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The Right to Information Act was passed by the Parliament in June 2005. The bare text of the act describes it as 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 connected matters.

As per Sec.3 of the Act the citizens shall have the right to information.

Features:

  • The Public can get information on the following which includes records, documents, memos, e mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, log books, contracts, reports, samples, models, data/material in electronic form. (s. 2) 

  • Every Public authority shall designate PIO in all administrative Unit / Offices (s. 5)

  • Provides for receiving of applications from Public for information or appeals under this Act. (s. 5)

  • Permits the Public Information Officer to seek assistance of any other officers for proper discharge of duties. (s. 5)

  • The Officer whose assistance has been sought is duty bound to give all assistance as required by the PIO 

  • Disposal of request should be made within 30 days. Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person the same should be provided within 48 hours of the receipt of request.

Objectives:

In consonance with the view of the Supreme Court that the fundamental right to life and liberty [Art.21] and the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression [Art.19 (1)] include every citizen’s fundamental right to access information, the RTI act has been passed to enable all citizens to use their fundamental right to access information from public bodies:

The main purpose of the Act is to:

  • promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority and

  • set up a practical regime for giving citizens access to information that is under the control of public authorities.

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