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Right to Information: a fundamental human right. Renu Vinod Research Associate Centre for Civil Society New Delhi. What is RTI Act 2005?. Central legislation Grants access to information held by a public authority Flows from two fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution:

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right to information a fundamental human right

Right to Information: a fundamental human right

Renu Vinod

Research Associate

Centre for Civil Society

New Delhi

what is rti act 2005
What is RTI Act 2005?
  • Central legislation
  • Grants access to information held by a public authority
  • Flows from two fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution:
    • Article 19-Freedom of speech and expression
    • Article 21-Right to life and liberty
  • Enacted: 15 June 2005 Enforced: 12 October 2005
what is information
What is information?

any material in any form:

records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions,

advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks,

contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data

material in anyelectronic form,information relating

to anyprivate body which can be accessed by a public


File notings: are accessible unless they fall under the

exempted category [Section 2 (f), (i) and (j)]

what is a record
What is a record?
  • a) Document, manuscript, file
  • b) Microfilm, microfiche, fax
  • c) Reproduction of film or images embodied in such a film
  • d) Any other material produced by a computer or other electronic devise
right to information means the right to
Right to information means the right to:
  • Inspect works, documents, records
  • Take notes, extracts, certified copies of documents and records
  • Take certified samples of material
  • Access information in the following forms:
    • printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, videocassettes and other electronic mode

[Section 2 (j)]

who can you demand information from
Who can you demand information from?
  • Public Authority:

Any institution/authority/body of self-government

established or constituted:

    • By or under the Constitution
    • By any law made by Parliament
    • By any law made by State Legislature

Body owned/controlled/substantially financed; NGO

substantially financed by government [Section 2 (h)]

electronic management of records
Electronic Management of Records

Every public authority shall –

maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerized and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated [ Section 4 (1)]

section 4 the spirit of rti 2005
Section 4: the spirit of RTI 2005

“It shall be the endeavour of every public

authority…to provide as much information suo

moto to the public at regular intervals through

various means of communication…so that the

public have minimum resort to the use of this

Act to obtain information”

[Section 4 (1)]


exempted information
Exempted Information
  • Section 8 of the Act deals with information that cannot be disclosed unless the larger public interest warrants the same
  • Information dating to event/matter twenty years back shall be provided
  • Public interest in disclosure overrides restricting that information
pios who are they and what are their obligations
PIOs: Who are they and what are their obligations?
  • Public Information Officers are designated in every public authority to provide information to requisitioners
  • Their Duties:
    • Respond to information requests
    • Render all reasonable assistance including reducing requisition in written format
    • If requested information is with another PA, the PIO will transfer the requisition within 5 days and inform the requisitioner immediately

[Section 6]

duties of pio
Duties of PIO
  • Respond to a requisition within 30 days:
    • Provide information on payment of fee
    • Reject the requisition with reasons
    • If information concerns life or liberty of requisitioner, respond within 48 hours
  • If the PIO fails to do any of the above within 30 days, s/he shall be deemed to have refused the request

[Section 7]

when information is rejected
When information is rejected:
  • The PIO will have to communicate to the applicant:
    • The reasons for the rejection
    • The period within which the appeal should be made
    • Particulars of the appellate authority

[Section 7 (8)]

can you ask for partial disclosure
Can you ask for partial disclosure?
  • In case of providing partial access to information:
    • Reasons
    • Names of PIOs who took the decision

[Section 10 (1)]

  • If information has been supplied by a third party/ third party treats the information as confidential, the PIO will:
    • Give a written notice to the third party within 5 days of date of request to make a representation
    • Third party will get 10 days to make a representation

[Section 11]

  • The CIC/SCIC shall impose a penalty of Rs 250/- per day
  • Total amount will not exceed Rs 25,000
    • Not furnishing information in 30 days
    • Misleading the applicant
    • Providing wrong information
    • Not publishing information suo motu
    • Not computerizing data and uploading on website

[Section 18]

how do you request for information
How do you request for information?
  • Keep the questions short and specific
  • Details of IOs now available on website u/s 4(1) (b)
  • Duty of PA to ensure that the application reaches the correct PIO
  • No need to give reasons for making the requisition
  • No prescribed application format: some PAs have their own form but cannot enforce compliance
fee that you have to pay central
Fee that you have to pay: Central
  • Rs 10 has to be deposited along with the application form
  • Rs 2 has to be paid for every page of information sought
  • Actual cost price for any samples or models
  • For inspection of records, no charge for the first hour: but a charge of Rs 5 for every 15 minutes thereafter
  • Actual cost price for paper larger than A3 size
  • Rs 50 for information provided on a diskette
  • For information in printed form, the price fixed for the publication
fee delhi
Fee: Delhi
  • Requisition to be accompanied by Rs 10 payable by cash/demand draft/banker’s cheque to the Accounts Officer:
    • Rs 2 per page created or copied
    • Actual cost or price for models or samples
    • For inspection of records, no fee for the first hour; Rs 5 for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof
    • Rs 50 for information on diskette or floppy
    • For information in printed form, at price fixed for publication or Rs 2 per photocopied extract
appeals process
Appeals Process:
  • Format
  • Documents
  • Procedure in deciding the appeal
  • Service of notice by the Commission
  • Personal presence of appellant/complainant
  • Order of the Commission
ccs focus dtp and icts for rti
CCS focus: DTP and ICTs for RTI
  • Suggestions for suo motu disclosure of information to DoPT
  • Duty to Publish Index: 37 points of compliance
  • Movement towards suo motu disclosure:
    • Publish frequently requested information
    • Publish information that has been disclosed under the RTI Act