Structure

The price fixed + postage charges (unless collected personally)

50 paise per page + postage charges (unless collected personally)

If information readily available

Rs. 2/- per page + postage charges (unless collected personally)

If information needs to be collected


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When to expect a response

Within 15 working days, the PIO has to either:

  • Supply the information.

  • Reject the request and communicate the reasons.

  • Communicate if additional fees required

  • Communicate if additional 15 days required.

    Imp: Within 24 hours if involves life and liberty of a person


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Rejection of requests

If rejected on certain grounds, the PIO must communicate within 15 days:

  • Reasons for rejection

  • Time within which appeal can be made

  • Person to whom appeal is to be made (First Appellate Authority)


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Appeals

First Appeal

To be made to the first Appellate Authority within 30 working days, on plain paper in a format with court fee stamp of Rs. 20/- if:

  • No communication from PIO within 15 working days

  • Aggrieved by the order of the PIO


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Appeals…..contd

Second Appeal – if aggrieved by order of 1st Appellate Authority

  • To Lok Ayukta or Up-Lok Ayukta (in format as 1st appeal)

  • Decision is final

    All appeals to be disposed off within 30 working days

    (or extended period of further 30 days )


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Penalties

  • Rs. 250/- per day of delay

  • Rs. 2000/- if knowingly wrong, misleading information given.

  • Disciplinary Action can also be taken


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Monitoring of the Act

  • State - level Council

  • Councils in every Revenue Division

  • Councils are to meet at least once in six months


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Competent Authority

Competent Authority means:

  • Heads of Administrative Departments

  • Registrar of Co-operative Societies / Societies

  • Charity Commissioner / Commissioner of Labour

  • Secretary of MPSC

  • Registrar of Lok Ayukta and Up-Lok Ayukta


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Duties of Competent Authority

  • Appoint PIOs

  • Serve as First Appellate Authority

  • Maintain records

  • Publish details of organizations

  • Communicate facts about any projects


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Public Authority

Means any body:

  • Constituted / controlled / owned by any State or Central Law

  • Receiving aid from government

  • Whose functions are of public interest

  • Whose office bearers are appointed by the government.


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Summing Up

  • 1st STEP Application to PIO

  • 2nd STEP Appeal to 1st Appellate Authority

  • 3rd STEP Appeal to 2nd Appellate Authority (Lok Ayukta / Upa Lok Ayukta)


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