Lucknow, UP, India, 226028

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

rti

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005[1]

INTRODUCTION

The RIGHT TO INFORMATION[2] ACT 2005 is enacted for the transparency and accountability of public authority. The right to information act was passed on 13 October 2005. This act was made so the citizen can also know that they have also the right to ask. For example (A) politicians in the election have used the funds, and it is the right of the citizen of India that by filling we have right to get the information regarding the funds used. This act provides for the setting out the practical regime of the right to information under the control of public authority[3]. This act cannot be applicable to the private person. As India is a democratic country and in this people of India has the right to freedom and expression, as this act is made for eliminating corruption and also the need for transparency and accountability of public authority.

A public authority is defined in 2 (h) of the RTI ACT 2005 –which says any authority or body or any institution of self-government established or constituted- [4]

  1. By or under the constitution
  2. Law made by parliament
  3. Or any law made by state legislation
  4. An order issued by government

HOW CONSTITUTION IS RELATED TO RTI ACT?

As India is a democratic country where citizens have fundamental rights that provided rights to the citizens and no one can stop for from availing it, if then also there is infringement then there is a remedy in constitution ARTICLE 32 which says remedies for enforcement of rights.

 ARTICLE 19 (1) (A) which says citizens have the right to freedom and speech. Fundamental rights which given to rights to citizens of India but they are only for citizens, not foreign citizen.

HISTORY OF RTI ACT 2005

  1. In 1997 Morarji Desai set up a committee for expanding the distribution of information in large amongst the public by Official secrets act, 1923.
  2. In 1986 there was a case Kulwal v. Jaipur Municipal Corporation in this court held the importance of the Right to Information in Article 19[5] of the Constitution which is the right to freedom of speech and expression and asking for information is also a right.
  3. Then in 1994 Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan has demand for transparency of official records from this movement the question arises for Right to Information is a Fundamental Right.
  4. Then in the 1996 National Campaign for people’s right to information for the RTI BILL then also Press council of India under the guidance of Justice PB SAWANT has drafted a law as Press council NIRD Freedom of Information act 1997.
  5. Then in 2000 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL 2000 was introduced in the parliament. Finally in 2002 BILL was passed in both the houses of parliament and in 2003 the president has given the approval.
  6. In 2004 NCPRI has amended the bill and made applicable to both central government and state.
  7. Finally, in 2005 on 11th may 2005 RTI ACT 2005 was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha, and on 12 may Rajya sabha passed the bill and President Approval on 15th June and on 12 OCTOBER 2005 FINALLY ENACTED.[6]

SALIENT FEATURES OF ACT

  1. Any information can be access by public authority.
  2. Easy to fill RTI.
  3. The right of the citizen is the Right to information.
  4. Disclosure and transparency in public authority data.
  5. Accountability of officers.
  6. Democracy is for citizens for informed.
  7. To secure access to the information this is of public authority.[7]
  8. The restriction imposed by the Official secrets act was relaxed.
  9. It empowers the citizen’s rights and any citizen can ask for information.
  10. Three-tier structure-[8]
  11. Public Information Officers
  12. First appellant authority
  13. Central information commission.

PROCESS OF FILLING RTI

  1. A person can ask for information by giving an application online. By filling the forum and details as per prescribed manner with supporting documents if any submits it.
  2. The applicant needs to pay the prescribed fee charged for the application.
  3. No fee is charged to citizens who are below the poverty line.
  4. An application that is filled is electronically given to CPIO.
  5. As there will be a reply within 30 days of application given.
  6. Once the application is accepted then a receipt is given, those who didn’t get it can go in filing an appeal (FIRST APPEAL) (SECTION 19(1)) to appellant authority within 30 days and in an exceptional case, 45 days can be considered.
  7. And 2nd appeal needs to be done within 90 days if the information is not given. Rules are given for the documentation in RTI ACT RULE 2012 in rule 8 AND 9[9].

PENALITIES

In section 20(1)[10] of the act that allows imposing penalties to –

  1. If PIO refuses to take the application.
  2. If any information is not correct or incompletely given
  3. If any information is destroyed or misrepresented.
  4. Time has been exceed

As information commission can impose Rs 250 per day and cannot exceed RS 25000.

EXCEPTIONAL CASES

As it is right for the citizens called Right to information which gives the right to the citizens to ask for the information but that doesn’t mean they can ask any person there are some exceptions –

  1. Military – as military works for the country and for the people of our country. For the security and integrity of the nation, it cannot be asked.
  2. Security of state
  3. Agencies of government like RAW OR CBI.
  4. That information which is not in the public domain needs to be secret for the reason of security.
  5. Whether PM CARE FUNDS comes in the preview of the RTI ACT?

The PM CARE FUNDS are made for the recent situation of covid for the welfare of citizens. But it cannot be filled by RTI; As PM FUNDS are not included in section 2(h).

AMENDMENTS IN RTI ACT

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT (AMENDED) 2019

It was introduced in Lok Sabha on 19 JULY 2019 and then it passed on 27th July and then on 25 July 2019 it was passed by Rajya sabha also.[11]

Some of the provisions have been amended in it like- [12]

In RTI ACT 2005 term of the Chief information commissioner and information commissioner (at state and center) will hold office for five years. But now in RTI ACT 2019 the bill removes the provision and says now the central government will be notified for a term of office of CIC AND IC.

In RTI ACT 2005 the salary of CIC AND IC is given as same as chief commissioner and election commission this bill also removed and now in RTI ACT 2019 central government will decide the allowances and salaries.

Author(s) Name: Parneet Kaur Chawla (ITM University, Raipur)

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1] RTI ACT 2005

[2] SECTION 2(j) RTI ACT

[3] https://rti.gov.in/rti-act.pdf

[4] SECTION 2(H) OF RTI ACT 2005

[5] ARTICLE 19(1)(A) CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

[6] https://rti.gov.in/rticorner/studybypwc/Executive%20Summary.pdf

[7] 1923

[8] https://gradeup.co/right-to-information-act-2005-i

[9] RIT RULE 2012

[10] RTI ACT 2005

[11] https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/right-information-amendment-bill-2019

[12] https://www.prsindia.org/theprsblog/explainer-right-information-amendment-bill-2019