RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL 2004
WHAT IS RIGHT TO INFORMATION?
n To provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for people
n Secure access to information under the control of public authorities. In order
n Promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority,
n the constitution of a Central information Commission and for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO
HAVE A RIGHT TO INFORMATION?
n IT HELPS TO PROMOTE
§ PRINCIPLE OF AACCOUNTABILITY
§ PRINCIPLE OF PARTICIPATION
§ PRINCIPLE OF TRANSPARENCY
WHAT IS THE LEGAL BASIS
OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL?
n THE RIGHT TO EQUALITY – ARTICLE 19
n THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH & EXPRESSION – ARTICLE 19 (1) (A)
n THE RIGHT TO LIFE & PERSONAL LIBERTY – ARTICLE 19
n THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHT ARTICLE – 19
n CONSTITUTION OF INDIA-
n RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL OF 9 STATES
n TAMIL NADU (1997), GOA (1997), RAJASTHAN, KARNATAKA, DELHI, MAHARASTRA (2002), MADHYA PRADESH, ASSAM, JAMMU & Kashmir (2004)
n SUPREME COURT ORDER UNDER THE CASE 196/2001, PUCL Vs. UNION OF
INDIA ON THE ISSUE OF FOOD RIGHTS AND RIGHT TO WORK.
n FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL 2000.
WHY CENTRAL LAW ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION?
n IT WILL SECURE
§ EASY ACCESS.
In relation to a public authority established, constituted, Owned, substantially financed by
funds provided directly or indirectly or controlled by the Central Government or a Union. Territory administration
means the Central Government;
Means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices,
press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic
form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the
time being in force;
Means any authority or body established
(i) by or under the Constitution;
(ii) by any other 'law made by Parliament;
(iii) by notification
issued or order made by the Government,
and includes any other body owned or controlled by the 'Government;
“Right to Information” –
Inspection of work, documents
Taking notes extracts or certified samples of material.
Obtaining information in the form of diskettes, fluffy,
tapes, video cassettes, printouts etc.
Right to Information obligations
of Public Authorities
n Every Public authority shall maintain its records duly catalogued, indexed, which
facilitates Right to Information?
n Publish before the commencement of the Act
The particulars of its organization, functions and
The powers and duties of its officers and employees;
The procedure followed in the decision making process,
including channels of supervision and accountability;
§ The norms set by
it for the discharge of its functions;
regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its
A statement of the categories of documents that are
held by it or under its control;
§ The particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation
by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;,’
A statement of the boards, councils, committees and
other bodies consisting
of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advise, and as to whether meetings of those
boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes 'of such meetings are accessible for
A directory of its officers and employees;
The monthly remuneration received by each of its officers
Employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;
The budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating
the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;
§ The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the
and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;
§ Particulars of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it;'
§ Details in respect of the information, available to or held by it,
§ Reduced in an electronic form;
§ the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information,
including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;
§ the names, designations and other particulars of the Public
§ Such other information as may be prescribed;
§ And thereafter update there publications within such intervals in each year as
may be prescribed;
Before initiating any project,
or formulating any policy, scheme, programme Or law, publish or communicate to the public in general or to the persons likely
to be affected thereby in particular, the facts available to it or to which it has reasonable access which in its opinion
should be known to them in the best interest of natural justice and promotion of democratic principles.
shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost. Effectiveness, local language and the most effective method of communication
in that local, area and the information should be easily accessible, to the extent possible in electronic format with the
Public Information Officer, available fee or at such cost of the medium or in print cost price may be prescribed.
Making known or communicated' the information to the public through notice boards, newspapers, public
announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means, including inspection of offices of any public authority.
Designation of Public
Every Public authority shall designate
an officer, within 100 days of enactment of the Act at each sub divisional or other sub district level.
for obtaining information
Any person can obtain any information shall make a request in writing or through electronic
media means in English or in the official languages of the area in which application is being made, accompanying such fee
as may be prescribed.
Disposal of request
n Public information officer on receipt of request shall provide information in
any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request or reject the request for any of the reasons.
n Concerning the life and liberty of the person where information must be provided
within 48 hours.
n In case of rejection, public information officer has to communicate to the person-
the reason for such rejection.
Exemption from disclosure
n Information, which would Affect
the sovereignty and integrity of India, security, strategic, scientific and economic interest of the state, relation
with foreign state. The cabinet paper, council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers, investigation, document, prosecution
Constitution of Central
n Central government shall notify in the official gazette.
n Commission shall consist of
– Information commissioners.
– Deputy Information Commissioner not exceeding ten.
– Information commissioner & deputy information commissioner shall be appointed by the President
on the recommendation of a committee consisting of
– Prime Minister
– Leader of the Opposition
– Chief justice of India.
Term of Office and condition
- Five years
- No information officer holds office after he/she attained the age of 65.
n If Public Information Officer has persistently failed to provide information without
any reasonable cause within the period of 30 days, the commission may otherwise any officer of the central government to file
a complaint against such public information officer before judicial Magistrate of First Class.
n Fine may extend Rs.25000/- or a term of imprisonment which may extended to 5 years.
n No suit, persecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person.
n No court shall entertain any suit application or other proceeding in respect of
any order made under this act.
n Act shall not apply to the intelligence & security organization.
n Training to information officer of public authority or to produce relevant training
material for use by the public authority.
n Handbook to be produced for this act.
Action Points for transparent
and accountable governance
n Micro Initiative
§ Training to be imparted at the grass root level on right to information to acquaint
people with the rights integrated in the bill.
§ Discussion at Gram Sabha on right to information to intensify awareness.
§ Observation of information demand week on local issues.
§ Alliance building at Panchayat level to ensure execution of the bill.
§ Functionalization of information at the grass root level.
§ Common letter design to be developed and proposed for asking the information from
the block level in the form of application.
§ Other organizations also need to be mobilized on the issue at the micro level.
§ Information to be disseminated by linking the right to information with other
programs / issues.
Policy level initiative
n Preparation of alternative State right to information bill in line with the central
n Media advocacy and awareness to highlight the issue of obstruction of information
sharing by the officer to the gram sabha.
n Focused study at any pocket to reveal that programs are failing due to denial
attitude of the bureaucrats to disseminate related information to the people.
n Focused programme at State level for pressure building to implement the right
to information law in the state.
n Alliance building with other networks on the issue to raise campaign at the state level.
n Publication of posters / pamphlets / manuals indicating building points of the
right to information bill, which will be in simple language.
Campaign linkages to be developed from Village to State in order to make the issue more visible in the state.
MLA/MLC awareness programme to on the right to information bill needs to be undertaken pressurize for transparent governance
in the state.