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WELCOME. Date : 25.09.2006. WORKSHOP. ON. Presentation by K.A.Thippeswamy State Information Commissioner, Karnataka State Information Commission, Bangalore. THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005. ORGANIZED BY. Department of Public Instruction and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. Bangalore.

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Date : 25.09.2006

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Presentation Transcript

Date 25 09 2006


Date : 25.09.2006

Date 25 09 2006



Presentation by


State Information Commissioner,

Karnataka State Information Commission,




Department of Public Instruction and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan


Date 25 09 2006

Notable Initiatives / People’s Right to Information Movement– in India

Though freedom of information obviously guaranteed or provided for under article 19(1)(A) of our constitution which reads all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression, we have not been able to create a culture and climate where values of freedom, right and a democratic way of life are respected. What we have achieved is that we have erected a fairly impressive looking structure on a shaky foundation. Late Jayaprakash Narayan said that such structures are built up on sand and we call it democratic government. Therefore, enactment of right to information act, which is a primarily human right is to help create this culture.

Date 25 09 2006

Notable Initiatives / People’s Right to Information Movement– in India

Rajaram Mohan Roy said in the context of abolition of SATI system that a mere enactment of law without creating people’s movement will not succeed in abolishing the cruel system.

The well known organizations in creation of people’s awareness in the right information are :

1. People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) –The Union has fought many crusades against the human rights violations, free and fair elections and freedom of discussions and right to information. The notable personalities associated with the this organisation were Late Jayaprakash Narayan, Late Justice Tarakunde, R.M.Pal etc.,

Date 25 09 2006

Notable Initiatives / People’s Right to Information Movement– in India

2. Mazdur Kisan Shakti Sanghatan Movement of Rajasthan : The first notable movement started in India was Mazdur Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS). A Gross route organisation founded by Aruna Rai, Shankar Singh and Nikhil Dev in Rural Rajasthan as early as 1990 which was born out of the land struggle against a feudal land owner of village Sohan Ghar in Deogarh Tehesil of Raja Samand district of Rajasthan.

3. Public Affairs Centre – Bangalore : This centre is involved in creating awareness in the civil society in respect of the working of the Government, Government undertakings such as BMP, BWSSB etc., the person actively associates with this centre is Mr.Samuel Paul.

Date 25 09 2006

  • There are 57 countries in the world which have enacted freedom information legislation

  • United states of America has enacted legislation as early as 1964.

  • In India early to enactment of the central legislation, 14 states including Karnataka enacted state acts for providing information to the citizen.

I objective aim

(i) Objective/Aim

To provide for setting out the practical regime ofright to information for citizensto secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparencyand accountability in the working of every public authority.

Ii date of effectiveness

(ii) Date of effectiveness

The Act has become fully operational from 12th October, 2005.

Iii definition of public authority

(iii) Definition of Public Authority

Any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted -

  • by or under the Constitution;

  • by any other law made by Parliament;

  • by other law made by State Legislature;

  • by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Govt, and includes any –

  • body owned , controlled or substantially financed,

    (i)Non Govt, organization substantially financed, directly , indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government.

Iv definition of information

(iv) Definition of Information

Any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advises, press releases, circulars, orders, log books, 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.

V definition of records

(v) Definition of records.

Any document, manuscript and file;

any microfilm, microficheand facsimile copy of a document ;

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

any other material produced by a computeror any other device;

Vi information how provided

(vi) Information how provided

Right to access to information which is held by or under the control of any public authorityand includes the right to-

1.inspection of works, documents, records;

2.taking notes, extracts;

3.taking certified samples of material;

4.obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies , tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computeror in any other device.

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • Right to Information Act, 2005 has been enacted in order promote openness, transparency and accountability in administration.

  • It enables in only Indian citizen to secure access to information in the possession of the public authorities. But incorporated bodies like Limited Companies, Trusts and other Institutions and also non citizens which would also includes foreign nationals living in India shall not have any right to information under the Act.

  • It also provides for maintenance of records duly catalogued, indexed and computerized and connected through network all over the Country.

    [Preamble, Section 2, 3 and 4]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • It has come fully operational from 12th October 2005 (120th day of its enactment on 15th June,2005)

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • The RTIA provides three level regime for accessing information

    • First level of the regime, every public authority has designated officers for receiving applications [Section 5]

    • Second level, every public authority has designated senior officers to look into those cases where citizens request for information have been refused i.e., Departmental Appellate Authority [Section 19 (1)]

    • Third level, an independent Central/State Information Commissions has been constituted to look into those cases where citizens are not satisfied with the action / decision of the PIO and on the decision of DAA [Section 12,13,15,16,18 and 19(3)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • Designation of Public Information officers

  • It is the responsibility of the Public Authorities to designate Public Information Officers and Asst. Public Information Officers within 100 days of its enactment [Section 5(1) and 5 (2)]

  • The PIOs/APIOs are not only responsible for the request from the citizens but also to assist them in seeking information [Section 5 (3)].

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • Public Information Officers are designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act [Section 5 (1)]

  • The public authorities shall also designate Assistant Public Information Officers at the sub-divisional or sub-district level [Section 2]

  • Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officers shall be treated as a PIO [Section 5 (4) and 5 (5)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request can not be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing. [Section 5 (3) and 6 (1)]

  • If the applicant is sensorily disabled (blindness or some other disability) PIO required to provide reasonable assistance to such persons to accessing information. [Section 7 (4)

  • If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately. [Section 6 (3)]

  • PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his / her duties. [Section 5 (4)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • 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 on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in Section 8 or section 9. [Section 7 (1)]

  • Where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty eight hours of the receipt of the request. [Section 7 (1)]

  • If the PIO fails to give decision on the request within the period specified, he shall be deemed to have refused the request. [Section 7 (2)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • Where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the applicant –

    • the reason for such rejection.

    • the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred, and

    • The particulars of the Appellate Authority.

      [Section 7 (8)]

  • PIO shall provide information in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. [Section 7 (9)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • If allowing partial access, the PIO shall give a notice to the applicant, informing :

    • that only part of the record requested, after severance of the record containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided ;

    • The reasons for the decision, including any findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on which those findings were based ;

    • The name and designation of the person giving the decision;

    • The details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee which the applicant is required to deposit ; and

    • His or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided. [Section 10]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • If information sought has been supplied by third party and has been treated as confidential by that third part, the PIO shall give a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request and take its representation into consideration. [Section 11 (1)]

  • Third party must be given a chance to make a representation before the PIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice. [Section 11 (2)]

Date 25 09 2006

Role & Function of PIOs / APIOs


  • to receive the applications for information or appeals to forward them to

    • the Central / State Public Information Officer,

    • First appellate authority

    • the Central Information Commission / State Information Commission

      As the case may be.

      [Section 5 (2)]

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