THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
- Particulars of organization
- Powers and duties of officers and staff
- Procedure followed in decision-making process
- Norms set for the discharge of functions Rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records held discharging functions
- A Statement of the categories of documents that are held by it for under its control
- 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 of Implementation
- A statement of boards, council, committees and other bodies constituted
- Directory of officers and employees
- The monthly remuneration received by each of the officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in the regulations
- The Budget Allocation to each agency
- The manner of execution of subsidy program
- Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted
- Information available in an electronic form
- Particulars of Facilities available to citizens for obtaining information
- List of Public Information Officers
- The Right to Information Act 2005 provides 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.
When did RTI Act come into force?
-The Central Right to Information Act came into force on the 12th October, 2005. However, before that 9 state Governments had passed state Acts. These were J & K, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam & Goa
Why do we need an Act to give us this right?
-This is because if you went to any Government Department and told the officer there, “RTI is my fundamental right, and that I am the master of this country. Therefore, please show me all your files”, he would not do that. In all probability, he would throw you out of his room. Therefore, we need a machinery or a process through which we can exercise this fundamental right. Right to Information Act 2005, which became effective on 13th October 2005, provides that machinery. Therefore, Right to Information Act does not give us any new right. It simply lays down the process on how to apply for information, where to apply, how much fees etc.
What rights are available under RTI Act 2005 ?
- Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information.
- Take copies of any government documents.
- Inspect any government documents.
- Inspect any Government works.
- Take samples of materials of any Government work.
Who is covered under RTI?
The Central RTI Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. All bodies, which are constituted under the Constitution or under any law or under any Government notification or all bodies, including NGOs, which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government are covered.
Who will give You information?
-One or more existing officers in every Government Department have been designated as Public Information Officers (PIO). These PIOs act like nodal officers. You have to file your applications with them. They are responsible for collecting information sought by you from various wings of that Department and providing that information to you. In addition, several officers have been appointed as Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs). Their job is only to accept applications from the public and forward it to the right PIO.
Where You can submit your application?
-You can do that with the PIO or with APIO. In the case of all Central Government Departments, 629 post offices have been designated as APIOs. This means that you can go to any of these post offices and submit your fee and application at the RTI counter in these post offices. They will issue you a receipt and acknowledgement and it is the responsibility of that post office to deliver it to the right PIO.
How You can deposit that?
-Yes, there is an application fee. For Central Government Departments, it is Rs 10. However, different states have prescribed different fee. For getting information, you have to pay Rs 2 per page of information provided for Central Government Departments. It is different for different states. Similarly, there is a fee for inspection of documents. There is no fee for first hour of inspection, but after that, you have to pay Rs. 5 for every subsequent hour or fraction thereof. This is according to Central Rules. For each state, see respective state rules. You can deposit fee wither in cash or through a DD or bankers cheque or postal order drawn in favor of that public authority. In some states, you can buy court fee stamps and affix it on your application. This would be treated as if you have deposited the fee. You can then deposit your application either by post or by hand.
What should You do if the PIO or the concerned Department does not accept Your application?
-You can send it by post. You should also make a formal complaint to the respective Information Commission under section 18. The Information Commissioner has the power to impose a penalty of Rs 25000 on the concerned officer who refused to accept your application.
Is there an application form for seeking information?
-For Central Government Departments, there is no form. You should apply on a plain sheet of paper like an ordinary application. However, many states and some ministries and departments have prescribed formats. You should apply in these formats. Please read rules of respective states to know.
How can You apply for information?
-Draft your application on a normal sheet of paper and submit it by post or in person to the Public Information Officer (PIO). [Remember to keep a copy of the application for your personal reference
How can You deposit your application fee?
-Every state has a different mode of payment for application fee. Generally, you can deposit your application fee via:
- In person by paying cash [remember to take your receipt.
- By Post through.
- Demand Draft.
- Indian Postal Order.
- Money orders (only in some states).
- Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states).
- Banker’s Cheque.
Some state governments have prescribed some head of account. You are required to deposit fee in that account. For that, you can either go to any branch of SBI and despoist cash in that account and attach deposit receipt with your RTI application. Or you can also send a postal order or a DD drawn in favor of that account along with your RTI application.
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