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THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
For purpose of guidance in training in
INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT
(updated as on 31st March 2006)
DIRECTORATE OF TRAINING
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DIRECT TAXES CHHINDWARA ROAD NAGPUR – 440 029 http://nadt.gov.in
(DISCLAIMER: THE CONTENTS IN THIS MANUAL DO NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEW OF INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT OR GOVERNMENT INDIA. WE DO NOT UNDER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACCURACY OF CONTENTS/CHANGES NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF DIRECTORATE OF TRAINING BECAUSE
THERE IS LIKELIHOOD OF CHANGE IN NAMES, DESIGNATIONS, POSITIONS ON VARIOUS ISSUES ETC.,)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HISTORY AND OVERVIEW OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT...........................6 DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION IS PART OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION............................................................................................................7 INFORMATION RELATED TO PRIVATE BODIES.............................................7 CAMPAIGN FOR RIGHT TO INFORMATION......................................................8 COMMITMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.............................................................8 II. PUBLIC AUTHORITY................................................................................................10 III. INFORMATION AND RIGHT TO INFORMATION.............................................11 WHAT IS INFORMATION.......................................................................................11 WHAT IS RECORD....................................................................................................12 FILE NOTINGS...........................................................................................................12 PRIVATE BODY.........................................................................................................12 RIGHT TO INFORMATION....................................................................................13 IV. OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES - ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION.......................................................................................................14 OBLIGATION OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.........................................................14 RECOMMENDED ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION (NOT RELEVANT NOW BECAUSE ACT IS ALREADY UNDER IMPLEMENTATION)................................................................................................16 V. CPIO, CAPIO - ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES ...............................................17 STRUCTURE OF CPIOS/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES IN THE INTOME TAX DEPARTMENT.................................................................................................17 STRUCTURE OF CPIOS/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES IN CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES (F. NO. 402/9/2005-ITCC DATED 21-03-2007 FROM CBDT) ..........................................................................................................................18 ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES & POWERS OF CPIO AND RECOMMENDED PROCEDURE..............................................................................................................19 OBTAINING INFORMATION.................................................................................22 SUPPLY OF INFORMATION..................................................................................23 DECISION MAKING.................................................................................................24 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES OF CAPIOS....................................................25
VI. APPELLATE AUTHORITIES – ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES ...................26 FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY.........................................................................26 SECOND APPEAL TO THE CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION......27 VII. EXEMPTION PROVISIONS - INTERPRETATION.............................................29 EXEMPTION BY PERSON.......................................................................................29 EXEMPTION BY CLASS..........................................................................................30 AN OVERRIDING FACTOR....................................................................................31 DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION IN RETURNS OF INCOME – OPINION OF MINISTRY OF LAW & JUSTICE.....................................................................31 ANOTHER OVERRIDING FACTOR - PUBLIC INTEREST VIS A VIS PROTECTED INTEREST.........................................................................................32 A NEGATIVE OVERRIDING FACTOR.................................................................32 DISCLOSURE TO BE IN MEANINGFUL MANNER...........................................32 WHEN IT CAN BE SAID THAT PUBLIC INTEREST IS SERVED...................32 OPINION OF MINSITRY OF LAW ON “PUBLIC INTEREST” AND RECENT DECISIONS OF CIC..................................................................................................33 REQUESTS TO PROVIDE OPINIONS OR INTERPRETATION OF LAW OR FACTS..........................................................................................................................33 MAINTENANCE OF REGISTERS AND RETENTION POLICY.......................34 DUTY OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION.................34 EXEMPTION NOT TO APPLY IN CERTAIN CASES WHERE A TIME GAP OF TWENTY YEARS HAS ELAPSED....................................................................36 VIII. TIME LIMITS FOR SUPPLY OF INFORMATION ...........................................37 IX. FEE.............................................................................................................................38 X. PUBLICATION SCHEMES AND RECORD MANAGEMENT...............................41 MANDATORY PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION U/S 4(1)(B)......................42 ......................................................................................................................................42 CATALOGUING AND INDEXING OF RECORDS U/S 4(1)(A)..........................42 RIGHT TO INSPECT IS ALSO PART OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION..........44 XI. PROACTIVE DISCLOSURE....................................................................................45 XII. CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION .............................................................46 KEY CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN THE IMPLEMENATION OF THE ACT .......................................................................................................................................46 STEPS TO BE TAKEN FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT ....................47
(SOME PORTIONS OF THE MATTER BELOW ARE NOT RELEVANT BECAUSE ACT IS ALREADY BEING IMPLEMENTED)...................................47 XIII. RECOMMENDED FORMAT FOR FORMS AND APPLICATIONS.................48 1. FORM OF APPLICATION FOR SEEKING INFORMATION........................48 CHECK LIST FOR OFFICIAL USE........................................................................50 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF APPLICATION...................................................50 3. INTIMATION OF TRANSFERRING THE APPLICATION TO ANOTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITY (U/S 6(3) OF RTI ACT).....................................................51 4. NOTICE FOR PAYMENT OF FURTHER FEE ................................................51 5. INTERNAL QUERY FOR ELICITING INFORMATION................................52 6. REMINDER TO THE CONCERNED OFFICER...............................................53 7. ORDER FURNISHING INFORMATION (U/S 7(1) OF THE RTI ACT):.......53 8. NOTICE TO THE THIRD PARTY U/S 11(1) OF THE RTI ACT:...................54 9. ORDER OF REJECTION (U/S 7(1) OF THE RTI ACT): ................................55 10. ORDER OF PART DISCLOSURE (U/S 10(1) OF THE RTI ACT):...............55 12. FORM OF APPEAL TO BE FILED U/S 19(1) OF THE RTI ACT:...............56 XIV. MONITORING, REPORTING AND RAISING AWARENESS...........................58 MONITORING AND REPORTING.........................................................................58 AWARENESS PROGRAMMES AND USER GUIDES..........................................60 XV. FEATIRES OF THE RTI ACT 2005.................................................................61 DATE OF ENFORCEMENT: .................................................................................61 COVERAGE:...............................................................................................................61 MEANING:.................................................................................................................61 OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY:.........................................................62 EXEMPTION FROM DISCLOSURE:.....................................................................63 MEANING OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY:..................................................................64 EXCLUDED AUTHORITIES:..................................................................................64 THIRD PARTY:..........................................................................................................65 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS (PIOS):......................................................65 DUTIES OF PIOS:......................................................................................................65 APPLICATION PROCEDURE:................................................................................66 TIME LIMIT TO GET INFORMATION:...............................................................67 APPLICATION FEE:.................................................................................................67
GROUNDS FOR REJECTION:................................................................................67 APPELLATE AUTHORITIES:.................................................................................67 CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION:........................................................68
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:__________________________________________________________68 TERM OF OFFICE OF CIC:_______________________________________________________69 TERM OF OFFICE OF ICS:_______________________________________________________69
STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONS:............................................................69
POWERS & FUNCTIONS OF INFORMATION COMMISSIONS:....................70 REPORTING PROCEDURE:...................................................................................71 PENALTY PROVISIONS:.........................................................................................71 PROTECTION FOR BONAFIDE ACTIONS AND JURISDICTION OF COURTS:.....................................................................................................................72 ACT TO OVERRIDE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT OR PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THIS ACT:....................72 ROLE OF CENTRAL/STATE GOVERNMENTS:.................................................72 RULE MAKING POWER:........................................................................................73 ANNEXURE – I : UN Principles On Freedom Of Information.....................................73 ANNEXURE – II: VIEWS OF COMMONWEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION....................................................................................74 ANNEXURE – III: Text of PM's intervention in the Lok Sabha on the right to information bill debate on May 11, 2005 New Delhi.......................................................75 ANNEXURE - IV: LETTER FROM DOM&S................................................................79 ANNEXURE - V: AUTHORITIES ENTRUSTED WITH RESPONPOSIBILITY OF PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION u/s 4(1)(b) .........................................................89 ANNEXURE – VI: MODEL CATALOUGUE OF RECORDS/FILES RECOMMEND FOR EACH AO/RANGE..................................................................................................91
Chapter 1 HISTORY AND OVERVIEW OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT
The dictum “Knowledge is Power” is truly applicable to the modern world and information is the most important means to acquire knowledge. Technology also places information at the center of development. Therefore, in the contemporary world, right to information is a key component in the realization of economic, social and political rights of an individual as well as the community at large. Failure on the part of the State to provide its citizens with access to information is against democratic principles and their fundamental rights. It is also necessary to ensure that our democracy is not merely representative put participative. Right to Information Act (RTI Act 2005) which is effective from 12th October 2005 is a major step in transition of our democracy from representative to participative. Information in the possession of Government or its officers is not an end in itself. The information belongs to the public and held for the benefit of the public. Such information cannot be kept away from the citizens in an unreasonable manner. Realizing this fact, General Assembly of the United Nations, at its very inception resolved, “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and touchstone for all freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated”. UN principles on freedom of Information are contained in Annexure – I of this manual. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative propounds that the right to access information underpins all other human rights. For example, freedom of expression and thought inherently rely on the availability of adequate information to form opinions. The realisation of the right to personal safety also requires that people have sufficient information to protect themselves. Quite simply, the right to information is at the core of the human rights system because it enables citizens to more meaningfully exercise their rights, assess when their rights are at risk and determine who is responsible for any violations. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative recognises access to information as a right and its views are in Annexure – II to this manual.
DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION IS PART OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The right to information holds within it the right to seek information, as well as the duty to give information, to store, organise, and make it easily available, and to withhold it only when it is proven that this is in the best public interest. The duty to enable access to information rests with government and encompasses two key aspects: enabling citizens to access information upon request; and proactively disseminating important information. Therefore, right of information not only involves the right to seek information but also casts duty on the public authority or its officers to organize and make available information to the general public unless disclosure of such information is detrimental to the public interest. Proactive disclosure of information therefore becomes an integral part of the right to information.
INFORMATION RELATED TO PRIVATE BODIES
The domain of right to information does not end just at the government office. It extends in a way to private bodies also. For instance, if a private organization or entity is managed through grants or funds provided by Government, then public has every right to know about the affairs of such private body or about the manner in which the public funds are spent by such body. Similarly, if a factory is releasing harmful effluents into the environment, public has every right to know about the details of the discharge, its composition, methods of hazardous waste management employed by the factory and also the harmful effect that are likely to fall on the population due to the discharge. Such information can be called for by Government authorities from the factory and public also should be in a position to call for such information in equal measure. Therefore, disclosure of information about third parties and also calling for information related to third parties becomes part of the right to information unless issues likes trade secrets or trade competition are involved.
CAMPAIGN FOR RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Though the Constitution of India does not explicitly grant a right to information as a fundamental right, the Supreme Court in several cases, particularly in the cases of Bennett & Coleman and S.P Gupta, held that right to information is implicit in Article 19 (1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution. However, there was no specific legislation till now to enforce this right. The present legislation owes its existence to the commitment of the Government to the cause and also to the movements of civil society groups. In India, States like Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir already have their own Acts on right to information.
COMMITMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT
The commitment of the Government to the cause of Right to Information is clear from the intervention speech of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha on the right to information Bill on May 11, 2005. In his intervention, the Hon’ble Prime Minister explained in detail, the reasons behind the introduction of the Act. He stated that all power is a sacred societal trust. He also said that the key to successful functioning of any democratic polity is the ability of a citizen to observe and evaluate the functioning of elected representatives and make an informed judgment on their performance. This evaluation is predicated on the easy availability of the necessary information for a citizen to arrive at an assessment. He also stated that common man is at the center of an intricate web of elaborate system of rights and obligations, a system of checks and balances, a system with clear division of powers at different levels of the Government further translated into practice by our laws, procedures, policies and programmes. As stated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, it is the common man or common woman who is the fulcrum of our democratic system, as an observer, as the seeker of information, as the one who asks the relevant questions, as the analyst and as the final judge of our performance. He stated that the Government has made a commitment, not only to work for the welfare of the common man, but also strengthen his or her role as the arbiter of our destiny and the Right to Information Bill was introduced in the Parliament in this context. The full text of the speech of the Hon’ble Prime Minister is available at Annexure – III to this manual. Keeping all the above principles in mind, The Right to Information Act, 2005 (Act No. 22 of 2005) was passed by Parliament
of India and received Presidential assent on 15th June 2005. It is an Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. *****
II. PUBLIC AUTHORITY
Public authority is the focus of attention of the Right to Information Act. It has been defined in the Act in an exclusive manner in section 2(h). Three categories of organizations are included in the definition. These are “authority”, “body” and “institution of selfgovernment”. The qualification is establishment or constitution; • • • • by or under the Constitution; by any other law made by Parliament; by any other law made by State Legislature; by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any— body owned, controlled or substantially financed; non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the Government;
Income Tax Department is a public authority. DOM&S has issued a letter dated 10-08-05 vide F. No 50/1/2005-WS/DOMS specifying who shall be the “public authority” in the Department. A copy of this letter is available at Annexure – IV of this manual. As per the recent decision of Central Information Commission in the case of Er Sarabjit Roy (Complaint No. 10/1/2005-CIC – Order dated 25-02-2006 – In the case of Er. Sarbajit Roy Vs CPIO, Delhi Development Authority ), entire Department needs to be treated as single public authority and hence once CPIO can’t transfer an application before him to another CPIO in the Department u/s 6(3) of the Act.
III. INFORMATION AND RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The phrase “information” is defined in exclusive manner in section 2(f) of the Act. Two meanings have been incorporated in the definition. First, “any material in any form” and second, “relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force”. A little elaboration is required on the word “material”.
WHAT IS INFORMATION
In the definition of information itself, “material” has been incorporated in an inclusive manner but it has not been separately defined in the Act. In its inclusive manner, it includes: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models and data material held in any electronic form
It is necessary to look into the wider meaning of the phrase “material”. The Webster Dictionary defines “material” as: • • • the matter from which a thing is or can be made items needed for an activity information or ideas for use in performance or other work
WHAT IS RECORD
One of the basis of information is “records”. This word has been defined in the Act in section 2(i) in an inclusive manner. “Records” include: • • • • any document, manuscript and file; any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and any other material produced by a computer or any other device;
The scope is vast enough to include almost anything under the Sun.
The note sheets maintained in various files of the Department may constitute information as “manuscripts”. It can also be argued that they are integral part of the file itself. There was a debate on this issue, as the FAQs available on the website of DOPT (http://persmin.doc.in), stated that information does not include “file notings”. But, the debate is settled now because Central Information Commission in its decision in the case of Satya Pal (Appeal No.ICPB/A1/CIC/2006 – Date of order 31-01-2006 – Section 2(i) – In the case of Satya Pal Vs CPIO, TCIL) held that file notings are part of the file itself and would be part of information.
The second aspect of information relates to a private body. What is a “private body” is not defined in the Act. It can be inferred from the definition of “public authority” in section 2(h)(d)(ii) of the Act that any non-Government organization which is not substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the Government shall be a private body. Because, otherwise it shall become a public authority. The ambit of private body is large enough to include any organization of any form. However, for the purpose of information, only those private bodies shall fall under the purview of the Act over which a public authority under any law for the time being in force has the power to access information. As an extreme situation, a citizen can request for books of account of any organization, whether assessee or
not from the Income Tax Department. It is a different matter whether the CPIO accedes to the request or not.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The citizens have been accorded right to information, which has been defined in the Act in section 2(j). There are two basic qualifications of this right to information. First, information should be held by the public authority or should be under the control of the public authority. Second, the information should be accessible. This right also includes the right to: • • • • inspection of work, documents, records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; taking certified samples of material; obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;
This right can be exercised by any citizen by making a request u/s 6(1) of the Act. The request may be in writing or through electronic mode and in case the citizen is unable to make request in above forms, the Central Public Information Officer is duty bound to render reasonable assistance to reduce the request in writing. No reasons are required to be specified by the applicant for seeking the information. No personal details are required to be submitted by the applicant except the minimum necessary to enable the Central Public Information Officer to contact the applicant. *****
Chapter 4 IV. OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES - ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION
Chapter II of the RTI Act, 2005 casts certain obligations upon every public authority.
OBLIGATION OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
The key obligations cast upon a public authority under the RTI Act are as follows: 1. maintain all records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form, which facilitates the right to information. The Authority shall also ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerized and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated; 2. publish before 12-10-2005, items of information mentioned in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005. It is envisaged that some of these items will be published centrally. Reference may be made to F. No. 50/1/2005WS/DOMS dated 10-08-2005 issued by Director (DO&MS) available at Annexure – IV of this manual. 3. publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public. 4. provide reasons for its administrative and quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons. 5. make constant endeavor to provide information suo motu to public at regular intervals through various means of communication including internet. The efforts should be such that public should have minimum occasion to invoke the RTI Act, 2005 to seek information.
The information shall also be disseminated in such form and manner to enable easy access to the public. 6. make use of local language in wide manner in dissemination of information to be supplied as far as possible free of cost or may be at the print price. 7. designate CPIOs and CAPIOs. 8. collect and provide information to the Central Information Commission for enabling it to prepare its annual report to the Parliament. The reports shall furnish details on number of requests made to the public authority, number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access of information and concerned rejection orders, • number of appeals preferred to the Central Information Commission, • nature and outcome of such appeals, • particulars of disciplinary action taken against any officer in administration of the RTI Act, • amount of charges collected by the authority, • any facts which indicate an effort by the public authority to administer and implement the spirit and intention of the Act and recommendations for reform. 9. organize educational programmes for public, in particular, the disadvantaged communities, promote timely and effective dissemination of accurate information, train CPIOs/CAPIOs and produce training material for use by the authority. 10. publish within 18 months of the passing of the Act, a user guide for applicants, and 11. periodically publish details/directory of CPIOs and other relevant information that will enable the dissemination of information and enable proper administration of the Act. Considering the above obligations, the following action plan is recommended for CCIT/DGIT in charge of implementation of the RTI Act. (Disclaimer: This action plan is only recommendatory not obligatory. Also, the action plan is not relevant now because the act is already under implementation. Yet, the portion related to action plan is retained in the manual because it was part of the original version) • •
RECOMMENDED ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION
(not relevant now because Act is already under implementation)
SNo Action to be taken Time Frame 1 Setting up machinery for monitoring and First week of September report of progress of implementation 2005 2 Appointment of CPIOs/CAPIOs Preferably in second week of September 2005 (Statutory Limit is before 22-09-2005) and forwarding the details to DIT(Systems) for display on the departmental website. A copy shall also be marked to DIT(DO&MS) 3 Creation of front office of CPIOs/CAPIOs Preferably before second week of September 2005 4 Awareness programmes for all Officers and To start from first or second Staff on general provisions and record week of September 2005 management 5 Establishing publication policy and First or second week of publication schemes September 6 Preparation of lists of records, cataloguing Work should immediately and indexing as per publication policy start because section 4(1) of keeping in view section 4(1)(b) of the RTI the RTI Act, 2005 has Act, 2005 already come into force. 7 Training of CPIOs/CAPIOs/front office staff Third week of September 2005 8 Printing of model applications for seeking First week of October 2005 information and establishing channels for receiving information 9 Publications of names and details of Fourth week of September CPIOs/CAPIOs through media 2005 10 Compilation of information about records First week of October 2005 which are needed to be catalogued and indexed (to be readily available with CPIO/CAPIO) 11 Amendment of running contracts with Work to be started vendors and service providers to enable immediately information disclosure as per RTI Act 2005 12 Constituting a core team of trainers to Work to be started impart training to CPIOs/CAPIOs as well as immediately officers and staff
Consolidated fortnightly Report to CBDT
To be fortnight
V. CPIO, CAPIO - ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES
The central role in dealing with the citizen-applicants under the RTI Act has been assigned to CPIOs (Central Public Information Officers) who have to receive applications, take decisions, collect and supply information. The role of CAPIOs (Central Assistant Public Information Officers) is to receive and forward applications/appeal petitions. Setup of CPIOs/Appellate Authorities in the Department is given below.
STRUCTURE OF CPIOs/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES IN THE INTOME TAX DEPARTMENT
S No 1 2 3 Office CBDT CPIO Appellate Authority
Appointed as per the subjects dealt by the officers in CBDT. Details are in another table given below Concerned DGIT Concerned CCIT/DGIT Concerned CCIT/DGIT DGIT(Training), NADT Concerned CCIT/DGIT for technical matters and Controlling CCIT for administrative matters
4 5 6
Directorates Concerned DIT attached to CBDT CCIT/DGIT Any officer working in the Headquarters (for information related to O/o CCIT/DGIT) CIT/DIT CIT/DIT/CIT(A)/CIT(C) & CIT(DR)-ITAT/ITSC ADG (Admn) for NADT NADT DsIT/CsIT of respective RTIs for RTIs Valuation DVOs Wing
STRUCTURE OF CPIOs/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES IN CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES (F. No. 402/9/2005-ITCC dated 21-03-2007 from CBDT)
S.No CPIO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Section US(TPL-I) US(TPL-II) US(TPL-III) US(TPL-IV) US(ITA-I) US(ITA-II) US(ITCC) US(Budget) US(OT) US(WT) U.S(Inv.I) US(Inv. II & III) ADIT(Prosecution) US(A & PAC)I US(A & PAC)II US(ITJ-I) US.(FT & TR-I)(I) US.(FT & TR-II)(I) SO(NC) US(V & L) US(Ad.VI) US(DTP) US(Ad VIA) US(Ad-VIII) US(Ad-VII) US Ad.(IX) Appellate Authority TPL-I TPL-II TPL-III TPL-IV ITA-I ITA-II ITCC Budget OT WT Inv.I Inv. II & III Prosecution A & PAC-I A & PAC-II ITJ FT & TR-I (I) FT & TR-II (I) NC V&L Ad.VI DTP Ad.VIA Ad-VIII Ad-VII US Ad.(IX)
Dir.(TPL-I) Dir.(TPL-II) Dir.(TPL-III) Dir.(TPL-IV) Dir.(ITA-I) Dir.(ITA-II) Dir.(ITCC) DS(Budget) D.S(OT & WT) D.S(OT & WT) Dir.(Inv.I) Dir.(Inv.II & III) OSD(Legal) Dir.(A & PAC) Dir.(A & PAC) D.S(ITJ) Dir.(FT & TR-I) Dir.(FT & TR-II) D.S.(NC) DS(V & L) Dir.(Ad.VI) Dir.(Ad.VI) Dir.(Ad.VII) Dir.(Ad.VIII) D.S.Ad.VII & IX) D.S.(Ad.VII & IX)
2.For the RTI applications pertaining to (HQ) and Grievance section Dir.(HQ) shall be the CPIO and CIT(C&S) shall be the Apellate Authority 3.In case the Under Secretary is not available or the post is vacant then the respective section Officer shall act as CPIO. The respective JSs/CITs shall act as apellate authority in case DS/Dir. in charge of the section is not available or the post is vacant. Orders designating authorities in respect of directorates attached to CBDT, offices of CCIT/DGIT, CIT/DIT charges, CsIT(A), CsIT(DR), CIT(Central) and Valuation Wing shall be passed by the controlling CCsIT/DGsIT under whose administrative control the respective authority falls. In case of Directorate of Training, DGIT(Training), NADT is the designating authority.
At stations, where there is no CPIO, the controlling CCIT/DGIT shall designate the senior most officer looking after the administration as CAPIO. After passing the orders, the concerned CCIT/DGIT has to send the consolidated list of CPIOs/CAPIOs designated by him/her to DIT(Systems) for display in the website of the Department and also mark a copy to the Director (DO&MS). The roles, responsibilities and powers of CPIO, CAPIO and recommended procedure are discussed below.
ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES & POWERS OF CPIO AND RECOMMENDED PROCEDURE
The following roles and responsibilities are assigned to the CPIO in the RTI Act, 2005. In the following points, the situation to arise before the CPIO has been visualized and his functions and responsibilities have been clubbed in a flow form suggesting the manner in which CPIO should deal with an application. 1. CPIO/CAPIO is duty bound to receive applications seeking information under section 6 of the RTI Act (a note on what is information is already available in Chapter 3) CAPIO has only to forward applications received by him to CPIO within five days of receipt and CPIO shall deal with these applications. CPIO/CAPIO cannot refuse applications even if they are pertaining to or related to another public authority including matters totally unrelated to Income Tax. In cases of persons seeking information where the request cannot be made in writing, the CPIO shall render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing. 2. CPIO has to verify whether the application is accompanied by proof of payment of fees prescribed u/s 6(1). In case of Below Poverty Line cases, no fees is payable u/s 6(1). CPIO should, wherever required, ensure payment of fees before supply of information.
3. In case of applications where information is held by or can be more appropriately dealt by another public authority, CPIO has to transfer the application to the relevant CPIO within five days of the receipt of the application and intimate the applicant immediately. Part of the application can also be transferred. For instance, if an application requires information partly in relation to Income Tax and the balance in relation to Central Excise then the portion related to Central Excise shall be transferred to the concerned CPIO of Central Excise. in cases where information pertains to Income Tax but related to two or more CPIOs within the Department, information related to the respective portions related to other CPIOs shall be obtained from them and supplied to the applicant. 4. If information sought pertains to the CPIO receiving the application, he/she has to ascertain whether third party interest is involved and whether the information is such which shall be considered as confidential by that third party. In such cases, before supplying information to the applicant, the CPIO shall issue a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request. In the said notice, third party must be given a chance to make a representation either in oral or in writing before the CPIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice. CPIO has to ensure fast service of this notice keeping in mind the tight time limits, which are discussed, in subsequent chapters of this manual. In case, there is no response from third party or there is no objection from the third party, the information can be supplied. In such case, the time limit of 30 days from the date of receipt of application does not get extended. It is suggested that the process of obtaining information from the concerned officer and the process of giving opportunity to the third party should be initiated simultaneously to prevent loss of time.
In case, of any objection from the third party, the CPIO shall sit in judgment over the objection of the third party and pass an order of his intention (whether or not he intends supplying information). If the intention is to supply the information, this order shall be served on the third party. This is an appealable order. The information sought by the applicant shall be withheld till the limitation time for filling appeal is over and third party has not preferred appeal and in the alternative, if appeal has been filed, the information is withheld till the finalization of the appellate proceedings. It is suggested that in all cases where there is objection from third party, the fact should be communicated to the applicant. Otherwise, the applicant will remain in dark about the fate of his application and may even prefer filing appeal before appellate authority or complaint before the Central Information Commission. These rights are given by the Act to the applicant. 5. CPIO has to take a decision whether the information sought is covered by exemption provisions u/s 8 or 9 of the RTI Act (which are discussed in Chapter 7 of this manual). If any of the provisions are applicable, information shall not be supplied unless, the CPIO is of the opinion that it is in the larger public interest to disclose such information or public interest in disclosure of information overweighs the protected interests. 6. CPIO has to decide charging of any further fees u/s 7(3) and/or charging of cost of supply of information u/s 7(5) of the Act. For charging further fees, CPIO has to issue notice to the applicant giving the details prescribed u/s 7(3) including working of the fees and basis thereof. This is an appellable notice. Time intervening between dispatch of the notice and disposal of appeal against the notice till payment of the finally determined fees gets excluded from the limitation period. Fees u/s 7(3) is payable even by applicants who are citizens below poverty line.
CPIO has to charge fees prescribed under section 7(1) or 7(5), if the information is sought in print format or electronic form. 7. There can be cases where information sought pertains to records, part of which falls under exempted category. For instance, a portion of a particular page of a document may fall in the exempt category but the remaining may not. In such cases, CPIO is duty bound to furnish the portion of information, which is not covered by exemption provisions. The severablility of the exempt portion from the remaining record has to be carefully analyzed to prevent leakage of exempt portion. Before taking final decision in such cases, CPIO shall issue notice to the applicant informing that only part of the record can be supplied. CPIO shall also provide reasons for the decision including any finding on the material questions of fact with reference to the material on which the findings are based.
i) Two channels have been provided in the RTI Act for the CPIO to obtain information. ii) First, the information which stands disseminated and which is expected to be with the CPIO hopefully in electronically networked form. Information can also be accessed by the CPIO from the official website of the Income Tax Department (www.incometaxindia.gov.in). iii) If application relates to any such information, the CPIO can deliver it without any restrictions or prohibitions on payment of fees to be prescribed u/s 4(4) of the RTI Act. iv) Second, for all other information, the CPIO has to obtain the same from the officer/official concerned who is in possession of the particular information. The Act requires CPIO to officially call for such information. v) The CPIO is vested with authority to seek assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his/her duties. In case of default by such officer, that officer shall be deemed CPIO in respect of the particular application. Any penal consequences of default in such cases shall lie on that officer. It is only through this process that the CPIO can effectively function.
vi) The CPIO must also obtain from such officer, details of the cost associated in gathering the information as specified in section 7(3) of the Act.
SUPPLY OF INFORMATION
(i) CPIO has power either to supply the information or reject the application. In case of latter, a formal order is necessary and this order is appellable. In case of former, he must ensure payment of fees before release of information. In either case, he has to keep track of date of limitation. (ii) CPIO has to supply information on demand not only in conventional format but also on electronic media like diskettes, floppies, tapes including videotapes and e-mail. As far as possible information should be supplied in the requested format and the decision on this issue is appellable. CPIO can determine the mode of supply of information when the request to supply information in a particular mode would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. Information has to be supplied or order of rejection to be passed within 30 days of receipt of an application seeking information. (iii) For applications filed before CAPIO, the period gets extended to 35 days. This limitation gets further extended in following circumstances. If third party interest (as discussed above) is involved the time limit gets extended. If further fees is chargeable u/s 7(3), the time limit will get extended. Where a request has been rejected, the CPIO in his order, shall communicate to the applicant - (i) the reasons for such rejection, (ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred and (iii) the particulars of the Appellate Authority. (iv) Notwithstanding the above, where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be
provided by the CPIO within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.
i. ii. Information has to be supplied subject to its accessibility and exemptions. An applicant seeking information should not be asked any reasons for requesting the information In appropriate cases covered by exemptions, the CPIO has to suo motu decide whether any public interest is involved. The onus of rejecting the criteria of public interest lies exclusively with the CPIO. In some cases, the CPIO may also have to weigh public interest vis a vis harm to protected interests and pass his order. What is public interest is not defined in the Act. The decisions of Central Information Commission available on the website http://cic.gov.in may be of help in this regard. A separate section is incorporated in this manual for guidance of CPIOs on this matter. CPIO is debarred from seeking any reasons of public interest from the applicant. However, the applicant may on his own specify the pubic purpose in his application. CPIO is debarred from seeking any personal details from the applicant except those that may be necessary for contacting him. If the information requested is not provided within the stipulated time and no formal letter of rejection is issued, it would be deemed that the request has been rejected. Information that is available with the concerned functionaries. In case the application is not rejected but information is not supplied within the stipulated time, fees prescribed u/s 7(5) shall not be charged (combined reading of section 7(5) and 7(6)).
In case of default by the CPIO, Central Information Commission can levy fine of Rs. 250 per day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- for – a. not accepting an application; b. delaying release of information without reasonable cause; c. malafide denial of information; d. knowingly giving incomplete, incorrect or misleading information; e. destroying information that has been requested and obstructing furnishing of information in any manner The Central Information Commission can also recommend disciplinary action against a CPIO for recurring defaults.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES OF CAPIOs
The duties of the CAPIOs are to receive the applications for information/appeals under the Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the concerned CPIO/Appellate Authority, as the case may be. The CAPIOs should make it a point to forward the applications/appeals on the same day to the CPIO/Appellate Authority. As already discussed, the CPIO gets extra time of only five days in case of applications filed before CAPIO.
Chapter 6 VI. APPELLATE AUTHORITIES – ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITES FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY
As per section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005, first appeal against the order of CPIO lies with the designated appellate authority. This appeal has to be filed within 30 days from the expiry of the prescribed time limit (for receipt of information) or from the date of receipt of the decision of CPIO. In case of appeal filed by third party, appeal has to be filed within 30 days of the date of the order of the CPIO. The role of first appellate authority is of paramount importance because the appellate authority is the immediate superior of a CPIO as well as a judicial authority immediately above the CPIO for the purpose of implementation of the Act. Therefore, the appellate authority in his/her administrative capacity has to ensure smooth implementation of the Act and in the judicial capacity discipline the erring CPIOs/CAPIOs. Upon receipt of the appeal, Appellate Authority has to take the following action. 1. In case of delay in filing in appeal, the appellate authority may admit the appeal if he/she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. 2. The appellate authority shall dispose of the appeal within 30 days from the date of filing.
This time limit can be extended suo motu by the appellate authority to a period not exceeding a total of 45 days from the date of filing of appeal. Reasons for extension of time have to be recorded in writing.
SECOND APPEAL TO THE CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Second appeal from the order of the first appellate authority lies with Central Information Commission within 90 days from the date on which the decision of the appellate authority is received or should have been delivered. Upon filing of the appeal, the Central Information Commission has to undertake the following actions: 1. In case of delay in filing in appeal, the Commission may admit the appeal if satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. 2. No time limit is prescribed for the Central Information Commission to dispose of the second appeal. 3. The Commission shall give reasonable opportunity of hearing to the concerned third party. 4. The decision of the Commission is binding. 5. The Commission, in its decision, can direct the public authority to take necessary steps to secure compliance under the Act. 6. The Commission can also award compensation to the appellant for any loss or detriment suffered, impose penalty on the CPIO and also recommend initiation of disciplinary action against him/her. 7. Actions undertaken or intended to be done in good faith are protected. 8. There is bar on courts to entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under the RTI Act, 2005. However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts under Articles 32 and 225 of the Constitution remain unaffected.
9. No fees is prescribed under the Act for filing appeal (but the same can be prescribed under the rules in pursuance of section 19(10)). Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules, 2005 have been notified by DOPT on 28-10-05. Salient features of the Rules are as follows: 1. These rules prescribe the contents of the appeal like name and address of the appellant, name and address of CPIO, brief facts of the case, particulars of the order, relief sought, grounds of appeal, verification etc. 2. details of documents that should accompany appeal are prescribed 3. Procedure to be followed in deciding the appeal is laid down 4. Service of notices by commission and conditions for presence of the appellant are also prescribed 5. It is also laid down that the order of the commission shall be pronounced in open proceedings and be duly in writing authorized by the Registrar or some other officer authorized by the Commission. Constitution of the Central Information Commission is also notified by the Government on 11-10-05. Shri Wajahat Habibullah is appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner. Shri A.N. Tiwari, Shri O.P Kejriwal, Shri M.M Ansari and Smt Padma Balasubramanian are appointed as the Information Commissioners.
Chapter 7 VII. EXEMPTION PROVISIONS - INTERPRETATION
The spirit and intention of the RTI Act, 2005 is to treat disclosure of information as the norm. Therefore, information should not be withheld unless there are strong reasons, which are permissible under the Act. Yet, in certain situations it is not in the public interest to disclose information. Taking cognizance of this fact, certain exemption provisions are incorporated in the Act. The exemption provisions can be broadly classified into two categories. First category is that of exemption by “person”. Second category is that of exemption of a “class” of information.
EXEMPTION BY PERSON
Exemption by “person” occurs when a particular agency or entity is fully exempt from the purview of the application of the Act i.e falls under the category of “absolute” exemption. As per section 24(1) read with Second Schedule of the Act, some of the security and intelligence organizations are exempt from the application of the RTI Act. Organizations that are exempt from the purview of the Act are: 1. Intelligence Bureau. 2. Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat. 3. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. 4. Central Economic Intelligence Bureau. 5. Directorate of Enforcement.
6. Narcotics Control Bureau. 7. Aviation Research Centre. 8. Special Frontier Force. 9. Border Security Force. 10. Central Reserve Police Force. 11. Indo-Tibetan Border Police. 12. Central Industrial Security Force. 13. National Security Guards. 14. Assam Rifles. 15. Special Service Bureau. 16. Special Branch (CID), Andaman and Nicobar. 17. The Crime Branch-C.I.D.- CB, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. 18. Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police. Section 24(2) and 24(3) provide for further notification of such organizations. However, in cases of allegations of corruption and violation of human rights, even the above organizations are not exempt. In case of violation of human rights, information has to be furnished with the approval of Central Information Commission.
EXEMPTION BY CLASS
In general, certain information is exempt because it relates to specific topics or belongs to a certain class of information. The list of such exempt cases has been bifurcated into two categories for clarification of understanding. Category I - General public interest has no role to play (a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; (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 Parliament or the State Legislature; (f) information received in confidence from foreign Government; (g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information
or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; (h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; (i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers till the period the decision is taken or matter is complete Category II - General public interest can supercede the exemption (a) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; (b) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; (c) information which relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information
AN OVERRIDING FACTOR
However in respect of personal information mentioned at item (c) of Category – II mentioned above, if the information cannot be denied to the Parliament or Legislature, then access to the same cannot be denied to the any applicant under the RTI Act.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION IN RETURNS OF INCOME – OPINION OF MINISTRY OF LAW & JUSTICE
On the issue of disclosure of personal information to a third party, a reference was made by CCIT, Mumbai to Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice. The opinion of the Ministry of Law & Justice is circulated by CBDT in F. No. 402/9/2005-ITCC dated 29-112005. Ministry of Law & Justice opined that information contained in the return of income is certainly of personal nature and its disclosure will not serve any public interest and no individual has got right to
information in such matters. Decisions of Central Information Commission available on the website http://cic.gov.in are of great help in this regard (decisions are available on action to be taken in case of information sought on sub-judice matters, DPC minutes, ACR files, examination papers, bank accounts, PAN numbers and so on)
ANOTHER OVERRIDING FACTOR - PUBLIC INTEREST VIS A VIS PROTECTED INTEREST
As per section 8(2), if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to protected interests, the CPIO can override the exemption provisions u/s 8(1) and disclose the information. Official Secrets Act, 1923 or any other Act is also overridden for this purpose.
A NEGATIVE OVERRIDING FACTOR
A CPIO may reject a request for information if it involves an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State.
DISCLOSURE TO BE IN MEANINGFUL MANNER
A word of caution to the CPIOs that sometimes an effort may be made by an applicant to obtain information in a manner, which is out of context to be used to generate baseless or adverse publicity against the Department or an individual. In such a setting, it is advisable to reveal additional information by the CPIO on his/her own to put the entire issue in proper perspective so that the information becomes meaningful and cannot be used in a misleading manner.
WHEN IT CAN BE SAID THAT PUBLIC INTEREST IS SERVED
The Right to Information Act does not define “public interest”. The issue is open. The idea of what may constitute public interest detailed below has emerged out of deliberations amongst officers of the Training Directorate: i) awareness and participation in debate on issues of critical/current importance; ii) promotion of accountability and transparency in spending of public money
promotion of accountability and transparency in decision making process of public authority iv) enhancing public understanding of decisions of public authorities affecting lives of citizens v) enhancing public awareness on issues of public safety The above aspects of public interest are illustrative and not exhaustive. The basis of these ideas has been judicial pronouncements and interpretations of Acts prevalent in other countries on the right to information.
OPINION OF MINSITRY OF LAW ON “PUBLIC INTEREST” AND RECENT DECISIONS OF CIC
On the issue of public interest in a reference made by CCIT, Mumbai, Ministry of Law and Justice opined that the expression “public interest means those interests which concern the public at large. Matters of Public Interest does not mean that which is interesting as gratifying curiosity or love of information or amusement, but that in which a class of the community have a pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected. Public Interest concerns welfare and rights of the community or a class thereof”. This opinion is circulated by CBDT vide F. No 402/9/2005ITCC dated 29-11-2005. Recent decisions of Central Information Commission available on the website http://cic.gov.in are of great help in determining the issue of public interest.
REQUESTS TO PROVIDE OPINIONS OR INTERPRETATION OF LAW OR FACTS
An application may seek opinion of the authority on a set of facts or on a point of law. In some cases, requests may also be made to interpret the law or to draw inferences on a set of facts. All these requests do not fall under the category of requests for information and the CPIO can reject such requests. However, where opinion/interpretation forms part of a record or any proceedings, it shall not be possible to deny the same.
MAINTENANCE OF REGISTERS AND RETENTION POLICY
DOMS Circular No. 65 dated 06-12-1995 prescribes retention schedule for 127 items of registers. The Department is not expected to maintain these registers after the period prescribed in the circular. Therefore, it is necessary to give wide publicity about the retention schedule so that applicants do not make a request for information related to registers which are beyond retention schedule.
DUTY OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION
A public authority cannot deny information merely on the ground that the applicant has no relation or concern with the information. However, under certain circumstances, where an unconnected person demands information which is personal in nature and related to a third party, the Central Information Commission held that such information need not be disclosed. In the case of Arun Verma (Appeal No. 05/IC (A)/CIC/2006 – Order dated 03-03-2006 – In the case of Arun Verma Vs DGIT (Systems), IT Department), the applicant sought information from CPIO, CBDT regarding details of PAN number, Date of Allotment of PAN number, TAN number and Date of Allotment of TAN number in case of 26 companies. These companies are engaged in sea food and marine product business. How the appellant is associated to the companies was not known. In this case, the Commission held that PAN is a statuary number, which functions as a unique identification for each tax payers. Making PAN public can result in misuse of this information by other persons to quote wrong PAN while entering into financial transactions and also could compromise the privacy of the personal financial transactions linked with PAN. This also holds true for TAN. Information relating to PAN and TAN, including the dated of issue of these numbers, are composite and confidential in nature under Section 138 of Income Tax Act. The appellant has not made a case of bonafide public interest for disclosure of PAN/TAN Numbers of 26 companies on grounds of submissions of their application for above purposes or filing of tax returns. The appeal was therefore dismissed. However, in the case of Dinesh Berry (Appeal No. 07/IC(A)/CIC/2006 – Order dated 06-03-2006 – In the case of Dinesh
Berry Vs CPIO, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd), the Commision held that tour programme and travel expenses of a public servant cannot be treated as personal information. The information sought is required by the appellant to defend his case properly. The Commission therefore directed CPIO of BPCL, Mumbai to provide the information sought by the appellant within fifteen days of the issue of the decision. In the case of A.P Singh (Appeal No. 12/IC(A)/2006 – Order dated 14-03-2006 – In the case of A.P Singh Vs Punjab National Bank, Zonal Office, Ludhiana), the applicant sought to inspect the bank account of M/s Prabhat Forgings Pvt Ltd. The Commission observed that the appellant has not indicated any bonafide public interest in having access to the bank account of the company with which he has no association or business relationship. Therefore, the information need not be disclosed as Bank is bound to maintain confidentiality of information related to its Clients. In a similar case of Manoj K Kamra (Appeal No. 17/ IC(A)/2006 – Order dated 28-03-2006 – Sections 8(1) (d), (e) and (j) – In the case Manoj K. Kamra Vs Punjab National Bank, Jaipur), the applicant sought all the ‘valuation reports of the last two years of immovable assets of borrowers. He was of the view that ‘loaning is a public activity and the prevailing practice of unduly excessive valuation of substandard assets have led to increase in NPA. So in wider public interest, overvalued loans needs to be exposed’. Bank’s view was that details of immovable properties mortgaged by individual borrowers to obtain loans are personal information, the disclosure of which is exempt under section 8(j) as it may cause unwarranted invasion of privacy. Parting of such information may affect their economic and commercial interests and competitiveness. Disclosure of such information is therefore exempted under Section 8(1) (d) of RTI Act, 2005. Also Banks are under obligation to maintain secrecy about the affairs of their clients as per Section 13(1) of the Banking Companies Act, 1970. The Commission held that disbursement of loans is a public activity and therefore the issue of NPA is a matter of serious concern to the society. However, disclosure of reports of valuation of immovable properties of borrowers is not enough to identify the sources of NPA. The appellant has not asked for the details of bad loans that have contributed to NPA or the action taken by the Bank to recover loans. It therefore cannot be established how the valuation reports of last two years would indicate the extent of NPA attributable to high or low valuation of properties of borrowers. In fact, the appellant has made a mention of NPA in his appeal to the Commission, while he was silent on this issue in his original application for information. The link between valuation of mortgaged properties of borrowers and NPA is not clear. There is therefore no bonafide public interest in disclosure of valuation reports submitted to the Bank by the borrowers. The Bank is also required to maintain secrecy of details of
loan accounts as it is personal information and is also in the nature of commercial confidence – Therefore, the Commission held that the exemption from disclosure of information under Section 8(1)(d),(e) and (j) has been correctly applied by the Bank. In the case of Tapas Datta (Appeal No. 18/IC(A)/2006 - Order dated 28-03-2006 – In the case of Tapas Datta Vs Indian Oil Corporation Ltd), CIC observed that the relevant portions of the documents sought for has been provided to the appellant as per the direction of the Court. Accordingly, CIC held that the assessment reports by the superior officers are personal and confidential information and therefore exempted under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act.
EXEMPTION NOT TO APPLY IN CERTAIN CASES WHERE A TIME GAP OF TWENTY YEARS HAS ELAPSED
Barring information listed at clauses (a), (c) and (i)of section 8(1), information related to rest of the items mentioned in section 8(1) shall be disclosed without restriction if the happening of the event is twenty years or more.
Chapter 8 VIII. TIME LIMITS FOR SUPPLY OF INFORMATION
The Right to Information Act grants the CPIO 30 days from the date of application for supplying information. A grace period of 5 days is added when the application is filed before a CAPIO. Extensions circumstances: of this time limit are possible in following
• When a third party interest is involved, and the CPIO issues notice to third party inviting objections, three situations can arise. First, the third party does not respond or does not object. The time limit remains unchanged. Second, the third party objects. The CPIO has to pass an order on whether he agrees with the objections of the third party. If yes, by implication, the CPIO does not intend to release the information to the applicant. The CPIO has to pass an order and serve the same on the applicant. The CPIO gets a grace period of 10 days. Third, the third party objects and the CPIO does not agree with the objections of the third party. By implication the CPIO intends to release the information to the applicant. The CPIO has to pass order about his intention and serve it on the third party. The CPIO gets a grace
period of 10 days. The third party has a right to appeal against the order of the CPIO. The limitation in this situation does not prevail. Therefore, the information can not be provided till the expiry of time limit of filing the appeal, in case no appeal is filed by the third party and till the finalization of the appellate proceedings, in case appeal is filed. • In situations where the CPIO demands further fees u/s 7(3) of the Act, the time intervening between dispatch of the notice to the applicant demanding further fees and payment of further fees including the time taken for finalization of appeal, if any, on the issue of further fees gets excluded from the time limit.
Chapter 9 IX. FEE
• There are five categories of fee prescribed under the Act. First, fees to accompany the application u/s 6(1). This fee has to be prescribed by DOPT. Vide notification dated 16-09-2005, DOPT framed the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules 2005 and prescribed the fee u/s 6(1) as Rs 10/-. The second category of fee is related to information which is already disseminated and available but the applicant desires to have it from the CPIO. This situation may arise where the applicant has no access to internet or the applicant may be desiring certified copies or may be desiring the information in a particular format other than the available format. This fee is required to be paid u/s 4(4) of the Act. In this case also, DOPT has to prescribe the rates. Third category of fee is payable u/s 7(1). Vide Rules referred above, this fee is prescribed by DOPT. Details are as follows: Rs 2/- for each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) created or copied; actual charge or cost price of a copy in larger size paper; actual cost or price for samples or models; and
of Rs 5/- for each subsequent hour1 (or fraction thereof) thereafter Third situation is where information is sought is other than what has been disseminated. Under section 7(5), the CPIO has to recover the cost of print or electronic format. This fee is also prescribed under the Rules referred above. For information provided in diskette or floppy, the fee is prescribed at Rs 50/- per diskette or floppy and For information provided in printed form, the fee is at the price fixed for such publication or Rs 2/- per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication.
for inspection of records, no fee for the first hour and a fee
Note: Applicants below the poverty line are not required to pay any of the above three categories of fees. • There can be situations where either the CPIO or the officer from whom CPIO has sought assistance for providing the information u/s 5(4) of the Act, may have to incur expenditure in collecting or collating the information and may have to divert his available resources for the purpose. The Act provides for recovery of this cost of providing the information by way of charging of further fees u/s 7(3). The Act does not provide the quantum of fees to be charged nor empowers the Government/Competent Authority to prescribe such fees. This is a case specific situation. Therefore, the quantum of further fees to be charged has to be decided by the CPIO as well as the officer(s) whose assistance is sought. This quantum of fees is appeallable. The detailed procedure of charging this fees has already been explained above. • Any of the fee described above can be paid in cash or through DD or Bankers Cheque to the Accounts Officer of the Public Authority. • Regarding payment of fees Office of Principal Chief Controller of Accounts, CBDT vide Lr No. PCCA/CDN/RIA/05-06/1818 dated 10-11-05 issued the following clarifications regarding accounting procedure: i. The fee has to be treated as non-tax revenue
In the initial rules, the time was fifteen minutes. But as amended by Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) (Amendment) Rules, 2005 dated 27-10-05, the time of fifteen minutes was changed to one hour.
If the fee is paid in cash to Departmental Officer (DDO), the same may be converted into DD in favour of ZAO and remitted to the latter for crediting to Government Account. iii. If the DDO is a cheque drawing DDO (FPU), then the fee collected in cash can be remitted by the DDO himself into the bank account duly supported by the challan in GAR-7. iv. At stations where there is ZAO, fee paid in cash to DDO is to be remitted into the account of ZAO through challan in GAR-7. v. The fee should be remitted immediately and not later than 7 days of realization or accumulation not exceeding Rs 500/- whichever is earlier. Receipt should be given in prescribed form no. GAR-6. vi. Fees paid in cheques or DDs should be taken as crossed cheques/DDs drawn on local branch of a scheduled bank where cheque drawing DDO or ZAO has an account. Cheques/DDs should be drawn in the name of ZAO. Preliminary acknowledgement receipt has to be issued. Details of the cheque/DD should be entered in the register of valuables in GAR-5 and challan should be in GAR-7. vii. Refund of fees is governed by the procedure prescribed under Rule 139 of Receipts and Payments Rules, 1983. viii. Receipts so realized may be credited to the transitory Minor Head-500 – Receipts awaiting transfer to the other Minor Head under the Major Head-0075-Misc General Services pending approval of the4 CAG for booking under the final head.
Chapter 10 X. PUBLICATION SCHEMES AND RECORD MANAGEMENT
It may happen that the information or documents sought by applicants are not readily traceable. Some reasons for this can be visualized as: • • • • • The papers are misfiled The record keeping practices are imperfect and proper training is not given to staff in record keeping Application may be ill defined and does not clearly identify the documents There is no uniform method of record keeping at different offices within the same location Such information may not exist at all but the authority is not in a position to ascertain this fact.
These situations may cause serious difficulties in the functioning of the CPIO. Therefore, it is necessary to categorize information into
classes, organize and index records according to the classes and decide on the publication scheme for suo motu disclosure so that public is well aware of the policies and practices of the Department. This will ease the burden on the CPIOs to a great extent because the public is aware before approaching the Department for information and also information is available in organized fashion, which facilitates ease of retrieval.
MANDATORY PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION U/S 4(1)(B)
Publication of certain classes of information is to be done as per the statutory requirement laid down u/s 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act on or before 12-10-2005 without fail. In this context, DOM&S has prescribed the guidelines on who should publish the details [F. No. 50/1/2005WS/DOMS dated 10-08-2005 issued by Director (DOM&S) and also available at Annexure – V of this manual]. Therefore, immediate steps need to be taken at the central level and at the regional level to publish the information mentioned above.
CATALOGUING AND INDEXING OF RECORDS U/S 4(1) (A)
The public authority is also duty bound u/s 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under the Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerized and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated. Therefore, each public authority is duty bound to prepare a catalogue of all records maintained by it and index the same in computerized format and make it available to the public. Anticipating the likely demand from applicants, some of the classes of the information, which may need cataloguing and indexing, are suggested below. 1. 2. Details of all the registers for which retention schedules are prescribed in DOMS Circular No. 65 dated 06-12-1995. Details of assessment records maintained by the AOs and available in the record room
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
Details of other office files maintained by the AOs, Range Heads and CsIT (Illustrative list is attached as Annexure – VI to this manual) List of all applications pending and disposed u/s 154 (both on application of assessee and due to action by the Department) List of all grievance petitions pending and disposed List of all appeal effects pending and disposed Details of all assessments pending (regular scrutiny, reassessment, assessments due to revision and search assessments) Details of all audit objections raised by RAP (category wise – draft para, major or minor and review wise) as well as IAP and the outcome. Details of all appeals pending and disposed (before CIT(A), ITAT, HC or SC) Details of appeal effects pending and disposed (from orders of CIT(A), ITAT, HC or SC) Details of cases where appeals are not preferred (both on account of financial limits as well as on merits at each level i.e to ITAT, HC and SC). Details of appeals filed by the assessees and their status. Details of cases before Settlement Commission Details of cases pending before High Power Committee on Disputes and issues involved. Asset inventory of the public authority Details of organizations for which registration is granted/refused/application pending u/s 12A, approval granted/refused/pending u/s 80G, exempt or notified u/s 10 (sub-section wise) List of searches conducted and the outcome of such searches List of surveys conducted and the outcome of such surveys Details of penalties levied and their outcome (section wise) Details of prosecutions launched and their outcome (section wise) along with details of compounding of offences, if any. Details of cases in which directions u/s 144A were issued and the outcome Details of assessments set aside/directions issued u/s 263 or 264 and their outcome Details of remand reports sought by CIT(A) and Contracts with AMC Vendors, UTIISL and NSDL Status of PAN applications pending with UTIISL/NSDL
26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.
Details of processing u/s 143(1) like current status on processing and issue of refunds (with acknowledgement numbers of the returns) List of cases referred to Valuation Cell and list of reports received from the Valuation Cell. Attachments made by the TRO or AO Auctions held by the Department Details of TDS returns filed Details of returns filed through e-filing Financial budget of the each independent unit with details of receipt and expenditure. CAP – I, CAP – II, CAP – III, Quarterly reports and all other reports. Details of returns filed, processed and assessed under the provisions of FBT/STT/BCTT. Similar information in respect of other Direct Taxes also needs to be maintained, wherever applicable.
All these details are already available in each office, in one form or other. Now, most of the details are available in computerized formats because computers are extensively used in the Department. Only one has to organize all the information in a proper manner, catalogue and index the same. Index of the information has to be made available to the CPIO in the form of information sheets/publication list. It is recommended that this list may be prescribed by the CCIT/DGIT for the sake of uniformity. More important is the need for each office to update the information. It is better to update the registers in computerized format as soon as the information is received in an office or action is taken by an officer. Officers and staff need to be trained on this aspect and regular monitoring by higher authorities is also necessary.
RIGHT TO INSPECT IS ALSO PART OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Right to information includes the right to inspect the records. It is suggested that whenever, an application demands inspection of a document which in the opinion of the officer in possession of the document may contain any information which can not be disclosed, the document should be inspected personally by a sufficiently senior officer to ascertain the fact and then a decision may be taken. This will be necessary in particular in cases where part of the document contains information disclosure of which will hamper the investigations or create adverse impact on revenue or safety or privacy of individuals. In case
of internal confidential records, a code number scheme can be adopted to identify the records because mention of the subject may unravel the confidentiality.
Chapter 11 XI. PROACTIVE DISCLOSURE
The philosophy of the Right to Information Act is that citizens’ need to resort to seeking information is minimal. This requires that every authority make as much information available to the public suo motu as possible. The Act casts duty upon every public authority not only to publish but also to disseminate every possible piece of information. This is possible by including variety of non-exempted categories of information on the website which can be easily accessed by the citizens and if necessary by the CPIO himself. Subsections 2, 3 and 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 deal with proactive disclosure. As per subsection 2 of section 4, “it shall be a constant endeavor of every public authority to take steps in accordance with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information”. As per subsections 3 and 4 of section 4, all materials shall be disseminated in wide manner taking into considerations of cost effectiveness, local language and the most effective methods of communication prevalent in the area. Information also shall be made available in electronic format.
Proactive disclosure enables promotion of transparency and also reduces the demand on the functions of the CPIO. It is therefore advisable to publish all the information, which can be widely sought by the citizens.
Chapter 12 XII. CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION
The most important challenge that lies ahead of implementation of the RTI Act 2005 is of breaking the culture of secrecy that pervades in the Department. Our officers and staff are trained to maintain utmost secrecy. Income Tax proceedings are viewed as private proceedings. Information can only be disclosed under the provisions of section 138 of the I.T Act, 1961 that have limited scope for disclosure. With the introduction of the RTI Act, 2005, the provisions of section 138 of the I.T Act stand overridden wherever application seeking information is under the RTI Act. However, provisions of section 138 still continue in respect of applications received under that section. From now on, the rule is that the balance lies in favour of disclosure.
KEY CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN THE IMPLEMENATION OF THE ACT
The key challenges in implementation are as follows: i) Creation of implementation machinery for compliance by 22-09-2005 and activation of the machinery before 1210-2005.
ii) Categorization of records for the purpose of preparation of information lists iii) Preparation and indexation of catalogues of records iv) Achieving uniformity throughout the country in record management v) Establishing a publication policy and dynamically tune the policy considering the demand for information vi) Deciding publications for purpose of proactive disclosure vii) Uniform interpretation of exemption clauses and viii) Setting up of machinery for monitoring and reporting
(SOME PORTIONS OF THE MATTER BELOW ARE NOT RELEVANT BECAUSE ACT IS ALREADY BEING IMPLEMENTED) Steps suggested for implementation of the RTI Act are as follows: Designation of CPIOs and CAPIOs to be done by 22-09-05 and the details of these persons have to be published. ii) Immediate establishment of a front office for the CPIO (Central Public Information Officer) and CAPIO (Central Assistant Public Information Officer) for receiving applications from 12-10-2005. iii) Records have to be categorized in such a manner that accessing the information by CPIO would not be a difficult process. iv) Every CPIO must be in possession of list of records maintained by each office. If the list is long, then the list can be maintained on a computer in the front office of the CPIO or CAPIO. v) Immediate steps should be taken to prepare details as required u/s 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act 2005 so that these details are published without fail before 12-10-2005. Reference may be made to F. No. 50/1/2005-WS/DOMS dated 10-08-2005 issued by Director (DO&MS) [available at Annexure – IV of this manual and also list available at Annexure – V of this manual]. vi) Model applications which are computer friendly have to be designed so that applicants can fill these applications. vii) Front office staff of the CPIO and CAPIO have to be trained in handling the requests for applications and also in advising the applicants to make specific requests instead of vague requests. These staff also need to be trained to cull out information from the published data so that in case of some of the applications information can be provided right at the application stage. They should be in a position to i)
STEPS TO BE TAKEN FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT
make a prima facie assessment whether the information sought can be provided within 30 days or not or any third party is involved or not. viii) All contracts with existing vendors have to be suitably revised, wherever necessary enabling disclosure of information to the public as required under the RTI Act 2005. DOM&S in letter dated 10-08-05 (F. 50/1/2005-WS/DOMS) has issued general guidelines to all CcsIT/DGsIT on preparedness towards implementation of the RTI Act. Copy of this letter is available as Annexure – IV to this manual
Chapter 13 XIII. RECOMMENDED FORMAT FOR FORMS AND APPLICATIONS
Specific formats for forms may be prescribed by DOPT under the rules to be framed for the RTI Act, 2005. However, as on today, there is no specific format for many forms. Therefore, the following formats are recommended. It may be stated here that each authority can design its own forms, wherever they are statutorily not prescribed:
1. FORM OF APPLICATION FOR SEEKING INFORMATION
(Though application can be prescribed but it cannot be made mandatory as per decision of CIC in the case of Madhu Bhaduri Vs CPIO, DDA (COMPLIANT NO CIC/C/I/2006 – ORDER DATED 16-01-06 – SECTION 18 – IN THE CASE OF MADHU BHADURI Vs CPIO – Review Application No CIC/C/I/2006 – REVIEW ORDER DATED 30-10-06) (under section 6(1) of the RTI Act 2005) Application ID. No: ……… (For official use) To The Central Public Information Officer, _____________________
1. Name of the Applicant _______________________________________ 2. Address _______________________________________ _______________________________________ 3. Particulars of information (a) Concerned Office (b) Particulars of information required (i) Details of information required : (ii) Period for which information asked for : (iii) Other details 4. Form in which information is required: 5. Media on which information is required (hard copy, on CD/Floppy, through e-mail etc) ( additional fee may be charged to cover the cost of media): 6. Mode of delivery expected (ordinary post, RPAD, speed post, by hand, through internet or e-mail, by fax etc) (additional fee may be charged to cover cost of delivery): 7. The information can be furnished within 30 days as prescribed u/s 8(1)/The information sought concerns my life and liberty. Therefore the information may be furnished within 48 hours. 8. Without prejudice to my rights under the RTI Act 2005, to facilitate faster retrieval of information, I would like to state that the information could be available in item No. _____ of the index of information sheet maintained by your office. 9. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in section 8 and 9 of the Act and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office. : : :
10. I also state that I am a citizen of India and I am eligible to seek information under the Right to Information Act 2005. 11. A fee of Rs __________ has been deposited vide challan No ________ dated ___________ paid at __________________Bank or the applicant is not liable to pay any fee because he/she is below poverty line (proof is attached) Place : Date : Signature)
(Name & Email address: Tel No :
CHECK LIST FOR OFFICIAL USE
1. Whether the information is related to the Public Authority or not? 2. Whether the applicant is a citizen of India or not? 3. Whether evidence of payment of fee is attached/proof of status below poverty line is attached? 4. Whether assistance is required for rendering the request to writing or making the request more specific? 5. Whether the information is available in published data? 6. Whether the information can be located from the records mentioned in the catalogue? 7. Whether disclosure of information involves information related to any third party? 8. Whether similar requests have already been made by the applicant or any other party (if a request was already made and information supplied to the applicant on an earlier occasion, there is no need to furnish the information again. If similar information is supplied to another party, it will be easy to cull out the information now) ? 9. Whether the information is covered by provisions of section 8 or section 9?
2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF APPLICATION
ID No. ________ Dated ______, 1. Received an application _______________. seeking information from Mr/Ms
2. The applicant is advised to contact the undersigned either personally or over phone on __________ (Contact telephone Number to be given) to know about the status of the application and date of furnishing of information (not later than 48 hours/30 days/40 days from the receipt of the application as the case may be) 3. In case the applicant fails to turn up on the due date prescribed u/s 7(1) or 11(3) of the RTI Act, this authority shall not be responsible for any delay in supply of information. 4. The applicant has to pay fee of Rs ___ prescribed u/s 4(4) or 6(1) or 7(1) or 7(5) or the fee under the above sections will be intimated soon. 5. The applicant has to pay any additional fee, if a request is made by this authority. 6. The applicant may also watch the web site (name of website to be given) from time to time to know about the status of his application. (CPIO) Tel No. e-mail address:
3. INTIMATION OF TRANSFERRING THE APPLICATION TO ANOTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITY (U/S 6(3) OF RTI ACT)
To The Central Public Information Officer, Public Authority – B Sir, Whereas Mr/Ms _____________________, applied for information which is not maintained by this public authority and this public authority has reason to believe that the information sought by the applicant is maintained by you or closely related with your functions, the application with ID No.__________ dated _______ is hereby transferred to you for necessary action. Yours faithfully, Copy to the Applicant (CPIO),Public Authority - A
4. NOTICE FOR PAYMENT OF FURTHER FEE
(u/s 7(3) of the RTI Act)
To, The Applicant, ID No. ________ Dated ______ 1. Please refer to your application dated _________ seeking information. 2. Considering the cost of resources employed, it is decided by this authority that an amount of Rs __________ has to be paid by you as further fee for supply of information sought by you. This fee may be immediately paid by you failing which it shall be treated as if you are not interested in pursuing your request. Calculation sheet for the fee is attached as annexure. 3. As per section 18(1)(d) of the RTI Act, you can lodge a complaint with the Central Information Commission at (address of the Commission), in case you feel that the fee demanded from you is unreasonable 4. You may also watch the web site (name of the site to be given) from time to time to know about the status of his application. (CPIO) Tel No. e-mail address, Website
5. INTERNAL QUERY FOR ELICITING INFORMATION
To, Concerned Officer, _______________ Mr/Ms ____________ filed an application seeking information u/s 6 pf the RTI Act, 2005. This application is registered by this office with ID No. _______. In this regard, you are required to furnish the information as early as possible and in any case not later than ________. You may go through the application made by the applicant (copy enclosed) and furnish the following details immediately. 1. Whether such information is maintained by you or not? 2. If yes, whether the fees paid is adequate or demand for additional fees has to be made (your calculation should be supported by details like cost of man hours, cost of media on which the information is to be supplied etc). 3. If the information pertains or affects a third party, whether such information can be disclosed or not (your reply should be supported with reasons).
4. If the third party information mentioned above can be disclosed, name and address of the third party for the purpose of issue of notice. 5. If the information is covered by exemption provisions u/s 8 or 9, then details of the same. 6. Whether the applicant was provided with the same information at any earlier point of time and 7. Whether same information was provided to any other person at any point of time. Your reply should reach this office within a day of the receipt of this communication. (CPIO)
6. REMINDER TO THE CONCERNED OFFICER
To, Concerned Officer, Mr/Ms ____________ filed an application seeking information u/s 6 pf the RTI Act, 2005. This application is registered by this office with ID No. _______. and was forwarded to you on ________. It is noticed that you have not furnished the basic details that were sought from you/have not furnished the information even after the lapse of __ days. The information has to be furnished to the applicant on or before ________. You are required to furnish the details immediately by return of post. You may be informed that if you fail to furnish the information, you will be deemed as the CPIO u/s 5(5) for the purpose of levy of penalty and initiation of disciplinary proceedings by the Central Information Commission. (CPIO)
7. ORDER FURNISHING INFORMATION (U/S 7(1) OF THE RTI ACT):
To, The Applicant, ID No. ________ Dated ______, 1. Please refer to your application dated _________ seeking information. 2. The information sought by you is provided with this order and acknowledge receipt of information. 3. The information could not be supplied in the form as required by you because it would lead to disproportionate diversion of resources/is detrimental to the safety of the record in question (strike out if not applicable) (CPIO) I received the information referred above (Signature of the applicant with date)
8. NOTICE TO THE THIRD PARTY U/S 11(1) OF THE RTI ACT:
(to be issued within 5 days of the receipt of application) To, The Third Party, An application with ID No. ______ seeking information u/s 6 pf the RTI Act, 2005 has been filed with this office. Details of the information sought are as follows.__________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________ Perusal of the application reveals that the information pertains to you/is related to documents filed by you in the proceedings before the Income Tax Department. This authority is willing to furnish the information to the applicant and you are hereby granted an opportunity of hearing u/s 11(1) of the RTI Act to state your objections if any in oral or writing. A personal hearing is also fixed for this purpose on _______ (within 10 days of the service of the notice) at _____ at the office of the undersigned at ________________. If you wish, you may appear at the hearing and present your case. In case of failure on your part to file objection, it shall be deemed that you have
no objection for disclosure of the information to the applicant and action will be taken as per law. (CPIO) Copy to the Applicant
9. ORDER OF REJECTION (U/S 7(1) OF THE RTI ACT):
To, The Applicant, ___________ ID No. ________ Dated ______, 1. Please refer to your application dated _________ seeking information. 2. After examination of your application, it is decided that your request cannot be entertained because the information sought by you is covered u/s 8/ u/s 9 of the Act for the following reasons. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ 3. Your application is not accompanied by requisite fees/you have not paid the additional fee as demanded even after communication of the defect to you. 4. The information sought by you is related to third party, ________________ and the third party has objected for disclosure of the information. Therefore, the same cannot be furnished to you. 5. As per section 19(1) of the RTI Act, you can file appeal against this order before the Appellate Authority (Name and address to be given) within 30 days of the receipt of this order. (strike out which is not applicable) (CPIO)
10. ORDER OF PART DISCLOSURE (U/S 10(1) OF THE RTI ACT):
To, The Applicant,
ID No. ________ Dated ______, 1. Please refer to your application dated _________ seeking information. 2. After examination of your application, it is decided that your request cannot be entertained fully and only part of the information can be provided for the following reasons. ______________________________________________________ _________ 3. You are required to receive the information and furnish acknowledgment for the same. 4. As per section 19(1) of the RTI Act, you can file appeal against this order before the Appellate Authority (Name and address to be given) within 30 days of the receipt of this order. (CPIO)
12. FORM OF APPEAL TO BE FILED U/S 19(1) OF THE RTI ACT:
To, The Appellate Authority, (CCIT/DGIT) 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Name of the Applicant Address Particulars of the CPIO Date of submission of application and application ID Date on which 48 hours/30days/40 days (as applicable) are over: 6) Date of receipt of order of CPIO, if any (certified copy of the order shall be enclosed)
7) Reasons for appeal: i) The information ii) The information the application iii) The information iv) The information v) Excessive fee is other relevant section
was not supplied in time was not as per the format mentioned in is not correct is not complete demanded by the CPIO u/s 7(3) or any
vi) This is an appeal by third party who is aggrieved against proposed disclosure of information by the CPIO to the applicant. vii) Any other reason. Pl Specify ___________________________. 8) If there is any delay in filing the appeal, reasons for delay may be given ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ________________ (Appellant)
Acknowledgement: Appeal ID No.__________ Dated ________ Received Appeal application from Mr/Ms __________, resident of __________ u/s 19(1) of the RTI Act, 2005.
(Signature of the receipt clerk) O/o Appellate Authority Tel No, e-mail address & website address
Chapter 14 XIV. MONITORING, REPORTING AND RAISING AWARENESS MONITORING AND REPORTING
As required under the RTI Act, each public authority has to monitor the implementation of the Act in its domain. As per section 25 of the Act, it is also the duty of the authority to collect and provide information to the Central Information Commission for the purpose of preparation of report to the Parliament. Section 25(3) prescribes details to be included in the report. To meet this requirement, each CPIO has to capture and maintain the following data in computerized format. Already CBDT has prescribed a quarterly report in this regard. (a) the number of requests made to each CPIO (including those received by CAPIOs) (b) the number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the documents pursuant to the requests, the provisions of this Act under which these decisions were made and the number of times such provisions were invoked; (c) the number of appeals referred to the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, for review, the nature of the appeals and the outcome of the appeals; (d) particulars of any disciplinary action taken against any officer in
respect of the administration of this Act; (e) the amount of charges collected by each public authority under this Act; (f) any facts which indicate an effort by the public authorities to administer and implement the spirit and intention of this Act; (g) recommendations for reform, including recommendations in respect of the particular public authorities, for the development, improvement, modernisation, reform or amendment to this Act or other legislation or common law or any other matter relevant for operationalising the right to access information. Recommended format of the data to be maintained by the CPIO to prepare the report is given below: S No ID No Date of Fee paid Application 3 Whether the information was not supplied at all 4 Reasons for nonsupply, if any Further fee paid 5 Action taken against any officer for delay or non supply 12 Date of appellate order Date of If rejected, furnishing section / rejection under which rejected 6 7 Reason Date of filing for first of appeal appeal, if any and appeal no.
1 Whether a case of part disclosure
2 Whether a case of third party
9 Date of Action appellate taken on order appellate order 15 Date of third party appeal
10 11 Reason for Date of second second appeal, if appeal any and appeal no. 16 17 18 19 Date of Action taken Amount of Disciplinappellate on appeal penalty, if ary order order any levied proceedby CIC ings, if any recommended by CIC and outcome
13 Action taken on appellate order 20
14 Reason for third party appeal, if any and appeal no 21
AWARENESS PROGRAMMES AND USER GUIDES
As per section 26 of the RTI Act, each public authority is also bound to develop and organize awareness programmes to advance the understanding of general public. Each public authority is also expected to train CPIOs/CAPIOs in particular and other officers in general for effective implementation of the RTI Act. Therefore, CCsIT/DGsIT may conduct periodical training and awareness programmes on the RTI Act. As mandated by section 26(2) of the Act, the Department is also duty bound to publish a user guide within 18 months from the commencement of the Act and also as mandated by section 26(3), the guidelines shall be updated and published at regular intervals. It is the duty of the CPIO to furnish information on demand by applicants. In this context, it is worthwhile to remember that information includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material etc. Information also includes in its manifold, information related to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any law. Right to information includes the right to inspect works, documents, records, take notes or extracts or certified copies of documents/records and take certified samples of material.
Chapter 15 XV. FEATIRES OF THE RTI ACT 2005 DATE OF ENFORCEMENT:
It comes into force on the 12th October, 2005 (120th day of its enactment on 15th June, 2005). Some provisions have come into force with immediate effect viz. obligations of public authorities [S. 4(1)], designation of Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers [S. 5(1) and 5(2)], constitution of Central Information Commission [S.12 and 13], constitution of State Information Commission [S.15 and 16], non-applicability of the Act to Intelligence and Security Organizations [S.24] and power to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act [S.27 and 28].
The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. [S. 1(2)]. The right to seek information is limited only to citizens of India [S. 3].
Information 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. [S. 2(f)]. It includes the right to – • inspect works, documents, records; • take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; • take certified samples of material; • obtain information in form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts. [S.2(j)]
OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY:
It shall publish within one hundred and twenty days of the enactment:• the particulars of its organization, functions and duties; • the powers and duties of its officers and employees; • the procedure followed in its decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; • the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; • the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records used by its employees for discharging its functions; • a statement of the categories of the documents held or used 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 policy or implementation thereof; • a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted by it. Additionally, information as to whether the meetings of these are open to the public, or the minutes' of such meetings are accessible to the public; • a directory of its officers and employees; • the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and 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 amounts allocated and the details and beneficiaries of such programmes;
• particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it; • details 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 Information Officers.[S.4(1)(b)]
EXEMPTION FROM DISCLOSURE:
The following is exempt from disclosure [S.8] • information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; • 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, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; • information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; • information received in confidence from foreign Government; • information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; • information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; • cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers; • information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual;
• Notwithstanding any of the exemptions listed above, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. Only that part of the record, which does not contain any information that is exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information, may be provided. [S.10]
MEANING OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY:
It means any authority or body or institution of selfgovernment established or constituted: [S. 2(h)] by or under the Constitution; by any other law made by Parliament; by any other law made by State Legislature; by notification issued or order made by Government and includes any• • • •
o body owned, controlled or substantially financed; o non-Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government.
Central Intelligence and Security agencies specified in the Second Schedule like IB, R&AW, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement, Narcotics Control Bureau, Aviation Research Centre, Special Frontier Force, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, NSG, Assam Rifles, Special Service Bureau, Special Branch (CID), Andaman and Nicobar, the Crime Branch-CID-CB, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police are excluded from the purview of the Act. Agencies specified by the State Governments through a Notification will also be excluded. The exclusion, however, is not absolute. Even the above organizations have an obligation to provide information pertaining to allegations of corruption and human rights violations. Further, information relating to allegations of human rights violations could be given but only with the approval of the Central or State Information Commission, as the case may be. [S.24)]
A third party means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Third parties have a right to be heard in respect of applications and appeals dealing with information submitted by them to the Government in confidence. [S. 2(n) and S.11]
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS (PIOs):
PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.
DUTIES OF PIOs:
PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request cannot be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing. If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately. PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his/her duties, such other officer will be treated as PIO. PIO, on receipt of a request, shall as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in S.8 & S.9. Where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request. If the PIO fails to give decision on the request within the period specified, he shall be deemed to have refused the request. Where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the requester - (i) the reasons for such rejection,
(ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred, and (iii) the particulars of the Appellate Authority. PIO shall provide information in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. If partial access is allowed, the PIO shall give a notice to the applicant, informing: • that only part of the record requested, after severance of the record containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided; • the reasons for the decision, including any findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on which those findings were based; • the name and designation of the person giving the decision; • the details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee which the applicant is required to deposit; and • his or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided. • If information sought has been supplied by third party or is treated as confidential by that third party, the PIO shall give a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request and take its representation into consideration. • Third party must be given a chance to make a representation before the PIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice.
Apply in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the PIO, specifying the particulars of the information sought for. Reason for seeking information are not required to be given. Pay fees as may be prescribed (if not belonging to the below poverty line category). If the applicant is not in a position to reduce the application for information to writing (due to disability or for any other reason), the PIO shall render all assistance to the applicant to reduce the application to writing.
TIME LIMIT TO GET INFORMATION:
30 days from the date of application 48 hours for information concerning the life and liberty of a person 5 days shall be added to the above response time, in case the application seeking information is filed before the Assistant Public Information Officer. If the interests of a third party are involved then the time limit will be 40 days (maximum period + time given to the party to make representation). Failure to provide information within the specified period is a deemed refusal.
Application fees to be prescribed which must be reasonable. DOPT is preparing rules in this regard; If further fees are required, then the same must be intimated in writing with calculation details of how the figure was arrived at; Applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by the PIO by applying to the appropriate Appellate Authority; No fees will be charged from people living below the poverty line; Information must be provided free of cost to the applicant, if the PIO fails to supply information with the time limit prescribed under the Act.
GROUNDS FOR REJECTION:
If it is covered by exemption from disclosure. (S.8) If it infringes copyright of any person other than the State. (S.9)
First Appeal: First appeal to the officer senior in rank to the PIO in the concerned Public Authority within 30 days from the expiry of the prescribed time limit or from the receipt of the decision (delay may be condoned by the Appellate Authority if sufficient cause is shown). Second Appeal: Second appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission as the case may be, within 90 days of the date on which the decision was given or
should have been made by the First Appellate Authority. (delay may be condoned by the Commission if sufficient cause is shown). Third Party appeal against PIO's decision must be filed within 30 days before first Appellate Authority; and, within 90 days of the decision on the first appeal, before the appropriate Information Commission, which is the second appellate authority. Burden of proving that denial of information was justified lies with the PIO. First Appeal shall be disposed of within 30 days from the date of its receipt. Period extendable by 15 days if necessary. (S.19)
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION:
Central Information Commission to be constituted by the Central Government through a Gazette Notification. Commission includes one Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and not more than ten Information Commissioners (IC) who will be appointed by the President of India. Oath of Office will be administered by the President of India according to the form set out in the First Schedule. Commission shall have its Headquarters in Delhi. Other offices may be established in other parts of the country with the approval of the Central Government. Commission will exercise its powers without being subjected to directions by any other authority. (S.12)
Candidates for CIC/IC must be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. CIC/IC shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory. He shall not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession. (S.12) Appointment Committee includes Prime Minister (Chair), Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and one Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
TERM OF OFFICE OF CIC:
CIC shall be appointed for a term of 5 years from date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. CIC is not eligible for reappointment. Salary will be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner. This will not be varied to the disadvantage of the CIC during service. (S.13)
TERM OF OFFICE OF ICs:
IC shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier and shall not be eligible for reappointment as IC. Salary will be the same as that of the Election Commissioner. This will not be varied to the disadvantage of the IC during service. IC is eligible for appointment as CIC but will not hold office for more than a total of five years including his/her term as IC. (S.13)
STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONS:
The State Information Commission will be constituted by the State Government through a Gazette notification. It will have one State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and not more than ten State Information Commissioners (SIC) to be appointed by the Governor. Oath of office will be administered by the Governor according to the form set out in the First Schedule. The headquarters of the State Information Commission shall be at such place as the State Government may specify. Other offices may be established in other parts of the State with the approval of the State Government. The Commission will exercise its powers without being subjected to any other authority.
The Appointments Committee will be headed by the Chief Minister. Other members include the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and one Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister.
The qualifications for appointment as SCIC/CIC shall be same as that for Central Commissioners. The salary of the State Chief Information Commissioner be the same as that of an Election Commissioner. The salary of State Information Commissioner will be the same as that of Chief Secretary of the State Government. (S.15)
the will the the
POWERS & FUNCTIONS OF INFORMATION COMMISSIONS:
The Central Information Commission/State Information Commission has a duty to receive complaints from any person o who has not been able to submit an information request because a PIO has not been appointed ; o who has been refused information that was requested; o who has received no response to his/her information request within the specified time limits ; o who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable ; o who thinks information given is incomplete or false or misleading and o any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law. Both commissions have the power to order inquiry if there are reasonable grounds. Both have powers of Civil Court such as o summoning and enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things; o requiring the discovery and inspection of documents; o receiving evidence on affidavit ; o requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office o issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents o any other matter which may be prescribed. All records covered by this law (including those covered by exemptions) must be given to the Commissions during inquiry for examination. Power to secure compliance of its decisions from the Public Authority includeso providing access to information in a particular form;
o directing the public authority to appoint a PIO/APIO where none exists; o publishing information or categories of information; o making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and destruction of records; o enhancing training provision for officials on RTI; o seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this law; o require it to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the applicant ; o impose penalties under this law; or o reject the application. (S.18 and S.19)
Central Information Commission will send an annual report to the Central Government on the implementation of the provisions of this law at the end of the year. The State Information Commission will send a report to the State Government. Each Ministry has a duty to compile reports from its Public Authorities and send them to the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be. Each report will contain details of number of requests received by each Public Authority, number of rejections and appeals, particulars of any disciplinary action taken, amount of fees and charges collected etc. Central Government will table the Central Information Commission report before Parliament after the end of each year. The concerned State Government will table the report of the State Information Commission before the Vidhan Sabha (and the Vidhan Parishad wherever applicable). (S.25)
Every PIO will be liable to pay fine of Rs. 250 per day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-, for • not accepting an application; • delaying release of information without reasonable cause; • malafide denial of information;
• • •
knowingly giving incomplete, incorrect, misleading information; destroying information that has been requested and obstructing furnishing of information in any manner.
The Information Commission (IC) at the Centre and the State levels will have the power to impose this penalty. The Information Commission can also recommend disciplinary action for violation of the law against an erring PIO. (S.20) The penalty amount will be recovered from the salary of the erring PIO
PROTECTION FOR BONAFIDE ACTIONS AND JURISDICTION OF COURTS:
When an action is taken or intended to be taken by a person under the Act in good faith, he/she is protected from suits/prosecutions/any other legal proceedings [S. 21] Lower Courts are barred from entertaining suits or applications against any order made under this Act. (S.23) However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts under Articles 32 and 225 of the Constitution remains unaffected.
ACT TO OVERRIDE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT OR PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THIS ACT:
The provisions of this Act shall override the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act, wherever such provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
ROLE OF CENTRAL/STATE GOVERNMENTS:
Develop educational programmes for the public, especially disadvantaged communities, on RTI. Encourage Public Authorities to participate in the development and organization of such programmes. Promote timely dissemination of accurate information to the public. Train officers and develop training materials. Compile and disseminate a User Guide for the public in the respective official language.
Publish names, designation postal addresses and contact details of PIOs and other information such as notices regarding fees to be paid, remedies available in law if request is rejected etc. (S.26)
RULE MAKING POWER:
Central Government, State Governments and the Competent Authority as defined in S.2(e) are vested with powers to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005. (S.27 & S.28) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions in the Act, the Central Government may, by Order published in the Official Gazette, make provisions necessary/expedient for removing the difficulty. (S.30)
ANNEXURE – I : UN PRINCIPLES ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Public bodies have an obligation to disclose information and every member of the public has a corresponding right to receive information; "information" includes all records held by a public body, regardless of the form in which it is stored; • Freedom of information implies that public bodies publish and disseminate widely documents of significant public interest, for example, operational information about how the public body functions and the content of any decision or policy affecting the public; • As a minimum, the law on freedom of information should make provision for public education and the dissemination of information regarding the right to have access to information; the law should
also provide for a number of mechanisms to address the problem of a culture of secrecy within Government; • A refusal to disclose information may not be based on the aim to protect Governments from embarrassment or the exposure of wrongdoing; a complete list of the legitimate aims which may justify non disclosure should be provided in the law and exceptions should be narrowly drawn so as to avoid including material which does not harm the legitimate interest; • All public bodies should be required to establish open, accessible internal systems for ensuring the public's right to receive information; the law should provide for strict time limits for the processing of requests for information and require that any refusals be accompanied by substantive written reasons for the refusal(s); • The cost of gaining access to information held by public bodies should not be so high as to deter potential applicants and negate the intent of the law itself; • The law should establish a presumption that all meetings of governing bodies are open to the public; • The law should require that other legislation be interpreted, as far as possible, in a manner consistent with its provisions; the regime for exceptions provided for in the freedom of information law should be comprehensive and other laws should not be permitted to extend it; • Individuals should be protected from any legal, administrative or employment related sanctions for releasing information on wrongdoing, viz. the commission of a criminal offence or dishonesty, failure to comply with a legal obligation, a miscarriage of justice, corruption or dishonesty or serious failures in the administration of a public body.
ANNEXURE – II: VIEWS OF COMMONWEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Accords it sufficient importance, as being inherent to democratic functioning and a pre-condition to good governance and the realisation of all other human rights. • Becomes part of the accepted international obligations of the state. This means that the right to access information attracts the guarantee of protection by the state. • Distances it from being merely an administrative measure by which information is gifted by governments to their people at their discretion since a legally enforceable right cannot be narrowed or ignored at the whim of government.
Creates a duty-holder on the one hand and a beneficiary of a legal entitlement on the other. Non-disclosure of information is therefore a violation and the beneficiary can seek legal remedy. • Signals that information belongs to the public and not government. The idea that everything is secret unless there is a strong reason for releasing it is replaced by the idea that all information is available unless there are strong reasons for denying it. The onus is on the duty-holder to prove its case for refusing to disclose documents. • Sets a higher standard of accountability. • Gives citizens the legal power to attack the legal and institutional impediments to openness and accountability that still dominate the operations of many governments. It moves the locus of control from the state to the citizen, reinstating the citizen as sovereign.
ANNEXURE – III: TEXT OF PM'S INTERVENTION IN THE LOK SABHA ON THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL DEBATE ON MAY 11, 2005 NEW DELHI
THE PRIME MINISTER (DR. MANMOHAN SINGH): Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very grateful to you for granting me permission to intervene on a very important and critical Bill, which is before this august House. Sir, all modern societies or complex societies, they require strong and purposeful Government to steer them. In our own country, Government expenditure, both at the Central level and at the level of State and local bodies, accounts for nearly 33 per cent of our gross
National Product. At the same time, the social and economic imperatives require our Government to intervene extensively in economic and social affairs. Therefore, the efficiency and effectiveness of Governmental processes are critical variables, which will determine how our Government function and to what extent it is able to discharge the responsibilities entrusted to us by the electorate. I have always believed – all power is a sacred societal trust – that you cannot sit on power, you have to spend it, but you must spend it taking into account the good of the largest number of people. Therefore, it becomes obligatory that in addition to processes that we have to determine that expenditure confirms with the canons of efficiency and effectiveness. We all know that there are widespread complaints in our country about wastefulness of expenditure, about corruption in matters, which have relations with the functioning of our Government. Therefore, it is very important that we must explore new effective mechanisms to ensure that our Government will effectively, purposefully and efficiently discharge the responsibilities entrusted to it. This is the guiding spirit behind this new momentous measure that is now before this august House, that is, the Right to Information Bill. Sir, the key to the successful functioning of any democratic polity is the ability of a citizen to observe and evaluate the functioning of elected representative and make an informed judgment of their performance. This evaluation is predicated on the easy availability of the necessary information for a citizen to arrive at an assessment. Further, out founding fathers have established an elaborate system of rights and obligations, a system of checks and balances, a system with clear division of powers at different levels of Government. This complex web, further translated into practice by our laws, procedures, policies and programmes, is the foundation of our rich, varied and vibrant polity which has earned the respect of the whole world for our ability to harmoniously match the goals of economic development and a pluralistic democratic society. Sir, at the center of this intricate web is the common man, the ‘aam aadmi’, whose prosperity and welfare is the core concern of our Constitution. It is this common man or common woman who is the fulcrum of our democratic system, as an observer, as the seeker of information, as the one who asks relevant questions, as the analyst and as the final judge of our performance. The UPA Government has made a commitment, not only to work for the welfare of the common man, but also to strengthen his or her
role as the arbiter of our destiny. It is in this background that our Government has introduced the Right to Information Bill, and the subsequent amendments in this august House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, efficient and effective institutions are the key to rapid economic and social development, institutions which can translate promises into policies and actionable programmes with the least possible cost and with the maximum possible efficiency; institutions which can deliver on the promises made and convert, as the hon. Finance Minister pointed out a few days ago while presenting the Budget, “outlays into outcomes”. For institutions to be efficient and effective, they must function in a transparent, response and accountable manner. This is dependent not only on processes internal to the institutions but also on the ability of citizens and external agents to enforce their rights, vis-à-vis these very institutions. The Right to Information Bill, Sir, will bring into force another right which will empower the citizen in this regard and ensure that our institutions and their functionaries discharge their duties in the desired manner. It will; bring into effect a critical right for enforcing other rights and fill a vital gap in a citizen’s framework of rights. Sir, while there is an existing Freedom of Information Act, the Bill now under consideration is more far-reaching and effective and I am very grateful to the National Advisory Council presided over by Shrimati Sonia Gandhi for having played a very important role in bringing into focus what are the major drawbacks in the previous legislation. The Bill that we have presented has the widest possible reach, covering the Central and the State Governments, Panchayati Raj institutions, local bodies as well as recipients of Government grants. Access to information under this Bill is extensive with minimum exemptions, which too can be over-ridden on the basis of a public benefit test, namely when the benefit of release of information outweighs the harm caused by disclosure of information. However, I think that we should also consider exempting such information, the disclosure of which may result in breach of privilege of Parliament or a State Legislature. Even security and intelligence agencies, which are otherwise exempt, are subject to disclosure in cases of allegations of corruption or violation of human rights. The Bill lays down an architecture for assessing information, which is simple, easy, time-bound and inexpensive. It has stringent penalties for failing to provide information or affecting information flow
in any way. In fact, it imposes obligations on agencies to disclose information suo motu, thus reducing the cost of access. Sir, an important feature is the independent appeal mechanism proposed through the appointment of Central and State Information Commissioners. This independent appeal mechanism, coupled with extensive disclosure obligations and stringent penalties, gives teeth to the right, making the right a potent instrument for good governance. Mr. Speaker, Sir, many hon. Members have, during the discussion on the Bill, raised many concerns and questions. They will be answered by the Minister of State, Shri Suresh Pachauri. I would only like to see that everyone, particularly our civil servants, should see the Bill in a positive spirit; not as a draconian law for paralyzing Government, but as an instrument for improving Government-citizen interface resulting in a friendly, caring and effective Government functioning for the good of our people. Sir, it is with this in mind that we have removed the penalty of imprisonment through this Amendment. However, erring officials would still be subject to departmental proceedings. I appeal all civil servants to see this Bill in the right spirit and hope they will only be spurred towards better performance. After all, we, the elected representative of people, bow to the wishes of people and have come to no harm. So will it be with honest, hard working civil servants. I would like State Governments to take the initiative and establish State Information Commissions. The bulk of our citizens’ interface is with agencies under State Governments and hence the success of this Bill depends on their determination and their commitment to implement and generate awareness in the country at large. Sir, our work will not end with the passage of this Bill. This is an innovative Bill, where there will be scope to review its functioning as we gain experience. Therefore, this is a piece of legislation, whose working will be kept under constant reviews. We will need to have a sustained effort to establish institutions and systems envisaged under the Bill, to build the capacity or our civil servants to discharge their obligations and above all, inform our citizens about the new rights conferred on them. Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that the passage of this Bill will see the dawn of a new era in our processes of governance, an era of
performance and efficiency, an ear which will ensure that benefits of growth flow to all sections of our people, an era which will eliminate the scourge of corruption, an era which will bring the common man’s concern to the heart of all processes of governance, an era which will truly fulfill the hopes of the founding fathers of our Republic. Thank you.
ANNEXURE - IV: LETTER FROM DOM&S
F.No.50/1/2005-WS/DOMS Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Directorate of Income Tax (O&MS) ANIL KUMAR SINGH Level-5, East Block-2, R.K. Puram. DIRECTOR OF INCOME TAX New Delhi - 110066 Tel. Nos. : 011 - 26197238, 26185607 Fax Nos. : 011 - 26160206 & 26103175 DATED : 10-08-2005 To All Chief Commissioners of Income Tax
All Directors General of Income Tax Sub: Implementation of the ‘The Right to Information Act, 2005’ in the Income Tax Department. Sir/Madam, ‘The Right to Information Act, 2005’ has been passed by the Parliament and has received the assent of the President of India on 15th June, 2005. It comes into force w.e.f. 12th of October, 2005. However, Section 4&5 and some other Sections dealing with setting up of machinery for implementation of the Act have come into operation with immediate effect. A copy of the said Act is enclosed. 2. As per Section 4(1)(b) of the Act, the specified details are required to be published before 12th October, 2005 so that public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information. The Central Public Information Officers/Central Assistant Public Information Officers (CPIOs/CAPIOs) are also to be designated before 22nd September 2005 (within 100 days from 15th June, 2005) to facilitate dissemination of information. 3. All CCITs/DGITs (including Cadre requested to take the following action :Controlling CCITs) are
Designation of CPIOs/CAPIOs/Appellate Authorities:
The PIOs/APIOs and their respective Appellate Authorities would be designated (by designation) as per structure given at Annexure-I by the following :a) The concerned DGIT for Directorates (attached offices of CBDT) would designate DITs working under him/her as CPIOs. He/She would be the Appellate Authority in respect of these CPIOs. b) The CCIT/DGIT(Investigation)/DGIT(International Taxation), for their own office, would designate an officer working in Headquarters as CPIO. In addition, he/she would also designate all CITs/DITs including CITs(Central),
CITs(Appeal), CITs(DR) in ITAT/ITSC working under him/her as CPIOs. He/she would be the Appellate Authority for these CPIOs. At stations where there is no PIO, the senior-most officer lookingafter Administration would be designated as CAPIO to receive and forward applications to the concerned CPIO. c) DG, NADT would designate Addl.DG(Admn) as CPIO for information pertaining to NADT. She would also designate all DITs(RTIs) as CPIOs for information pertaining to respective RTIs/MSTUs. She would be the Appellate Authority for all these CPIOs. At stations where there are only MSTUs, the officer incharge of MSTU would be designated as CAPIO to receive and forward applications to the concerned CPIO. d) As regards Valuation Wing, the respective Controlling CCIT would designate District Valuation Officer(s) under him as CPIO(s). The Appellate Authority in the case of these CPIOs would be the concerned CCIT/DGIT in respect of whose Charge the information pertains. However, for information pertaining to Administrative matters the Appellate Authority would be the controlling CCIT of the respective DVO. In the offices of Valuation Wing where there is no DVO, the Valuation Officer would be designated as CAPIO to receive and forward applications to the concerned CPIO. Such lists would be forwarded to the Cadre Controlling CCITs for preparing a consolidated list of CPIOs/CAPIOs and their respective Appellate Authorities. The Charge-wise List of the CPIOs/CAPIOs should be prominently displayed preferably at Reception area of all the office buildings of the Region. However, the DGIT’s incharge of Directorates (attached offices of CBDT) and DG, NADT [as mentioned as (a) and (c) above would perform these functions independently] ii) Maintenance of records :
Maintain all records in a manner and form that facilitates the right to information under 4(1)(a) of the Act. iii) Preparation of details of publication :
Prepare the details, required to be published, under item nos. viii), ix), xv), xvi) & xvii) and forward the same to the Cadre Controlling CCITs for publishing/uploading on website (ref:Annexure-II).
Spreading awareness :
Bring about awareness amongst all the officers/employees of the Income Tax Department to generate common spirit for implementing the said Act. v) Monitoring by CBDT
Send a fortnightly progress report to Cadre Controlling CCIT so that the same could be compiled and sent to CBDT by them. For this purpose, the CBDT has already constituted a Committee to monitor the progress of implementation of the Act (Refer Annexure - III). 4. In view of the foregoing, all Cadre Controlling CCITs including DGITs [other than DGIT (Investigations)] are requested to immediately initiate the following steps :i) Consolidate & publish necessary information as required under Section 4(1)(b) of the Act with reference to items viii), ix), xi), xv), xvi) & xvii). The action on other items of Section 4(1)(b) is being looked after centrally by a Committee headed by Shri Hardayal Singh, CCIT-II, Delhi & consisting of DIT(Systems) & DIT(RSP&PR) as members (Refer Annexure - II). ii) Consolidate and publish the details of the Central Public Information Officers/Central Assistant Public Information Officers and respective appellate authorities as per the enclosed structure (Annexure - I) after receipt of such information. iii) Send a consolidate list of CPIOs/CAPIOs to DIT(Systems) for uploading on the website of the Department with a copy to this Directorate for information. iv) Constitute a Core Team of trainers that would impart training to the CPIOs/CAPIOs in their Region. The training should ordinarily be held at the places where CCITs/DGITs are stationed. v) Send a consolidated fortnightly progress report of the entire Region to CBDT (Refer Annexure - III). 5. The Rules regarding the fee to be charged for dissemination of the information etc. are being framed by the Ministry of Personnel,
Public Grievances & Pensions and would be communicated by this Directorate in due course. 6. For clarifications, if any, kindly contact the undersigned. Yours faithfully, Sd/( ANIL KUMAR SINGH ) Director of Income Tax (O&MS) Copy to : Chairman/Members of CBDT All Directorates of the Board All Officers/Sections of the Board Chief Engineers, Valuation Cell ANNEXURE - I Structure of CPIOs/CAPIOs S.No. 1 Office CBDT CPIO Joint Secretary (Admn.) (for information pertaining to Administrative matters) Director (ITCC) (for information pertaining to technical matters) DITs (for information pertaining to concerned Directorates) Any of the officers working in the Headquarters (for information pertaining to O/o CCIT/DGIT) CIT/DIT/ CIT(Appeals)/ CIT(Central) CIT (DR)-ITAT/ITSC (for information pertaining to their charge/field offices) Appellate Authority Member (Personnel) Member (Revenue) Concerned DGIT
All Directorates (Attached offices of CBDT) CCITs/DGITs
Concerned CCIT/DGIT Concerned CCIT/DGIT
(i) Addl. DG(Admn) (for information pertaining to NADT) (ii) DITs (RTI) (for information pertaining to RTIs/MSTUs) District Valuation Officers (DVOs)
CCIT/DGIT concerned with the (for information pertaining to subject matter Valuation Wing) (technical) Controlling CCIT for information pertaining to Administrative matters. Note : At field stations where there is no CPIO, the CCITs/DGITs would designate the senior-most officer incharge of Administration as CAPIO for the purpose of receiving and forwarding applications to the concerned CPIOs. ANNEXURE - II INFORMATION TO BE PUBLISHED U/S 4(1)(b) OF RIGHT OF INFORMATION ACT, 2005 Section 4(1)(b) of Right of Information Act requires public authorities to publish certain information within 120 days (i.e. by 12th October, 2005) For this purpose, a Committee headed by Sri Hardayal Singh, CCIT-II, Delhi with DIT(Systems) and DIT(RSP&PR) has been constituted. This Committee would look after those items under Section 4(1)(b) which are to be published centrally. The items that are required to be published under Section 4(1) (b) of the Act along with action required to be taken on each item are as follows :(i) (ii) The particulars of its organisation, functions and duties The powers and duties of its officers and employees
(iii) The procedure followed in the decision-making process including channels of supervision and accountability.
Items (i) to (iii) shall be published centrally] (iv) The norms set by it for the discharge of its functions
The norms under which the Department functions are specified in all its Acts/Rules already published. No further action is required in the matter. (v) The rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions (vi) A statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control. (vii) 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. [Items (v) to vii) shall be published centrally] (viii) 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 advice, 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 public The list of all Central/State/Regional Advisory Committees would be published/uploaded on Website along with its latest minutes as far as possible [Action:Dir(ITCC, CBDT / Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs/ DIT(RSP&PR) / DIT(Systems)] (ix) A directory of its officers and employees Each Cadre Controlling CCIT would publish a list of employees locally and would send the same to DIT(Systems) for uploading on website. In respect of CBDT and directorates, DIT(RSP&PR) would publish the same and DIT(Systems) would upload it on the Website. [Action: Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs/
DIT(RSP&PR) / DIT(Systems)] (x) The monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations Keeping in view the very large employee strength of the Income Tax Department, the Sanctioned/Working Strength of each Cadre indicating their pay-scales could be published centrally by DIT(RSP&PR) and uploaded by DIT(Systems) on the Website [ Shall be published centrally] (xi) The budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made Cadre Controlling CCITs should publish expenditure budgetallocation CIT-wise and also send it to DIT(Systems) for uploading on website. The attached offices of the CBDT will also provide similar information to DIT(RSP&PR) and DIT(Systems). [Action: Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs/ DIT(RSP&PR) / DIT(Systems)] (xii) The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and thedetails of beneficiaries of such programmes As the item is not relevant to the Income Tax Department, no action to be taken for publishing such information. (xiii) Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it As the item is not relevant to the Income Tax Department, no action to be taken for publishing such information (xiv) Details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form [ Shall be published centrally]
(xv) 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 Website of the Income Tax Department is a facility available to the citizens for obtaining information. In addition, the Cadre Controlling CCITs would publish the facilities available locally. [Action: Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs / DIT(Systems)] (xvi) The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers As per the structure of CPIOs/CAPIOs given in Annexure-I, the respective CCITs/DGITs would designate CPIOs/CAPIOs. The particulars of such CPIOs alongwith their appellate authorities shall be communicated to Cadre Controlling CCITs for publishing it locally. Cadre Controlling CCITs will send such list to CBDT for information & to DIT(RSP&PR)/DIT(Systems) for publication/uploading on Website, [Action: Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs/ DIT(RSP&PR) / DIT(Systems)] (xvii) Such other information as may be prescribed; and thereafter update these publications every year The DIT(Systems) would be responsible to see that the website of the Department gets regularly updated. The Cadre Controlling CCITs would be responsible for updation of local linkages being provided on the Website by DIT(System). DIT(RSP&PR) would ensure that wherever central printing/publishing is involved, the information should be updated at regular intervals as per the requirements of the Act. [Action: Cadre Controlling CCITs/DGITs/ DIT(RSP&PR) / DIT(Systems)] ANNEXURE - III F.No.402/9/2005-ITCC Government of India Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue
Central Revenue of Direct Taxes New Delhi, dated the 2nd August, 2005 Subject: Setting up of Committee in CBDT to monitor the progress of implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 In pursuance of Coordination Section’s O.M.No.12/12/2005Coord. dated 27th July, 2005, a Committee is hereby constituted to monitor the progress the implementation of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 within CBDT as well as in the Income Tax Department. The constitution of the Committee will be as under :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Member (Revenue) Director( ITA-II) Director Director Director Director Director (TPL-III) (IT-Budget) (PAC) (Inv.II & III) (ITCC) Chairman Member (for West Zone & Mumbai) Member (for North Zone) Member (for South Zone) Member (for East Zone) Member for [DG(Inv.)/CC(C)] Member (for CBDT)
2. The Committee shall meet at least once a week to monitor the implementation of the RTI Act in the CBDT as well as all the Zones. 3. The Committee will call for a weekly report from the Cadre Controlling CCsIT/DGsIT on the progress of implementation of the Act in their respective Regions. 4. The Committee will send the fortnightly report to the Department of Revenue on the progress of implementation, which needs to be sent to Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions. Sd/( Pushkar Bhatnagar) OSD(ITCC) Officers concerned. Copy for information to :1. Chairman & Members, CBDT 2. All Cadre Controlling CCs/DGsIT 3. Director(Coord.) w.r.t. Letter F.No.12/12/2005-Coord,(Pt.I) dated 27th July, 2005. Sd/-
( Pushkar Bhatnagar) OSD(ITCC)
ANNEXURE - V: AUTHORITIES ENTRUSTED WITH RESPONPOSIBILITY OF PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION u/s 4(1)(b)
S. No 1 2 3 Description of the Information the particulars of its organization, functions and duties; the powers and duties of its officers and employees; the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; Authority entrusted with responsibility of publication To be published centrally by Board ---do-----do---
Already available in the norms set by it for the discharge of its Acts/Rules functions; the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; 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 advice, 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 public; a directory of its officers and employees; To be published centrally by Board
To be published centrally by Board To be published centrally by Board
To be published by Board. Cadre Controlling CCsIT/DGsIT are also responsible
the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; the budget allocated to each of its agency, Cadre Controlling indicating the particulars of all plans, CCsIT/DGsIT to proposed expenditures and reports on publish the data disbursements made; This item is not the manner of execution of subsidy relevant to I.T programmes, including the amounts Department. Hence allocated and the details of beneficiaries of no need to take such programmes; action particulars of recipients of concessions, ---do--permits or authorizations granted by it; details in respect of the information, To be published
Cadre Controlling CCsIT/DGsIT to publish the data To be published centrally by Board
available to or held by it, reduced in an centrally by Board electronic form; the particulars of facilities available to Cadre Controlling citizens for obtaining information, CCsIT/DGsIT to 15 including the working hours of a library or publish the data reading room, if maintained for public use; Cadre Controlling CCsIT/DGsIT to the names, designations and other publish the data and 16 particulars of the Public Information send list to Officers; DIT(RSP&R) and DIT(S) Cadre Controlling CCsIT/DGsIT are responsible to update the local linkages such other information as may be provided by DIT(S). 17 prescribed and thereafter update these DIT(RSp&R) to publications every year; update central information. Overall responsibility is with DIT(S)
ANNEXURE – VI: MODEL CATALOUGUE OF RECORDS/FILES RECOMMEND FOR EACH AO/RANGE
(SIMILAR CATALOGUES CAN BE PREPARED FOR OTHER OFFICES ALSO) S NO 1 2 3 4 5 CATEGORY OF RECORD REGISTERS REPORT FILES DESCRIPTION OF RECORD ALL REGISTERS PRESCRIBED BY THE DEPARTMENT CAP – I, CAP – II, CAP – III AND QUARTERLY REPORTS DOSSIERS ABOVE Rs 1 CRORE AND Rs 10 LAKHS TO 1 CRORE MONTHLY DOs MPR FILES
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 TECHNICAL MATTERS
28 29 30
MRR (MONTHLY REPORT ON REFUNDS) FORTNIGHTLY REPORT ON PROCESSING QPR ON AGGREATION OF AGRICULTURAL INCOME QPR ON RAJBHASA MONTHLY AUDIT REPORT QUARTERLY AUDIT REPORT REPORT ON TOP TAX PAYERS REPORT ON ADVANCE TAX PAYMENTS FORTNIGHTLY REPORT TO CBDT ON ARREAR COLLECTION PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS WIDENING OF TAX BASE REMAND REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH CIT(A) CORRESPONDENCE WITH CIT (DR) – ITAT REPORTS TO SETTLEMENT COMMISSION AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH CIT(DR) - SC REPORTS ON ADVERSE APPELLATE ORDERS MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE WITH SUBORDINATE AUTHORITIES REVISION U/S 263 BY CIT REVISION U/S 264 BY CIT LIST OF APPELLATE ORDERS OF CIT (A) WITH STATUS OF APPEAL/APPEAL EFFECT (ORDERS CONFIRMED AND APPEALS ALLOWED/PART ALLOWED TO BE SEPARATELY MENTIONED) LIST OF APPELLATE ORDERS OF ITAT WITH STATUS OF APPEAL/APPEAL EFFECT (ORDERS CONFIRMED AND APPEALS ALLOWED/PART ALLOWED TO BE SEPARATELY MENTIONED) LIST OF DECISIONS OF HC/SC WITH STATUS OF APPEAL/APPEAL EFFECT (ORDERS CONFIRMED AND APPEALS ALLOWED/PART ALLOWED TO BE SEPARATELY MENTIONED) DIRECTIIONS U/S 144A SURVEY FOLDERS APPRAISAL REPORTS AND REPORTS
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
RECEIVED FROM INVESTIGATION WING RAP AUDIT OBJECTIONS – DRAFT PARAS RAP AUDIT OBJECTIONS – MAJOR RAP AUDIT OBJECTIONS – MINOR RAP AUDIT OBJECTIONS – AUDIT REVIEWS INTERNAL AUDIT OBJECTIONS GRIEVANCE PETITIONS (LIST AND PETITIONS) LIST OF RECTIFICATIONS PENDING AND DISPOSED (BOTH SUO MOTO AND ON APPLICATION OF ASSESSEE) APPLICATIONS BEFORE AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIGH POWER COMMITTEE ON DISPUTES LIST OF ASSESSMENTS PENDING U/S 143(3) LIST OF PENDING SEARCH ASSESSMENTS LIST OF ASSESSMENTS PENDING U/S 147 AS WELL AS COPIES OF APPROVALS FOR ISSUE OF NOTICES, IF ANY LIST OF CASES WHERE RECORDS ARE IMPOUNDED U/S 131 OR U/S 133A LIST OF CASES WHERE RECORDS ARE RETAINED U/S 132(8) AND ALSO RETENTION AND RELEASE OF ASSETS REPORTS ON WAIVER OF INTEREST REPORTS ON CONDONATION OF DELAY IN FILING RETURNS APPROVALS OF BLOCK/SEARCH ASSESSMENTS AND SEARCH & SEIZURE MATTERS LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS GRANTED/REFUSED/PENDING REGISTRATION U/S 12A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS GRANTED/REFUSED/PENDING APPROVAL U/S 80G MISCELLANEOUS TECHNICAL REPORTS MINUTES OF MEETING OF LOCAL ARREAR COMMITTEES WRITE OFF AND SCALING DOWN OF ARREAR MATTERS PENDING BEFORE BIFR APPROVAL OF PENALTIES
54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81
15H FORMS REFUND APPROVALS ISSUES RELATED TO PROCESSING U/S 143(1) ISSUES RELATED TO PAN ALLOTMENT AND TRANSFER LIST OF TRCs DRAWN AND ACTION RELATED TO RECOVERY TOP 100 DEFAULTERS AND ACTION TAKEN STAY OF COLLECTION OF DEMAND TDS SURVEYS TDS MATTERS NOTICES/ORDERS ISSUED U/S 210(3) NOTICES U/S 142(1) IN CASE OF NONFILERS AND STOP FILERS SURVEYS U/S 133B CASES WHERE APPROVAL IS TAKEN TO OBTAIN LIST OF ASSETS & LIABILITES U/S 142(1)(iii) FILE TRANSFER PROMORMAS CASES REFERRED TO VALUATION CELL PROSECUTION MATTERS INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM INVESTIGATION WING/CIB AND ACTION TAKEN JURISDICTIONAL ORDERS, CENTRALIZATION PROPOSALS AND ORDERS MATTERS RELATED TO OTHER TAXES OFFICE ORDERS AND WORK ALLOCATION ORDERS INSPECTION REPORTS ADMINSITRATIVE CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES ADMINSITRATIVE CORRESPONDENCE WITH ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHER AUTHORITIES FILES MEMOS ISSUED AND RELATED CORRESPONDENCE MEMOS RECEIVED AND RELATED CORRESPONDENCE HOUSE KEEPING/RECORD MAINTENANCE ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULARS/INSTRUCTIONS ESTABLISHMENT LEAVE MATTERS
82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92
CONFIDENTIAL FOLDERS (By Code wherever necessary)
MATTERS RELATED TO INFRASTRUTURE MATTERS RELATED TO COMPUTERS MATTERS RELATED TO TRAINING MATTERS RELATED TO OFFICIAL TOURS TRANSFER AND POSTING ORDERS TAX EVASION PETITIONS INFORMATION SENT BY INVESTIGATION WING AND OTHER AGENCIES INFORMATION SOUGHT BY OTHER AGENCIES VIGILANCE MATTERS/DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION WITH LOWER AUTHORITIES