Right to Information Act. 2005

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Right To Information ::

  • In 2005, the Parliament has enacted a new legislation – the Right to Information Act (2005). This new Act replaces the old Freedom of Information Act, 2002, which was un-notified and hence, not operational.
  • The new legislation confers on all citizens the right of access to the information and, correspondingly, makes the dissemination of such information an obligation on all public authorities. It aims at promoting transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority It has the widest possible reach covering Central Government, state governments, panchayati raj institutions, local bodies and recipients of government grants. Some important provisions are mentioned below:
  • It fixes a 30-day deadline for providing information; deadline is 48 hours if information concerns life or liberty of a person.
  • Information will be free for people below poverty line. For others, fee will be Rs10/-.
  • It provides for the establishment of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions to implement the provisions of the Act. They will be independent high-level bodies to act as appellate authorities and vested with the powers of a civil court.
  • The President will appoint a Chief Information Commissioner and governors of state will appoint state information commissioners. Their term will be five years.
  • The Act overrides the Official Secrets Act, 1923. The information commissions can allow access to the information if public interest outweighs harm to protected persons.
  • Its purview does not extend to intelligence and security organizations like Intelligence Bureau RAW BSF,- CISF, NSG and so-on. However, information pertaining to allegations of corruption or violation of human rights by these organizations will not be excluded.
  • For Banks the reply authority is the Public Information Officer. PIO is usually the regional head of the concerned branch. Reply of RTI must be given within a time period of 30 days but in some cases where information of 3rd party is to be gathered it can be increased to another 30 days.Some Salient points on RTI
  • For getting information printed you need to pay Rs2/- per page, and for inspection of documents you need to pay Rs5/- per hour (1st hour of inspection is free)
  • for information provided in diskette or floppy rupees fifty (Rs.50/-) per diskette or floppy

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