Of late defiance of orders of Information Commissioners has become rampant. The only remedy with the information seeker is to lodge a complaint with Chief Information Commissioner, who routinely issues another order for compliance that too after a delay ranging from 6 to 36 months depending upon efficiency and pendency of CIC/SIC. Commissions hardly invoke powers of Civil Court vested in it u/s 18.3 to ensure speedy compliance with its own orders.
Hence I suggest that if after two months of
How many times have you been asked to inspect the document when you have never requested? Ideally, if you have not applied for inspection of the document and the information requested is not voluminous, PIO should not ask the applicant to come for inspection of the document.
PIO Acts that makes you hate RTI ACT
But naturally, it is not the way. It is an easy way for PIO to first
Get to know who is an actual RTI Applicant
Intimidate the applicant by various means
Guide to drafting a good RTI application
Drafting a good RTI application can be as easy as writing a simple leave letter. As long as the applicant knows the basics of the RTI Act 2005, drafting an application, requesting for information from any public authority, is little more than child’s play.
Your full name and address have to mentioned in the application. If you so wish, you can also mention your telephone number and email id, although this is optional.
The Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to ask for information from Government Organisations. This information can be about your own personal case or more complex Government Policy. The Act also empowers us to take photocopies of the Government records and also online data in a form of CD. However, often PIO being Government Servant who perhaps is also the custodian of the information has a conflict of interest in giving out such information.
Every Government Official at on
Kindly do not worry about the exemptions at the stage of filing a RTI application, as reasoned below:
As per section 7(1):
A PIO is supposed to either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9
(Which means a PIO is supposed to either provide information or deny it under section 8 and 9).
As per section 19(5):
In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a den
RTI AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS
Various international instruments such as treaties, charters etc
have recognized RTI as right that ought to be available to the people.
All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their
representatives, as to necessity of the public contribution, to grant
this freely, to know to what use fix the proportion, the mode of
assessment and of collection and the duration of taxes.
i) United Nations
The United Nations (UN
Right to Information - International Positions
Right to Information (hereinafter read as RTI) which is the cynosure of this discourse is not something new. In fact there is a long history at international level towards the attainment of this right and mobilization of the masses for achieving it. With development
of human ideals and establishment of democratic governments in most of the civilized countries, this topic came to the fore.
The United States and Sweden constitute the two main
Important State Initiatives
Inspired and encouraged by the exercises taken up by the
central government, many state governments yielded under popular
pressure and prepared draft legislations on the right to information. A
number of states introduced their own transparency legislations
before the Freedom of Information Bill was finally introduced in the
Lok Sabha on July 25, 2000.
i) Goa: One of the earliest and most progressive legislations, it
had the fewest categories of
Movement of Right to Information in India
The right to information movement in India can be broadly
classified into three phases. In the first phase, from 1975 to 1996,
there were sporadic demands for information from various sections of
the society, culminating in a more focused demand for access to
information from environmental movements in the mid 1980s, and
from grassroots movements in rural Rajasthan in the early 1990s.
This phase ended with the formation of the National C
Historical Perspective of Right to Information in India
India was a colony for long. Before that it had a feudal culture
and hierarchical social structure. The Maharajas and the Mughals,
the Viceroys and the British Empire defended themselves behind
ramparts of secrecy. The entire freedom struggle was a battle against
colonialism and for independence or self-government. Thus people
became the focus and popular information was used by them as a
weapon to achieve responsible and r
Evolution of Right to Information in India.
In Ancient India, traditionally man is inquisitive and from the
time immemorial he has been busy in his mission of knowing and
discovering the truth in whatever field his aptitude and imagination
ventured. In this context there is ample evidence in this context in
our great Vedic erudition where it is written- ― Life is a perennial
search for the truth. The restless swan (soul) is on journey infinite to
find the truth. The Indian histo
CONCEPT OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The concept of democracy in India is enshrined in the Preamble
to the Constitution of India wherein opening words provide that "We,
the People of India ―and in the end it lays down‖give to ourselves this
Constitution". The citizens have the fundamental right to know what
the government is doing in its name. Freedom of speech is the lifeblood of democracy.
The Apex Court in the case of K. v. Secretary of
State for the Home Department Ex. P. Simms,
DEFINITION OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Right to Information‖ means the right to information which can
be obtained from the public authorities or which is held by or under
the control of any public authority and includes the right to:
(i) inspection of work, documents, records;
(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
(iii) taking certified samples of material;
(iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes,
video cassettes or in a
Kinds of Rights
Rights can be of many types such as natural, positive, legal etc.
(a) Natural and Legal right
According to some views, certain rights derive from a deity or
nature. Natural rights are rights which are derived from nature. They
are universal; that is, they apply to all people, and do not derive from
the laws of any specific society. They exist necessarily, inhere in every
individual, and can't be taken away. For example, it has been argued
that humans have a
DEFINITION OF RIGHT
An entitlement to something, whether to concepts like justice
and due process, or to ownership of property or some interest in
property, real or personal. These rights include various freedoms,
protection against interference with enjoyment of life and property,
civil rights enjoyed by citizens such as voting and access to courts,
natural rights accepted by civilized societies and human rights to
protect people through out the world from terror and torture. Righ
Who killed Lalit Mehta ?
Submitted by Hardnews on Fri, 07/04/2008 - 09:05
The widespread corruption in the Ćagship scheme of the UPA government, NREGA, is hidden from none. Social audits conducted by civil society groups and individuals have proved the existence of corrupt practices being followed by the district administration of various states. These social audits are threatening the people who have been brazenly siphoning oĂ funds from public schemes for decades.
RTI : Challenges
Posted on September 6th, 2017 at 7:56 am
In April, the government of India proposed amendments to the RTI Act
The most controversial amendment pertained to Rule 12.
Amendment to Rule 12 and controversy:
1. It would allow the withdrawal of an application in case of the applicant’s death, making the job of those who file RTIs even more risky.
2. The RTI activists are already exposed to violence, all the more so as the Whistle Blow
10 years after RTI, transparency under cloud
NEW DELHI:, MAY 16, 2015 10:56 IST
Ten years after the Right to Information Act was passed by the Rajya Sabha on May 12, 2005, its implementation remains inefficient and transparency and accountability seem to be under threat in India.
Experts cite poor record-keeping practices within the bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure and staff for running Information Commissions, and dilution of supplementary laws such as the one for whistleblowe
Misuse of Public Safety Act Brought up at Jammu and Kashmir RTI Workshop
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 24/07/2017
Referring to allegations of children being held under the Public Safety Act in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah today asserted the need for involving youth in the ongoing debate on current issues in the state.
Habibullah, who was delivering the keynote address at an interactive workshop on J&K Right to Information (RTI) Act
Judges’ Medical Expenses Will Not Be Disclosed Under RTI, says SC
BY PTI ON 02/07/2015
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today held that the medical expenses incurred on judges and their family members cannot be disclosed or made public under the Right to Information Act.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu refused to interfere with the Delhi High Court verdict which had dismissed a plea seeking details of medical reimbursements of Supreme Court judges, saying it had personal inf
The Supreme Court Still Adamantly Refuses to Yield to RTI
BY ANIKET AGA ON 03/09/2015
While the government often comes under fire for not effectively implementing the RTI Act, few have noticed that India’s highest court violates the Act routinely, and with an impunity that makes the government’s evasion of the RTI Act seem benign.
Consider the following:
On 20th February 2008, Satnam Singh, a prisoner in Ludhiana’s Central Jail sent a Right to Information (RTI) request to the
Burdened by Infrastructural Deficiencies the RTI Act Is Becoming Ineffective
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 22/05/2017
At a recent seminar, a number of stakeholders sought wide-ranging reforms to ensure that the RTI Act remains an effective tool for ordinary people to access information with.
In light of growing support against the RTI Act within the present dispensation (which sees it as a UPA legacy), a retired senior bureaucrat recently observed at a seminar that the Act needs to
Judiciary Does Not Want Any Accountability or Transparency, Allege RTI Activists
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 17/04/2017
The RTI Act has faced resistance from the courts in recent years, especially when information is sought about their functioning as public authorities, a new report says.
The jury is out on whether the judiciary has over the years played the role it ought to while dealing with matters pertaining to promoting transparency in general and the Right to Information (
Stakeholders Need to Work Together to Improve RTI Implementation, Says Study
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 24/01/2017
A report from several civil society actors has found that the Right to Information Act is not functioning as it should be.
New Delhi: Two organisations working in the field of right to information assessment and advocacy and a publishing house have come together to bring out ‘Tilting the Balance of Power: Adjudicating the RTI Act for the Oppressed and the Marginalis
Over Half Information Commission Orders Contain Deficiencies, Report Finds
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 22/04/2017
RTI activists demand penalties against public information officers, insist RTI Act being killed by ‘misrepresentation’.
A recent report, ‘Tilting the Balance of Power: Adjudicating the RTI Act,’ on the most critical challenges in the implementation of the Right to Information Act, 11 years after its enactment, has established that more than 60% of the orders contained
Poor Implementation and Delays Are Making the RTI Act Redundant, Says Study
BY GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR ON 09/11/2016
Studies conducted by Research, Assessment & Analysis Group and Satark Nagrik Sangathan have found that pendency rates have been rising in information commissions across the country, making applications irrelevant by the time they are actually heard.
While information commissions (ICs) are mandated to safeguard and facilitate people’s fundamental right to informat
Catalyst Mechanism: A Step Towards Human Rights
Nishantl Mittal, Pushpit Bansal
Editor’s Note: Human rights two simple words but when put together they constitute the very foundation of our existence. INDIA being a diverse country with its multicultural, multiethnic, and multi religious population, the protection of human right is the Sine Qua Non for peaceful existence. However the legislature have tried to define human rights as “The right relating to life, liberty, equality & di
Extension of Right To Information To Private Sector
By Mukul Sharma, School of Law, KIIT University
“Editor’s note: Right to Information has evolved as a tool to ensure transparency in the governance of the country. The right being granted to every citizen of India, it becomes important to examine the coverage of the act that grants this right. While the applicability of this right against government bodies is unquestionable, whether the right covers private bodies has always been an u
WHAT AFTER DECISION BY CENTRAL/STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
There are a large number of instances, where the State Information Commissioners are passing orders contrary to the spirit and object of RTI Act and contradicting the laid down procedures. Another issue is the Public Authorities did not comply the decisions of CIC/SIC and the Information Commissions are not strict about enforcing penal provisions under section-20. The Information Seekers feel they were pushed to the dead end. There is a common feeling that no appeal lies against the decision of State Information Commissioner. Let us examine it.
Instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof
Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha held that seeking citizenship proof in case of demand of sensitive information is justified but seeking a signed copy of the application does not seem appropriate as the online portal does not mandate uploading of signatures.
Sinha was hearing the plea of an Odisha-based RTI applicant who had sought from the Army information regarding implementation of rules under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 in all defence establishments.
The Army did not provide any information to the applicant, the CIC noted. Akhand approached the Commission with a complaint that the central public information officer (CPIO) of the Army has demanded a signed copy of his online RTI application as well as identity proof before providing him the records.
“In this regard, it may be noted that as far as CPIO’s request for citizenship proof is concerned, the same is not questioned as Commission in its prior decision(s) has held the view that Armed Forces stand on a slightly different footing as there may be instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, and for such reasons it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof,” Sinha noted.
Originally posted here!