Right to Information

Act-2005

By: A.K. Pandey
Asst. Professor Law Management

Some questions to ponder !








Is there a need to watch the “Watch men” ?
If so , can RTI Act be used as “Watch dog”?
Is RTI Act, an invasion in “Official secrecy”?
Is provisions of RTI ,an extension to provisions of ‘whistle
blower’ ?
Are records required to be preserved for longer periods?
Does RTI Act give any new power ?
Has Railway became overburdened due to RTI ?
Is implementation of RTI an unnecessary drainage of Pubic
money?
Is “responsibility” of PIO under RTI Act , actually a “
liability” ?

Aim of the Act
Transparency

Accessibility

Accountability

For Curbing corruption
For good governance

Good Governance & RTI Act

2nd Administrative Reforms Commission

(Headed by Shri Veerappa Moily, on 8th June 2006 to full
scrap of Official Secret Act – 1923)

1st Report

Right to Information is the Master Key to good
governance.

 4th

Report

Ethics of good governance includes : Transparency
 Accountability
 Predictability
 Participation

Are they co-related ?
Poverty

Corruption

Population

RTI : A POTENT TOOL OF PUBLIC AUDIT
All detected
by RTI

IAS officers
(Punjab) loot
funds meant
for Kargil
heroes- CNN-IBN
Dt.03-12-07

Misappropriation
of (Rs. 15.65 out
of 40 Cr from)
PM’s Relief Fund
CIL: CIC for
remedial action
The Hindu Dt. 24-10-07

RTI finds CM’s
(Mumbai) Relief
Fund: a
disaster : Rs.
50 Crore
Granted to Noncalamities
The Times of India
Dt. 15-03-08

What is Information?
 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 -Section 2(f)

WHAT IS THE RIGHT OF INFORMATION ?

Sec(2)(j)
1. inspection of work, documents, records;
2. taking notes, extracts or certified copies
of documents or records;
3. taking certified samples of material ;
4. obtaining information in the form electronic mode .

Appointment of PIO & APIO
Sec-5

Public Authority
Division

Zone

Ist model

Rly Board
IInd model
Nodal Officer

APIO

PIO
All BOs
PIO
Deemed PIOs
Deemed PIOs

APIO

FEE- STRUCTURE
RTI (Regulation of
Fee& Cost) Rules2005

Information
Information
(Electronic
(Electronic
Form)
Form)==Rs.50/
Rs.50/
Diskette
Disketteor
or
Floppy
Floppy. .

* With transfer of
application ,fee is
not required
to be transfer.

Inspection
Inspectionof
of
document
document
==No
Nofee
fee1st
1sthour
hour
Rs.5/hr.
there
Rs.5/hr. there
after
after

INITIAL FEE
Rs.-10/
application

Certified
Certified
Samples
Samplesof
of
material
=
material =
Actual
ActualCost
Cost

Mode of fee:
To A/o of Public
Authority,
By cash,draft,
postal order,or
by bankers cheque.
Certified
Certified
Copy
Copyof
of
Documents
Documents ==
Rs.2
Rs.2/copy
/copy

No fee:
- From BPL,
- on delay,and
-Inspection of work.

Request

R
E
Q
U
E
S
T

Self

Hindi, English or Official language
Of area .

L

P

B

NO
FEE

PIO

APIO

N

To
The PIO

O

C
I
T
I
Z
E
N

N L
BP

RTI-ISTM-WS/PRDP/SEP-OCT

Disposal of Request

WITH
FEE

Add.
Fee

I
N
F
Transfer
O
R
M
Seeking
A
3rd
T
party
A
T
Rejection I
O
N

• Reason ,
• Time for appeal,
• Details of AA.

Third party Information under RTI
 Third

party means a person other than citizen
making a request for information and includes a
public authority.[Sec:2(n)]
 Right of hearing of third party .[Sec:11]
3rd party information

Information in
Fiduciary
relation ship

Personal
information

Time Frame : Disposal of Request
PIO

30 days
Add.fee time
not counted .

R
E
Q
U
E
S
T

From other PIO

APIO
3rd party
Life& Death

Security&
Int.-Agencies

35 days
40 days

48 hrs.

45 days

I
N
F
O
R
M
A
T
A
T
I
O
N

Exemptions under RTI ACT

A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
F)
G)
H)
I)
J)
K)

Sec -8(1): Grounds for Exemption:
Affecting National Security,
Forbidden by court or invite contempt of Court,
Parliamentary Privileges ,
Trade secret subject to larger public interest,
Based on Fiduciary relation subject to larger public
interest,
Foreign government’s information,
Relating to source of information,
Impeding investigation/prosecution.
Cabinet papers before final decision,
Personal information subject to larger public interest,
Copy right.(sec-9)

Nullity of Exemptions
 Sec-8(2):
 Notwithstanding anything in the official Secrets
Act-1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible
in accordance with sec-8(1), a public authority
may allow access of information, if public interest
in disclosure outweighs the harm to protected
interests.

PIO & APPELATE AUTHORITIES
DIVISION

PUBLIC
AUTHORITY

ZONAL

RLY-BOARD

PIO
Sr.DPO
APIO

1st
APPELATE
ADRM

PIO
Dy. GM
APIO

1st
APPELATE
AGM

PIO
EDPG
APIO

1st
APPELATE
AM-C

CIC- Central Information Commission

2nd
APPELATE
CIC

Time Frame : Appeal & Disposal

PIO

30 Days

1st appeal
ADRM/AGM
AM

90 Days

CIC

DISPOSAL OF APPEAL
Within 30 days
extendable further
by 15 days .

CIC

QUANTUM OF PUNISHMENT u/s 20
Penalty of Rs.250 per day up to Rs. 25000
will be imposed over PIO till application taken /
information furnished by PIO.
Disciplinary action can also be
recommended against PIO.
Deemed PIO :If assistance has been
sought from other officer u/s 5(4)
then for
any contravention/delay , other officer shall
treated as deemed PIO.

Personal Information & Secrecy u/s 8
• A case of Wife of Railway employee :
• A medical report relating to wife of a Rly employee was
sought
• Denial of disclosure to third person other than husband
of lady as was personal information,
• No objection from husband, again denied by CPIO & 1st
appellate authority,
• [S.C.Maheswary case (CIC-2006/252)]

A case of an MLA
• A MLA on surrender sent to jail,
• Within two days, on account of suspected heart ailment
shifted to JJ Hospital,
• An information was sought regarding his ailment,
• Objection – Personal information, bar under IMC
(Professional conduct , Etiquette and Ethics ) Regulations
-2002,&not hearing of 3rd party,
• HC directed to disclose subject to hearing of 3rd party
(MLA);
• [Surup Singh Hrya Nayk Vs State of Mah/Air 2007
Bombay 121]

Secrecy of Medical bills & Prescriptions
 Medical bills, which identify ailments, prescription etc.
are personal information and exempted from
disclosure u/s 8(1)(j).
 Expenditure on treatment from govt. fund is not
personal information and will be disclosed.
 If one bill contains both name of ailments and fee ,
it can be disclosed subject to sec-10.
 H.C.Verma V/sIOC/999/IC(A)/2007 dt.06.07.07

Disclosure of stock register of medicine &
money available for local purchase
 A lady was admitted in Guru Teg Bhadur Hospital, New Delhi.
Even though she, belongs to BPL, she was asked to purchase the
medicines from out side the hospital, while medicine should be
supplied to her free of cost.
 She had asked from hospital to supply the stock registers of the
medicines that they were asked to buy from out side of hospital .
She also submitted that the MS has power to purchase the
medicine of worth Rs. 1.00.000 in emergency.
 CIC directed the hospital to provide the information.
 Smt. Pushpa V/s Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital/New DelhiCIC/PB/C/2008/000304/24.11.08.

ACR: NOW NO SECRECY
 Transparency in public administration requires that all
entries (whether poor, average, fair, good or very
good) in the ACR of a public servant whether in civil,
judicial, police, or any other state service (except the
military) must be communicated within reasonable
period so that a person can make the representation
for its up gradation.
 Devdutt V/s UOI & others/AIR2008SC1927 (Decided
by SC on-12.05.2008).
 Followed by CIC in Hariram v/s UCO Bank-Appeal No2360-62/ICPB/2008/Dt.02.06.08.

Meaning of Investigation under RTI Act
 The word ‘investigation’ used in sec. 8 sub
clouse1 (h) includes all departmental inquiries,
verification of records, assessment and so on
which may be ordered in specific cases. Such
inquiries should taken as completed when
disciplinary authority finally decides the innocence
or guilt of delinquent. In other words when DAR is
finalized.
 CIC/AT/A/ 2006/00039 Dt.1.06.06

Departmental / Vigilance Inquiry & RTI
 In this case, a disciplinary proceeding was initiated
against applicant under the Service Conduct Rules.
Applicant had requested for information relating to
Disciplinary proceeding. It was denied by PIO u/s8(1)
(j) of this Act. CIC decided that, since applicant is
entitle to get the copy under the provisions of Conduct
rules to prove his innocence. Therefore, it advised that
appellant submit a list of required information before
competent
authority.
If,
the
required
information/documents are not supplied to him then
only, he can approach to CIC.
 [M.K.Gupta Vs. Central Railway-CIC/OK/A/2007/818 ,
Dt.09 06.2008.]

NO CREATION OF INFORMATION
 Sri P.Rawat of Ajmer/NWR, filed an application
seeking reason for his transfer.
 Not satisfied the reply of PIO &1st appellate filed
appeal before CIC
 CIC’ORDER:The transfer order was issued in public
interest for which no noting was available.Since no
noting was available, same can not be created as such
requested information did not come under the
definition of information under section-2(f). Only
those information could be provided , which exists.

 [Prithwi Raj Rawat v/s NWR/CIC/ OK/A/2007/
01313/17.03.08.]

NO PENALTY FOR BONAFIED MISTAKE
• There was a delay of 17 days, PIO/NR Smt. Anuradha

Singh replied to show cause that due to complete
revamping of personal section, there was some logistic
problems and also staff dealing the RTI, were under order of
transfer. Taking over and handing over of charge took time.
As a result, information could not be supplied on time.
Commission accepted the plea of PIO and dropped the
penalty proceeding .
• Gaya Prasad V/s N.Rly-CIC/OK/A/2006/OO298.

Records have to preserved for
longer period

 No such mandate of RTI Act. Records will be

preserved as per record retention schedule
prescribed by the concerned public authority
(Railway Board ).
 Govt. of India, Ministry of personnel OM
no.1/14/2007-IR Dt.31.10.07.

PIO

Responsibility or Liability ( ?)
In fact, our ignorance is the root cause
of this dilemma.

We may find
the reply through
following story..........
.

A young lady was
waiting for her plane in
the waiting room of an
airport.

Public

As she
would need
to wait
many
hours, she
decided to
buy a book
to spend
her time.
She also
bought a
packet of
cookies.

She sat down in
an armchair, in
the VIP room of
the airport, to
rest and read in
peace.

Beside the
armchair where
the packet of
cookies lay, a
man sat down in
the next seat,
opened his
magazine and
started reading.

When she took out
the first cookie, the
man took one also.
She felt irritated but
said nothing. She
just thought:
“ What a nerve! If
I was in the mood,
I would punch him for
daring!”

For each cookie
she took, the
man took one
too.
This was
infuriating her
but she didn’t
want to cause a
scene.

When only one
cookie remained,
she thought:
“ah... What this
abusive man do
now?”
Then, the man,
taking the last
cookie, divided it
into half, giving
her one half.

Ah! that was too much !
She was much too angry now!
In a huff, she took her book, her things and
stormed to the boarding place.

When she sat
down in her seat,
inside the plane,
she looked
into her purse
to take her eye
glasses, and, to
her surprise, her
packet of cookies
was there,
untouched,
unopened!

Reluctance of public servant ,
to share the information
of public
with public,
is just like
the reluctance of girl .

This is the truth: If you can believe !

“Truth about the ACTION must be known
Truth about the INACTION must be known;
Truth about the PROHIBITED ACTION
must be known

(Bhagavadgita

HAVE A

Chap. 4)

Mysterious are the ways of ACTION”

EVERLASTIG MEMORY