Saturday, March 19, 2011

Know about RTI

Know about RTI

RTI ACT BY MUHAMMAD AFZAL BHAT

Last update on: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Mecca time 

What a wonderful piece of legislation it is

The Right to Information is understood to be vital piece of legislation which can pave the way for transparency and accountability in governance and effective participation of the people in a democratic society. "Information" means information related to any matter in respect of the affairs of the Government. It includes a copy of any record in the form of a document, floppy or any other electronic mode. The RTI Act in India has significantly sought to expand democratic space and empower the citizens to exercise more control on the corrupt practices.

The Right to information Act 2005, defines information in section 2(1) as any material in any form, including the records documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, order, log books, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data materials held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can accessed by a public authority under any law for the time being in force. 

Section 2(i) defines the word "record" as including: 
(a) any document manuscript and file,
(b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of documents, 
(c) any reproductive of image or images embodied in such microfilm, and 
(d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device. 

The "right to information" is define in sec 2(j) as a right to information accessible under the act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and the right to: 
(i) inspection of work, documents of records; 
(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; 
(iii) taking separates samples of material; and 
(iv) obtaining  information in the form of  diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes, or in any other electronic mode or through print outs. 

RTI Act 2005, covers all central, state an local Govt. bodies and in addition to the executive, it also applies the judiciary and the legislature. It also covers all bodes owned, controlled or substantially financed either directly or indirectly by the government and non –government organization and other private bodies, substantially funded, directly or indirectly by the Govt. This would seem to include private schools, hospitals, and other commercial institutes that have got subsides in the form of land at concession rates or tax concession. 

Section 4 of the act prescribes the scope: "Every public authority shall maintain all its records and ensures that all records to be computerized within a reasonable  time and subject to availability of recourses, computerized and connected through a net work an over the country so that access to such records is facilitated."

Section 8 of the act prescribes its limitations:  

It deals with exemptions from disclosure of information. 

(a)Information disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India;
(b) 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;
(c) Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of parliamentary or the state legislation;
(d) Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property;
(e) Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship;
(f) Information received in confidence from foreign Govt.;
(g) Information the disclosure of which would endanger the life of physical safety of  any person;
(h) Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; and 
(i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the council of minister, secretaries, and other offices.

(2) Notwithstanding any thing in the official secrets Act. 1923(19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

RTI has been seen as the key to strengthening and bring improvements in the quality of life of the citizen's good governance, transparency which means accountability availability of information to the general public and clarity about function of government institute.

(3). Subject to the provision of cause (a),(c)and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making  a request under that section:

(Muhammad Afzal Bhat is Lecturer Statistics. Feedback at afzalspm@gmail.com

Courtesy_


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

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