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Maharashtra Right to Information (MRTI) Act, 2002. was notified on August 11, 2003 with retrospective effect from September 23, 2002 to save actions initiated under the erstwhile short-lived Maharashtra Right to Information Ordinance, 2002. The use has been encouraging .

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maharashtra right to information mrti act 2002
Maharashtra Right to Information(MRTI) Act, 2002
  • was notified on
  • August 11, 2003
  • with retrospective effect from September 23, 2002 to save actions initiated under the erstwhile short-lived Maharashtra Right to Information Ordinance, 2002
the use has been encouraging
The use has been encouraging
  • There have been hiccups
  • Information hasn’t been easily forthcoming
  • Yet, MRTI has been used by a large number of citizens in just one year
are we in maharashtra alone to have this privilege
Are we in Maharashtra alone to have this privilege?
  • Nine states, including J&K and Assam already have their Acts on RTI
  • Central Government will enforce one soon
  • More than50 countrieshave enacted by now.
are we the pioneers in india
Are we the pioneers in India?
  • Tamilnadu
  • Goa
  • Delhi
  • Rajasthan enacted their laws on right to information before we did
yet maharashtra stands out
Yet, Maharashtra stands out
  • Maharashtra’s Act has been used widely by all sections of the society in all regions
  • Thanks to
  • Shri Anna Hazare’s anchorage and
  • civil society’s initiatives
but there hasn t been free flow of information
But there hasn’t been free flow of information
  • It will take some time for the conditioned mindset of the bureaucracy to change
  • Let us keep trying
how do i ensure i am the lucky one to get the information
How do I ensure, I am the lucky one to get the information?
  • Strictly follow the provisions of the Act
  • Be precise in your query
can you elaborate
Can you elaborate?
  • Demand information in the prescribed format
  • Do not be vague in your requisition
  • Do not ask voluminous information
where do i get a copy of the act and the rules
Where do I get a copy of the Act and the Rules?
  • Check with the Government Book Depot
  • Download from the web site http://geocities.com/mahadhikar
whom can the information be demanded from
Whom can the information be demanded from?
  • Offices of the
  • Government,
  • Public Bodies like corporations, boards, authorities,
  • Registered cooperative societies, public trusts and some private bodies [Sec 2(6)]
slide11
Section 2 (6):
  • " public authority" means any authority or body established or constituted by any Central or State law and includes any other body owned and controlled by the State or which receives any aid directly or indirectly by the Government and shall include the bodies whose composition and administration are predominantly controlled by the Government or the functions of such body are of public nature or interest or on which office bearers are appointed by the Government.
  • Explanation - For the purposes of this clause the expression "aid" shall include Government aid in the form of Government land at concessional rates or any other monetary concessions like exemption from tax, etc., by Government as specified by Government, from time to time;
which information can be demanded
Which information can be demanded?
  • You can demand information like...
  • Copy of a document, including a copy of a contract awarded
  • Compilation of information from various documents
  • Status of a matter
which information can be demanded1
Which information can be demanded?
  • For example,
  • You can ask for the status of your case pending with an office
  • You can also demand to know the name and designation of the officer responsible for delay and what action is initiated against him/her
which information can be demanded2
Which information can be demanded?
  • Remember that an officer holds a public office and functions under a law framed by your elected representatives
  • you have a fundamental right to know what action the official has taken on your behalf
which information can be demanded3
Which information can be demanded?
  • For example, you can demand a copy of a building permission granted to any third party by the civic body
  • This has been affirmed by the Hon Lokayukta, in his rulings given in the additional capacity as the second appellate authority under this Act
which information can be demanded4
Which information can be demanded?
  • The Supreme Court has upheld your right to demand information from the government and public bodies as your fundamental right
  • You can demand any information, subject, of course, to some exclusions
then which information cannot be demanded
Then, which information cannot be demanded?
  • Broadly speaking,
  • that affecting the Nation’s sovereignty, integrity, security;
  • which has been forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal;
  • Information held in commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property;
then which information cannot be demanded1
Then, which information cannot be demanded?
  • confidential report of in the service record ;
  • information, disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes (protecting a whistle blower);
  • information that would impede the process of investigation;
then which information cannot be demanded2
Then, which information cannot be demanded?
  • information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Competent Authority issatisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure ofsuch information;
please note that
Please note that ...
  • The last provision: ``information which relates to personal information…etc’’ is being misinterpreted by the bureaucracy in denying information
  • The Hon Lokayukta has ruled that a permission/exemption etc granted by an official under a statute in force is not `personal information’. You can demand a copy of any such document
please note that1
Please note that ...
  • The exclusion that ``service record’’ of a person cannot be disclosed, means that only confidential report (CR) cannot be disclosed. You can of course demand compilation of an officer’s transfers during a certain period, or information oninquiries/prosecutions against him/her under the law of the land
you may also be denied information
You may also be denied information
  • if it is voluminous… involves ``disproportionate diversion of the resources of a public authority ‘’
  • Do not, therefore, ask for bulk information. Preferably confine to a specific issue and a limited period.
how to requisition information
How to requisition information
  • Apply on a plain paper in a prescribed format
  • Format given in the Rules (Annexture A)
  • Affix adhesive court fee stamp of Rs 10
  • Post the application or submit in person
application format
Application format
  • To
  • The Public Information Officer,
  • (Name of the office with address)
  • (1) Full name of the applicant
  • (2)Address
  • (more on next slide)
application format cont
Application format (cont)
  • (3)Particulars of information required, -
  • (i)Subject matter of information:
  • (ii)The period to whichthe information relates:
  • (iii)Description of the information required:
  • (more on next slide)
application format cont1
Application format (cont)
  • (iv)Whether information is required by post or in person:
  • (The actual postal charges shall be included in additional fees):
  • (v)In case by post (Ordinary, Registered or Speed):
  • (vi)Purpose for which the information is required:
please remember that
Please remember that
  • The purpose cannot be legally asked for. It is, after all, your fundamental right
  • Say that you are exercising your fundamental right in demanding the information
what if the pio has not been designated
What if the PIO has not been designated?
  • This is a common malady even after one year of enactment
  • Address the application to``The PIO’’ and give his office address
  • Put the application in a cover and address the cover to the head of the administrative unit
what if the pio has not been designated1
What if the PIO has not been designated?
  • This will ensure that your cover is received by the head of the establishment and the application is forwarded to the PIO
  • If the head of the establishment says that a PIO has not been designated in the office, he/she is guilty of having violated the Act
what if the pio has not been designated2
What if the PIO has not been designated?
  • Send a complaint to the
  • Chairman, DivisionalMonitoring Council of the Maharashtra Right to Information (MRTI) Act
  • in the office of the Divisional Commissioner
what if the pio has not been designated3
What if the PIO has not been designated?
  • You may also send a copy to
  • the Secretary,
  • State Monitoring Council on Maharashtra Right to Information Act
  • General Administration Department
  • Mantralaya
  • Mumbai 400 032
what if the pio has not been designated4
What if the PIO has not been designated?
  • Also inform any member of the divisional/state monitoring council
  • and/or
  • a Right to Information activist you may be aware of
what next after the requisition has been submitted
What next after the requisition has been submitted?
  • In 15 working days from the receipt
  • The Public Information Officer has to either furnish the information or write back denying you the information
  • The PIO may in ``suitable cases’’ within these 15 working days, seek an extension of additional 15 working days and explain why is the extension being sought
what next after the requisition has been submitted1
What next after the requisition has been submitted?
  • Before furnishing you the information the PIO has to tell you the cost of information strictly as per the prescribed rules
  • and the postal charges, if you have opted to receive the information by post
what next after the requisition has been submitted2
What next after the requisition has been submitted?
  • Once you have remitted the amount by money order or deposited it in cash with the PIO, the latter will pass on the desired documents to you
what is the prescribed cost
What is the prescribed cost?
  • When the concerned department has already fixed the price of some documents, map, etc.: the price so fixed+Postage charges (unless collected personally).
  • When the information is readily available either by xeroxing, copying or by other way (copy): 0.50 Paisa per page + Postage charges (unless collected personally).
  • If the information is not readily available and needs to be collected: Rs. 2 Per page + Postage charges (unless collected personally).
a terse dismissal is no longer on
A terse dismissal is no longer on
  • While denying the information demanded
  • the PIO has to quote the reason with the relevant section
  • and give the name and address of the appellate authority with whom you can file your first appeal
snap decision to protect your life and liberty
Snap decision to protect your life and liberty
  • Whenever and wherever the information applied for, involves the life and liberty of a person, such information has to be, subject to the exclusions, supplied within twenty-four hours of the receipt of the requisition
which languages to use
Which languages to use?
  • Formats are in Marathi and English
  • You may prefer any
  • You will, however, get the information `in the language and in the form in which it is maintained…’’
what is the guarantee that the pio will respond
What is the guarantee that the PIO will respond?
  • Valid question.
  • Many PIOs have not been responding or have been giving incomplete or misleading information
what is the guarantee that the pio will respond1
What is the guarantee that the PIO will respond?
  • The Act provides that the PIO will be liable to pay a fine at a rate of Rs 250 for each day’s delay in furnishing the information
  • or pay a fine up to Rs 2,000 and also face disciplinary action if the information given is incomplete, misleading or false
what is the guarantee that the pio will respond2
What is the guarantee that the PIO will respond?
  • For this, you have to file an appeal with the officer designated as the Appellate Authority within 30 days of receiving incomplete or misleading information or within 30 days from the period during which the PIO was supposed to have given you the information
the process of appealing
The process of appealing
  • The prescribed format for filing an appeal is available in the Rules
  • File the appeal in the format on a plain paper
  • Affix an adhesive court fee stamp of Rs 20
the process of appealing1
The process of appealing
  • The problem is,
  • you may not know who is the appellate authority and the PIO may have failed to give you the details
the process of appealing2
The process of appealing
  • Find out from the head of the establishment, who has been designated as the appellate authority
  • Complain to the Divisional and State Monitoring Councils
  • Alert any Right to Information activist you may be aware of
the process of appealing3
The process of appealing
  • The appellate authority (AA) has to dispose off the appeal within 30 days
  • It is mandatory for the AA to impose penalty on a defaulting PIO
  • The period can be extended by additional 30 days in exceptional cases, but the AA has to inform you the reason with the first spell of 30 days
the process of appealing4
The process of appealing
  • The experience, however, has been that most AA’s have not been penalising defaulting PIOs & not even disposing off appeals within the prescribed period
the process of appealing5
The process of appealing
  • On July 6, 2004, the state Chief Secretary issued a stern warning to the appellate authorities that action would be taken against them if they do not dispose off the appeals within the stipulated time and penalise defaulting PIOs
the process of appealing6
The process of appealing
  • If you feel aggrieved by the decision of the appellate authority, or if the AA does not decide your appeal within the period prescribed for disposal you can file a second appeal within 30 days with the Hon Lokayukta
the process of appealing7
The process of appealing
  • The Hon Lokayukta has been prompt in deciding second appeals
  • Please note that the Lokayukta functions here under the MRTI Act and therefore has the powers to direct mandatory compliance of his orders
the process of appealing8
The process of appealing
  • The Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra in the General Administration Department, in-charge of MRTI, on June 22, 2004 directed all AAs and PIOs to strictly abide by the Hon Lokayukta’s orders
not a smooth ride
Not a smooth ride
  • Despite all these provisions, frankly, it may not be a smooth ride when you demand information under this act
  • You may face many hurdles
why not a smooth ride
Why not a smooth ride?
  • Other laws empower the bureaucracy to watch your acts of commission and omission
  • This one empowers you to watch the acts of commissions and omissions of the bureaucracy
why not a smooth ride1
Why not a smooth ride?
  • Enforcement of this legislation is vested in the same bureaucracy whose acts are being watched and
  • which has not used to respect transparency and accountability
yet it is not hopeless either
Yet, it is not hopeless either
  • Despite this, as stated at the outset, many citizens have been able to overcome hurdles and reach their goal
yet it is not hopeless either1
Yet. it is not hopeless either
  • Thanks to the tireless efforts of Shri Anna Hazare and the support he is getting from the civil society things appear to be changing for the better
yet it is not hopeless either2
Yet, it is not hopeless either
  • Yeshwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) has been training and sensitising officers throughout the state
yet it is not hopeless either3
Yet, it is not hopeless either
  • The mindset is gradually changing as a result of these efforts
  • The bureaucracy is getting receptive
we must carry on
We must carry on
  • Whatever the case, we must insist on transparency and accountability in public administration
  • We must know if the bureaucracy itself has been abiding by the rule of law
we must carry on1
We must carry on
  • This will ensure good governance and curb corruption
  • We owe this to the next generation
we shall carry on
We shall carry on
  • Wishing you all the best
  • - Prakash Kardaley pmk1504@yahoo.co.in
  • http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/mahadhikar/