This section, a useful feature for citizens, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, may apply for information as prescribed under Rule 4 (1) of Gujarat Right to Information Rules, 2005.
P. N. Maru
||Public Relation Officer
||Gujarat Information Commission
||Copy of original application (From-A) in which information sought from Public Information Officer
||If Application Transferred to other public authority, if so copy of transfer letter
||Copy of reply given by the Public Information Officer
||Copy of First appeal made to the appellate authority
||Copy of first appellate authority’s order (if order passed)
||Undertaking: In this regard, I, have not made any appeal/complaint before the Gujarat Information Commission earlier.
What is RTI ?
RTI stands for 'Right to Information Act-2005'. It came into force on the 12th October, 2005.
Authority : Section 1(1).
Who is covered under RTI ?
The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir .
Authority : Section 1(2).
What does information mean?
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.
Authority: Sub-section (f) of Section-2.
What does a Public Authority mean ?
Public Authority means any authority or body or institution of self Government established or constituted.
Authority: Sub-section (h) of Section-2.
What does Right to Information mean ?
It includes the right to-
(i) inspect works, records, documents;
(ii) take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
(iii) take certified samples or material;
(iv) obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.
Authority: Sub-section (j) of Section-2.
What are the obligations of Public Authority ?
Every public authority should provide as much information suo-motu to the public through various means of communications so that the public have minimum need to use the Act to obtain information. Internet being one of the most effective means of communications, the information may be posted on the website.
Every public authority to publish following categories of information minimum:-
(i) the particulars of its organization, functions and duties;
(ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees;
(iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;
(iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;
(v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;
(vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;
(vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;
(viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings or those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;
(ix) directory of its officers and employees;
(x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;
(xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;
(xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;
(xiii) particulars of recipients of concession permits or authorizations granted by it;
(xiv) details in respect of the information available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;
(xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;
(xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;
(xvii) the public authority is obliged to update such information every year.
Authority: Section 4(1)(b).
What are the functions of the Public Authority ?
(1) Every public authority to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and ensure that all records are appropriate.
(2) Every public authority to maintain Notice Board and display Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities address. Keep one control register by PIO/First AA/Public Authority.
How can one apply for information ?
1. Apply in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the Public Information Officer, specifying the particulars of the information sought for accompanying such fee as may be prescribed in the prescribed manner.
2. The matter can be hand written or typed.
3. The application should be legible and easy to read.
4. Below poverty line category applicant are not required to pay application fee and copy fee.
Authority: Sub-section(1)(a) & (b) of Section -6.
Whether the applicant give any reason for seeking any information ?
Applicant are not required to give any reason for seeking information.
Authority: Sub-section (2) of Section-6.
What is the procedure for transfer of Applications ?
If an application is made to a public authority, which is held by another public authority, the public authority to which such application is made, shall transfer the application or relevant part of it to the concerned public authority within five days from the receipt of the application.
Authority: Sub-section (3) of Section -6.
What is the fees?
1. Application fees and copy fees prescribed by competent authority as per Government Rules. In case of High Court and District Courts fees prescribed by High Court.
2. No fees will be charged from people living below poverty line.
3. Applicant must be provided information free of charge if the PIO fails to comply with the prescribed time limit of 30 days.
What is the time limit to get information ?
1. 30 days from the receipt of the application.
2. 48 hours for information concerning the life and liberty of a person.
What could be the ground for rejection of information ?
If it is covered by exemption from disclosure.
Authority: Section -8.
If it infringes copy right of any person other than the State.
Who are Third Parties?
A third party means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Third parties have a right to be heard in respect of applications and appeals dealing with the information submitted by them to the Government in confidence.
Authority: Section 2(n) and Section-11.
How to lodge complaint under RTI Act?
Section 18 of the Act empowers State Information Commission to enquire into complaints against Public Authority, PIO and First Appellate Authority. The section has provided for enquiring and taking corrective steps by the respective Commissions in respect of majority of problems that the applicant may face in getting information to which he is entitled to under this Act.
Situations under which complaint can be lodged.
Complaints relating to information of public authorities are to be lodged with State Information Commission, Gandhinagar.
Authority: Sub-section (1) of Section-18.
How to write First Appeal under RTI ?
In case an applicant fails to get a response from the PIO within the prescribed period or is aggrieved by the response received, or misuses Section 8 of the Act then he/she can file an appeal within 30 days with an officer superior in rank to the PIO. (Section-19 (1)) First appeal has to be filed within 30 days from the receipt of decision of PIO by the applicant with First Appellate Authority will all photocopies of enclosures mentioned in the appeal should be self attested and full signature. First Appellate Authority has to decide on the appeal within thirty days from the date of receipt of First Appeal. He can take a further 15 days (total 45 days) provided he gives the reasons for the delay in writing.
Authority: Sub-section (1) & (2) of Section-19.
How to file a Second Appeal under RTI ?
Second Appeal can be made to State Information Commission.
In case a person fails to get decision from First Appellate Authority or is aggrieved by the decision of First Appellate Authority he/she can file a second appeal within 90 days from the date of receipt of decision of First Appellate Authority by the applicant with State Information Commission. With the second appeal, photocopies of original application under RTI with its enclosures, First Appeal with its enclosures, decision of PIO and First Appellate Authority if received and also an affidavit that in this regard he could not made any other applications in State Information Commission before.
If it is compulsory to attend the applicant in the hearing of First Appeal & Second Appeal?
It is not compulsory for applicant to attend in the hearing of First Appeal and Second Appeal. If the applicant have any oral submissions he/she can attend the hearing.
First Appellate Authority should take decision of First Appeal in prescribed time limit even though the Appellant and PIO remain absent in the hearing.
What are the penalty provisions?
Every PIO will be liable for fine of Rs. 250/- per day up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- for –
i) not accepting and application;
ii) delaying information release without reasonable cause;
iii) malafidely denying information;
iv) knowingly giving incomplete, incorrect, misleading information;
v) destroying information that has been requested and
vi) obstructing furnishing of information in any manner.
The The Information Commission will have the power to impose this penalty. The Information Commission can also recommend disciplinary action for violation of the law against an erring PIO.
Authority: Sub-section (1) & (2)of section-20.
Compliance of RTI Act
The provision of RTI Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything in consistent therewith contained in official Secret Act 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
What is the Jurisdiction of Courts?
Lower Courts are barred from entertaining suits or applications against any order made under this Act. However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts under Article 32 and 225 of the Constitution.
Who is excluded under RTI?
Act does not apply to certain organizations viz: Central Intelligence agencies and security agencies like IB, RAW, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Aviation Research Centre, Special Frontier Force, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, NSG, Assam Rifles, Special Service Bureau, CID Special Branch of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, CID Crime Branch of Dadra Nagar Haveli and Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police. Recently the Government have included CBI, NATGRID and NIA in the second schedule of RTI Act. However, information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section.
Authority: Section 24 & The Second Schedule.
Regarding Voluminous Information.
As per the judgment of the Honorable Supreme Court of India dated 9-8-2011 in Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.7526/2009- Indiscriminate the impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counter-productive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritizing ‘information furnishing’, at the cost of their normal and regular duties.
Regarding personnel information not in large public interest.
As per the judgment of Honorable Supreme Court of India dated 3-10-2012 in Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 27734 of 2012 (@ CC 14781/2012) – If the petitioner has not succeeded in establishing that the information sought for is for the larger public interest. The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition.
Protection of action taken in good faith.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under then Act or any rule made there under. A PIO should, however, note that it would be his responsibility to prove that his action was in good faith.
Authority : Section-21.