Brief about Right to Information✍️

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Introduction

RTI was influenced by Article 19 of Indian Constitution which says “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”In Kulwal v/s Jaipur Municipal Corporation case 1986, Supreme Court directed that freedom of speech and expression provided under Article 19 clearly implies Right to Information, without information the freedom of speech and expression cannot be fully used by the citizens.

The main aim of RTI is to empower the citizens, and have access to the information such as how the government employees work and the budget allotted to each department and so on .To have transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense.

Suo Motu disclosure of information by Public Authority

  1. Public organisation, functions and duties;
  2. Powers and duties of its officers and employees
  3. The procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability.
  4. The norms set by it for the discharge of its functions.
  5. The rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions.
  6. A statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control.
  7. The particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation.
  8. A statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public.
  9. A directory of its officers and employees.
  10. The monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations.
  11. The budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made.
  12. The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes.
  13. Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it.
  14. The particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use.
  15. The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers
  16. Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public.
  17. Provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons.

Exemption from Disclosure of Information

  1. Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence.
  2. Information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court.
  3. Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.
  4. Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information
  5. Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
  6. Information received in confidence from foreign Government.
  7. Information, the 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.
  8. Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
  9. Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.
  10. Information which relates to personal information .
  11. Information which is covered under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

Procedure for Requesting information

  1. A person who needs information under the RTI Act should submit the written statement in electronic means or directly by writing in plain paper to the public information officer.
  2. The written statement should be in English or the official language of the state. One can also take the assistance of Public information officer to write the application.
  3. The person should clearly mention which information or record he would like to seek and need not mention the reason for seeking information.
  4. The application must be addressed to the State/Central Public Information Officer. Provide the name of the concerned office from where you wish to seek information, and the exact address.
  5. Payment of Rs 10 is required to plea the request either by cash, bank draft, money order or a court fee stamp. Applicants below the poverty line (BPL) are excluded from making any sort of payment and need to provide a copy of the BPL certificate along with the application.
  6. The prescribed application fee is Rs. 10 for seeking information. Additional charges will be collected for
    (a) Rupees two (Rs. 2/-) for each page ( in A-3 or smaller size paper) ;
    (b) Actual cost or price of a photocopy in larger size paper;
    (c) Actual cost or price for samples or models;
    (d) Rupees fifty (Rs.50/-) per diskette or floppy; and
    (e) Price fixed for a publication or rupees two per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication.
    (f) Postal charges involved in supply of information that exceeds fifty Rupees.
  7. The Application fees can be paid via cash, bank draft, money order, or Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority.

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