The Right to Information (RTI) Act is a law enacted by the Parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens. It was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005. The RTI Act mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. It applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which is covered under a State-level law.
The Act relaxes the Official Secrets Act of 1889 which was amended in 1923 and various other special laws that restricted information disclosure in India. In other words, the Act explicitly overrides the Official Secrets Act and other laws in force as on 15 June 2005 to the extent of any inconsistency.
Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen (excluding the citizens within J&K) 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 computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
The RTI Act specifies that citizens have a right to: request any information (as defined); take copies of documents; inspect documents, works and records; take certified samples of materials of work; and obtain information in the form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode.
Prior to the Act being passed by the Parliament, the RTI Laws were first successfully enacted by the state governments of Tamil Nadu (1997), Goa (1997), Rajasthan (2000), Karnataka (2000), Delhi (2001), Maharashtra (2002), Madhya Pradesh (2003), Assam (2002) and Jammu and Kashmir (2004). Some of these State level enactments have been widely used. While the Delhi RTI Act is still in force, Jammu & Kashmir has its own Right to Information Act of 2009, the successor to the repealed J&K Right to Information Act, 2004 and its 2008 amendment.
At the national level, given the experience of state governments in passing practicable legislation, the Central Government appointed a working group under H.D. Shourie to draft legislation. The Shourie draft, in an extremely diluted form, became the basis for the Freedom of Information Bill, 2000 which eventually became law under the Freedom of Information (Fol) Act, 2002. The Fol Act, however, never came into effective force as it was severely criticised for permitting too many exemptions, not only under the standard grounds of national security and sovereignty, but also for requests that would involve 'disproportionate diversion of the resources of a public authority'. Further, there was no upper limit on the charges that could be levied and there were no penalties for not complying with a request for information.
The failure of Fol Act led to sustained pressure for a better National RTI enactment. The first draft of the Right to Information Bill was presented to Parliament on 22 December 2004. Subsequently, more than a hundred amendments to the draft Bill were made before the bill was finally passed. The Law is applicable to all constitutional authorities, including the executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or body established or constituted by an act of Parliament or a state legislature.
Bodies or authorities established or constituted by order or notification of appropriate government including bodies "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by government, or non-Government organizations "substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds" provided by the government are also covered by the Law. While private bodies are not within the Act's ambit directly, in a landmark decision of 30 November 2006 (Sarbajit Roy versus DERC) the Central Information Commission reaffirmed that privatised public utility companies continue to be within the RTI Act their privatisation notwithstanding.
Under the Act, all authorities covered must appoint their Public Information Officer (PIO). When any person submits a request to the PIO for information in writing, it is the PIO's obligation to provide information. Further, if the request pertains to another public authority (in whole or part) it is the PIO's responsibility to transfer/forward the concerned portions of the request to a PIO of the other authority within five days. In addition, every public authority is required to designate Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs) to receive RTI requests and appeals for forwarding to the PIOs of their public authority.
The RTI Act specifies that a citizen making the request is not obliged to disclose any information except his/her name and contact particulars. The Act also specifies time limits for replying to the request. If the request has been made to the PIO, the reply is to be given within 30 days of receipt. In the case of APIO, the reply is to be given within 35 days of receipt. If the request is transferred by to PIO to another public authority the time allowed to reply is computed from the day on which it is received by the PIO of the transferee authority.
In case of information concerning corruption and Human Rights violations by scheduled Security agencies, the time limit is 45 days but with the prior approval of the Central Information Commission. However, if life or liberty of any person is involved, the PIO is expected to reply within 48 hours.
The information under RTI has to be paid for except for Below Poverty Level Card (BPL Card) holders. Hence, the reply of the PIO is necessarily limited to either denying the request (in whole or part) and/ or providing a computation of further fees. The time between the reply of the PIO and the time taken to deposit the further fees for information is excluded from the time allowed. If information is not provided within the time limit, it is treated as deemed refusal. Refusal with or without reasons may be ground for appeal or complaint. Further, information not provided in the times prescribed is to be provided free of charge.
Considering that providing each and every information asked for under the Act may severely jeopardise national interest, some exemptions to disclosure are provided for in the Act. Information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court; information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature; information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party.
Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship; information received in confidence from foreign Government; information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; and cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers are some of the exemptions. Notwithstanding any of these exemptions, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.
The officer who is the head of all the information under the Act is Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). At the end of year CIC is required to present a report which contains: the number of requests made to each public authority; the number of decisions when applicants were not given permission to access to the documents which they request, the provisions of the Act under which these decisions were made and the number of times such provisions were filed; details of disciplinary action taken against any officer in respect of the administration of the Act; and the amount of charges collected by each public authority under the Act.
We are providing many paragraphs, long essay in very simple language with the boundaries of different words here. Here you can find Essay on Right to Information Act (RTI) : Revolutionary Tool in Democracy in English language for students in 1000 words. In this article cover Topic : Definition of RTI, How did RTI movement develop ?, RTI Act was passed, RTI became a global trend, It is implemented at all levels, viz, union, state, local etc., Other similar legislative mechanism for strengthening RTI and Strong movements in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat help to apply RTI.
The participation of citizens for successful democracy is one of the main materials. It is very important to provide information in the control of public officials and to establish government records for investigation. Due to these factors, the convenience of a legislative system, Right to Information (RTI) Act
RTI can be defined as an act of Parliament of India, the "Act to establish a pragmatic rule of right to information for citizens" Act explicitly directs that to promote transparency and accountability Each public authority will provide reasons for its administrative and semi-judicial decisions.
This RTI Act 2005 provides the opportunity to use information related to public officials. This act provides information related to records, documents, memos, emails, opinions, advice, press releases, orders, contracts, reports, data content, any material held in any electronic form, and any private organization in any form Defines 'information' as any material including, under any law, public authority can be used by that time, in this manner RTI can be used. Aasan has made a major change in culture and has tried to move the powers of democracy into the hands of the people.
This Act was to confront the 'Government Intelligence Act' imposed by the British in 1923. Under this act, red tape, corruption, fraud and deep rooted corruption have developed. RTI fundamental rights have been taken from the freedom of speech under article 19 of Indian Constitution.
The Right to Information came from the Civil Society Group, under the leadership of Aruna Roy, the Labor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) demanded the reasons for not paying the wages to the workers under the leadership of poor villagers in Bever, Rajasthan, under the leadership of Aruna Roy. Put on hold This led to the establishment of the RTI movement.
The National Campaign for the Right to Information (NCPRI) and the Press Council of India had prepared the RTI draft in 1996. The government had issued a bill of information in Parliament in 2002, but unfortunately it could not become an act.
In 2004, the UPA government started preparing the draft RTI for RTI in the National Advisory Council (NAC) under RTI. When the bill was introduced for the first time, then it was only to implement the Central Government. NCPRI has compelled the government to review and implement it with many amendments. Finally, on October 13, 2005, the RTI Act was passed in Parliament. This made the faith again in democracy. In recent years, RTI has become a global trend. The need for RTI Act was felt to ensure responsibilities and accountability of community needs.
An institutional mechanism like Central Information Commission (CIC), State Information Commission (SIC), Public Information Officer (PIO) and Appellate Authority, to implement RTI as all levels such as Union, State, Local and Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Authority CIC meant to accept cases when the applicant was not satisfied with the response to the Central Authority, the second appeal mechanism, when wrong information was given and the request at the lower level was not accepted. Therefore, it acts as a monitoring institution at the highest level. It emphasizes the establishment of SIC, but according to the second ARC report, 6 states have not formed SIC including Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim.
Along with RTI, there are other similar legislative mechanisms to strengthen RTI, such as the Whistleblower Protection Bill, 2011; Complaint Redressal Bill, Lokpal, Lokayukta etc. After the killing of Satyendra Dube, the Whistleblower Protection Bill began, which revealed the scandal in 2004 in NHAI. Under Article 33, the signature of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is signed by the Whistlebluners to the Government of India. The findings of the Commonwealth HR Initiative (CRRI) show that in the last 10 years, 49 RTI workers were killed, and 260 attacks on workers were carried out.
The grievance redressal bill creates a way for the citizens to get the government's right and the failure to distribute RTI information will be taken against the government officials, which will go forward to ensure the quality of the service. Lokpal, Lokayukta also tends to fight against corruption with RTI. The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, the right to service also strengthens the culture of transparency in the country.
Worker Kisan Shakti Sangathan has given the rural face to RTI, whereas activists like Anjali Bharadwaj, Satish Shetty are active in urban areas.
There have been strong agitations with states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. In Maharashtra, the movement against corruption was kept by Anna Hazare, who delivered the RTI bill to the district and Kerala in Marathi language) Taluka level For the demand of RTI from the government side, he went to the funeral in 1996 in Anandi. The Maharashtra government established special courts to resolve this issue within two months, imposing a fine of 100 fines for delayed information every day.
The main role of RTI is for the creation, maintenance and dissemination of information such as disclosure of PDS database, whole life cycle of civil databases etc. But this law is not without challenges, challenges in the administration, such as structural, procedural, military issues have to be faced.
First of all, it is difficult to request the common man as a method of payment to insist on the apathy and demand draft of officials. Therefore, he will have to spend 35 rupees as a bank to pay RTI fee. The rate of disposal of the case is low, it is especially due to the vacancy of posts in C IC and SIC. After 10 months of the end of Rajiv Mathur, there was a vacancy in relation to CIC's post.
Many RTI activists were killed, one of whom was Satish Shetty, who exposed the land scam in Maharashtra and killed in 2010. Amit Jethwa was killed in front of Gujarat HC in daylight to fight illegal mining. Shehla Masood, who fought against hunting of tigers in Madhya Pradesh, was also killed.
Under section 8 of the Act, there are many waivers under security, defense, foreign policy, law enforcement, public safety and cabinet papers. RTI has created lakhs of ombudsmen and led the empowerment of citizens. Due to the right to information, democracy, administrative and recruitment scandals, irregularities in PDS, the scams of MNREGA violations in communal riots in Godhra, under AFSPA, have been demonstrated.
This act has been conceived and distributed in a better concept which will lead India to reduce corruption in government departments. It is a recognition of democracy that requires information and transparency of citizens for information on better functioning.