RTI Act (Right To Information Act)

 

Appellate  Authority                          Sri D. Behera            Director                        0674-2391295

Public Information Officer               Sri B. D. Jena            Joint Director               0674-2393065

Asst. Public Information Officer     Sri S.C. Naik         Assistant Director        8280066098

 

Introduction

 

            Right to information is a part of fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) of the constitution. Article 19 (1) says that every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. As early as in 1976, the Supreme Court said that people can not speak or express themselves unless they know. India is a democracy and people are the masters. Therefore the masters have the rights to know how the Govts., meant to serve them, are functioning.

 

            In Indian democratic system, the right of every citizen to know information is no doubt a revolutionary step. Since long the officials in the name of administrative secrecy hesitated to disclose information and there by kept in darkness to general public about important decision of Govt. & other administrative bodies. This has widened the path of corruption in manifold. The main aim of this act is to eradicate the existing practice of concealing facts & events and to empower every citizen to exercise their legal right in obtaining information under RTI Act 2005.

 

            The ideal objectives of the RTI Act are to promote transparency and accountability in the working of public authority and to set up a practical regime for giving citizens access to information under the control of public authorities. A public authority may be described as a person or administrative body which works for the benefit of the public.RTI Act’ 2005 was implemented in our country on 15th June ’ 2005 and became operational on 12.10.2005. The act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

What Rights are available under RTI Act’ 2005

 

            Right to Information Act’ 2005 empowers every citizen to

 

    --> Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information

    --> Take copies of any Govt. documents.

    --> Inspect any Govt. documents.

    --> Inspect any Govt. works.

    --> Take samples of materials of any Govt. work.

 

Coverage of the Act

 

            The RTI Act covers all level of Govt. – Center, State, District and Local self Governing Bodies like Panchyat and Municipal bodies. It also covers NGOs –that are financed substantially with public funds provided by Govt.. Every citizen of India are empowered to seek information from public authority. Information must be shared for the interest of public as the purpose of this Act is to evolve an interface between public authority and citizen. Since the Act imposes liability on public authority, it should not be misinterpreted rather it makes the administration more responsive and removes sloth . Maximum possible information must be disclosed voluntarily. For this openness and change of attitude is required. The authority has to change the mind set and share the information suomoto for the interest of public through various means of communication like display of information in notice board, News paper, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internets or any other means including inspection of offices of any public authority so that public have minimum resort to the use of this act to obtain information. There must be no secrecy unless it is warranted from security point of view.

 

Who can apply and How

 

            According to section 3 all citizens have the right to ask information. Here a citizen is a natural person. Under section 6 a person who desires to obtain information can apply for such information. In this case a person shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English, Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made in Form- A to the Public Information Officer (PIO) / Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) with the required fee i.e. Rs. 10/- (Ten) in shape of treasury challan / cash as specified in the schedule under appropriate head of account.

 

            Provided that where such request can not be made in writing the PIO shall render all assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing.

 

            Provided that application fee shall not be payable in case of a person whose name appears in the latest list of persons below poverty line for which he/ she has to produce Below Poverty Line (BPL) card.

 

            According to section 6 (2) an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him/her.

 

            The PIO / any other officer authorized by him shall furnish the acknowledgement and after being satisfied with the identity of the applicant shall also intimate in Form – B as soon possible the amount of cost for providing information required to be paid in cash as mentioned in the schedule. Identity means an evidence to show the citizenship like an electoral photo ID card, a pass port or any other documents that satisfies the authority about the citizenship of the applicant.

 

             The applicant may deposit the same amount within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of such information failing which the application shall stand rejected.

 

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