RTI Act 2005 Right to Information Act 2005 to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may request information from a public authority (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to pro-activity publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally. This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005. Information disclosure in India was restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, in which the new RTI Act relaxes.
|Name of the Act||RTI Act 2005 Right to Information Act 2005|
|Act Applies||All States and Union Territories of India except for the State of Jammu and Kashmir|
|Date of Act Passed By Parliament||15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005.|
What is the RTI Act, 2005?
The Government of India has enacted “The Right to Information Act, 2005” to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of Public Authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of any public authority.
The object of the Right to Information Act:
The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the governed. The Act is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the activities of the Government.
What does the Right to Information mean?
Right to information means the right to information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any Public Authority and includes the right to inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents/records, certified samples of the materials and obtaining information which is also stored in electronic form.
Who can ask for Information?
Any citizen can request for information by making an application in writing or through electronic means in English/Hindi/official language of the areas, in which the application is being made together with the prescribed fees.
Who will give Information?
Every public Authority will designate Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO) at various levels, and the necessary number of Central Public Information Officers (CPIO) in all the offices who will arrange for providing necessary information to the public as permitted under the Act. The public authority is also required to designate such officer who is senior in rank to the CPIO as Appellate Authority, who will hear the appeal against the decisions/orders passed by a CPIO.
THE INFORMATION WHICH IS EXEMPTED FROM DISCLOSURE
As per sections 8 & 9 of the Act, 2005 certain categories of information are exempt from disclosure to the citizens. The citizens/public may also refer to the relative sections of the Act before submitting a request for information.
ROLE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES
Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO)
The CAPIO will receive the application or the appeal under the Act and forward the same immediately to the CPIO or the Appellate Authority as the case may be along with the relevant information/documents.
Central Public Information Officer
The CPIO will deal/process the request for providing the information and dispose of the same, either by providing the information or rejecting the request within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the request. The Central Public Information Officer may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.
Any officer, whose assistance has been sought, shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public Information Officer.
The Appellate Authority will entertain and dispose of appeals against the decision of Public Information Officers as required under the Act. Any person, who does not receive a decision within the time specified under the Act, may within 30 days from the expiry of such time or from the receipt of such decision prefer an appeal before the Appellate Authority.