Right to Information ACT–2005

What is Right to Information Act ?

The Government of India has enacted `Right to Information Act 2005` 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 any public authority.

What is Right to Information

The right to information includes an access to the information which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents / records and certified samples of the materials and obtaining information which is also stored in electronic form.

The Information Which is Exempted From Disclosure

The Act provides under Sections 8 and 9, certain categories of information that are exempted from disclosure to the citizens. The public may also refer to the related sections of the Act before submitting a request for information.

Who Can Ask for Information?

Any citizen can request for information by making an application in writing or through electronic means in English / Hindi / official language of the areas, in which the application is being made together with the prescribed fees.

Who Will Give Information?

Any public authority would designate Central Asst. Public Information Officer (CAPIO) at various levels, who will receive the requests for information from the public and necessary number of Central Public Information Officers (CPIO) in all administrative units/ office who will arrange for providing necessary information to the public as permitted under the law. The public authorities are also required to designate authority(ies) senior in rank to CPIO, as Appellate Authorities, who will entertain and dispose off appeals against the decision of the CPIO as required under the Act. Any person who does not receive the decision from CPIO whether by way of information or rejection within the time frame, may within Thirty days from the expiry of period prescribed for furnishing the information or Thirty days from the date of receipt of the decisions, prefer an appeal to the Appellate Authority.

Regulation of fees and cost of RTI.

i) Application Fee.—An application under sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Act shall be accompanied by a fee of rupees ten and shall ordinarily not contain more than five hundred words, excluding annexures, containing address of the Central Public Information Officer and that of the applicant: Provided that no application shall be rejected only on the ground that it contains more than five hundred words.

ii) Fees for providing information.—Fee for providing information under sub-section (4) of Section 4 and sub-sections (I) and (5) of Section 7 of the Act shall be charged at the following rates, namely :—

       (a) rupees two for each page in A-3 or smaller size paper;

       (b) actual cost or price of a photocopy in large size paper;

       (c) actual cost or price for samples or models;

       (d) rupees fifty per diskette or floppy;

       (e) price fixed for a publication or rupees two per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication;

       (f) No fee for inspection of records for the first hour of inspection and a fee of rupees 5 for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof; and

       (g) so much of postal charge involved in supply of information that exceeds fifty rupees.

iii) Exemption from Payment of Fee.—No fee under rule 3 and rule 4 shall be charged from any person who, is below poverty line provided a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate Government in this regard is submitted alongwith the application.

iv) Mode of Payment of fee.—Fees under these rules may be paid in any of the following manner, namely:— (a) in cash, to the public authority or to the Central Assistant Public Information Officer of the public authority, as the case may be, against a proper receipt; or (b) by demand draft or bankers cheque or Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority; or (c) by electronic means to the Accounts Officer of the public authority, if facility for receiving fees through electronic means is available with the public authority.

The Main Structure / Role of Public Information Officers

  1. Central Asst. Public Information Officers (CAPIO)

The CAPIO will receive the application / request for information or the appeals under the Act and forward the same immediately to the CPIO or the Appellate Authority as the case may be.

  1. Central Public Information Officers (CPIO)

The CPIO is required to process the request for providing the information and dispose of the same ; either by providing the information or rejecting the request, within a period of Thirty days from the date of receipt of request .

  1. Appellate Authorities :

The Appellate Authority will entertain and dispose off appeals against the decision of the CPIO as required under the Act.

How to Locate a Public Information Officer in GOAF ?

The public can submit their written request / application for information to the CPIO designated as Central Public Information Officers by the GOAF, the address of which is available in the of GOAF web site.