Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

RTI ACT 2005:What rights are available under RTI Act 2005? Who is covered under RTI? What is “substantially financed”? Are Private bodies covered under the RTI Act? Isn’t Official Secrets Act 1923 an obstacle to the implementation of RTI Act? Can the PIO refuse to give me information? Does the Act provide for partial disclosure? Can access be denied to file notings?

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 1, 2006

What rights are available under RTI Act 2005?
Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen toAsk any questions from the Government or seek any information
Take copies of any government documents
Inspect any government documents.
Inspect any Government works
Take samples of materials of any Government work.
Who is covered under RTI?
The Central RTI Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. All bodies, which are constituted under the Constitution or under any law or under any Government notification or all bodies, including NGOs, which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government are covered.
What is “substantially financed”?
This is neither defined under RTI Act nor under any other Act. So, this issue will evolve with time, maybe through some court orders etc.
Are Private bodies covered under the RTI Act?
All private bodies, which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government are directly covered. Others are indirectly covered. That is, if a government department can access information from any private body under any other Act, the same can be accessed by the citizen under the RTI Act through that government department. .
Isn’t Official Secrets Act 1923 an obstacle to the implementation of RTI Act?
No. Sec 22 of the RTI Act 2005 clearly says that RTI Act would over ride all existing Acts including Officials Secrets Act.
Can the PIO refuse to give me information?
A PIO can refuse information on 11 subjects that are listed in section 8 of the RTI Act. These include information received in confidence from foreign governments, information prejudicial to security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the country, breach of privilege of legislatures, etc.
There is a list of 18 agencies given in second schedule of the Act to which RTI Act does not apply. However, they also have to give information if it relates to matters pertaining to allegations of corruption or human rights violations.
Does the Act provide for partial disclosure?
Yes. Under Section 10 of the RTI Act, access may be provided to that part of the record which does not contain information which is exempt from disclosure under this Act.
Can access be denied to file notings?
No. File notings are an integral part of the government file and are subject to disclosure under the Act. This has been clarified by the Central Information Commission in one of its orders on 31st Jan 2006.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/specials/htbribe/faq_2.shtml

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