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Published : November 21, 2011 | Author : akberahmad.als
Category : Miscellaneous | Total Views : 8875 | Rating :

  
akberahmad.als
i am a student of BBA.LLB(H) and i am doing this course from amity law school,noida
 

Acknowledgements*

Development:

The Indian Parliament had enacted the “Freedom of Information Act, 2002” in order to promote, transparency and accountability in administration. The National Common Minimum Program of the Government envisaged that “Freedom of Information Act” will be made more “progressive, participatory and meaningful”, following which, decision was made to repeal the “Freedom of Information Act, 2002” and enact a new legislation in its place.

Accordingly, “Right to Information Bill, 2004” (RTI) was passed by both the Houses of Parliament on May, 2005 which received the assent of the President on 15th June, 2005. “The Right to Information Act” was notified in the Gazette of India on 21st June, 2005. The “The Right to Information Act” became fully operational from 12th October, 2005. This new law empowers Indian citizens to seek any accessible information from a Public Authority and makes the Government and its functionaries more accountable and responsible.

During the period of the implementation of the RTI Act i.e. October 2005 onwards, it has become evident that there are many anticipated and unanticipated consequences of the Act. These have manifested themselves in various forms, while some of the issues pertain to procedural aspects of the Government; others pertain to capacity building, and so on. The most important aspect to be recognized is that there are issues to be addressed at various ends for effective implementation of the Act.

There have been many discussions and debates about the effectiveness and impact of the Act. The Civil Society Organizations and Government agencies have been engaging themselves in the debate over various aspects of the Act and its effectiveness and interpretations. There is a broad consensus that the implementation of the Act needs to be improved to achieve the objectives. At the same time there is evidence to suggest that the information seekers too have to learn how to use the Act more effectively. While there is significant information – both anecdotal and quantitative – on the level of implementation of the Act, there was limited systematic and comprehensive review available for action by the appropriate Governments. This in turn necessitated a review of all the aspects necessary to analyze the current situation and draw up a plan to bridge the gaps.

In the above context, Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Government of India, had engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for assessing and evaluating the Act with specific reference to the key issues and constraints faced by the “Information Providers” and “Information Seekers”. The scope of study included review of the experiences of the Central and State Governments in implementing the RTI Act, review of the experiences of various categories of information seekers, diagnosis of the situation, suggestion of the nature of interventions to be made and preparation of action plan/recommendations.

The assessment of the current situation through various market research tools has resulted in identification of the current problem areas. These problems areas have been analysed/ discussed in various workshops/meetings to define time-bound actionable steps to make the Act an effective tool of good governance.

Background:
The Right to Information Act 2005 provides effective access to information for citizens of India, which is under the control of the public authorities. It promotes transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. It extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Government of India resolved that in order to ensure greater and more effective access to information, it is required that the Freedom of Information Act, 2002 must be made more progressive, participatory and meaningful. On this issue National Advisory Council suggested certain important changes to be incorporated in the said Act to ensure smoother and greater access to information. After examining the suggestions of the National Advisory Council and others the Government decided to make number of changes in the law. In view of the significant changes proposed by the National Advisory Council and others, it was decided to repeal the Freedom of Information Act, 2002 and enact another law for providing an effective framework for effectuating the right of information recognized under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. To achieve this object, the Right to Information Bill was introduced in the Parliament.

The Right to Information Bill, 2005 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 11th May, 2005 and by the Rajya Sabha on 12th May, 2005 and it received the assent on 15th June, 2005. It came on the Statute Book as THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 (22 of 2005).

Objective Of The RTI Act, 2005: Legislative Intent
The objective of the RTI Act is to establish a practical regime for citizens to access information held by Public Authorities. This in turn will lead to increased transparency and accountability at the Public Authorities.

In order to ensure greater and more effective access to information, the Government resolved that the Freedom of Information Act, 2002 enacted by the Parliament needs to be made more progressive, participatory and meaningful. The National Advisory Council deliberated on the issue and suggested certain important changes to be incorporated in the existing Act to ensure smoother and greater access to information.

After examining the suggestions made by the National Advisory Council, the Government decided to make a number of changes in the law. The important changes proposed to be incorporated, inter alia, include establishment of an appellate machinery with investigating powers to review decisions of the Public Information Officers; penal provisions for failure to provide information as per law; provisions to ensure maximum disclosure and minimum exemptions, consistent with the constitutional provisions, and effective mechanism for access to information and disclosure by authorities, etc.

The Source And Constitutional Support To The RTI Act
Democracy becomes meaningful only when people have a sense of participation in the governance. Transparent governance not only increases public participation but also lends greater legitimacy to the State. Although the administrative principles of natural justice and judicial review of administrative discretion call for greater transparency, the State still had the power to retain various privileges, which are by their nature, contrary to transparency. It was in this context that the right to information gained even more importance, and it is important to look at the constitutional source of this right.

Though the Indian Constitution has no express provision guaranteeing the right to information, it has been recognized by the Courts in a plethora of cases as implicit in Article 19(1)(a), which guarantees to all citizens the right to free speech and expression, and Article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to life in accordance with due process to all citizens. The right to information has been recognized by the Supreme Court in its decisions since 1973. it was first recognized in Bennet Coleman v. Union of India, famously known as the newsprint case, where for the first time the Supreme Court said that readers had the right to read newspapers and this emanated from their right to know which was a part of freedom of speech and expression.

Achieving transparency and holding corruption through RTI
During the period, October 2005 to present day, it has become evident that there are many anticipated and unanticipated consequences of the Act. The mandate of this study was to study these consequences, how they impact the transparency regime in the country and to suggest changes for improving the RTI regime in the country. This section provides an analysis of RTI’s impact based on primary and secondary research. Based on these findings it can be concluded that RTI Act can have an impact even in the remote villages, if properly facilitated and guided.

Nature on information being requested :
RTI has become a weapon in the hands of common citizens to fight for their rights. It is not surprising that the usage of RTI has been in the areas where citizens had to struggle to get what was rightfully theirs. An analysis of the information sought under the RTI Act is provided in Figure. It may be observed that more RTI applications are filed in departments which impact quality of life of a common citizen.

Process of information GATHERING
In order to get the information as per the RTI Act, 2005 the information seeker has to send the request for information with the requisite fee to the Public Information Officer (PIO). Then the PIO gather the information from the concerned department. The PIO is facing difficulties in gathering the information where medium or low level of information technology is used. However, the PIO is not finding any difficulties in gathering and disseminating the information where high level of information technology is used. The Process of information gathering is shown in Figure below:.

In case information is rejected, requester will be intimated about:
(i) The reason for the rejection
(ii) The period within which an appeal against such rejection may be made to the appellate authority and
(iii) The particulars of the Appellate Authority.

An Analysis Of The RTI Act, 2005
The Goals of the Right to Information Act: Democracy is built upon the fundamentals of an informed citizenry and transparency in information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. This belief forms the bedrock of the Right to Information Act. The preamble to the Right to Information Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) specifies that the Act has been enacted for establishing the practical regime of right to information for citizens in order to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, and to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. The preamble, however, also refers to the exemptions and says that, in some cases, revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use of limited physical resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information.

Basic features of the Act: The Act applies both to Central and State Governments and all public authorities. The word ‘information’ is defined in the Act under Section 2(f) to mean any material in any form, including the records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, log books, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material hold in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any law for the time being in force. However, I feel that this list should be merely indicative and not exhaustive as there may be various other forms in which information may be stored or provided . The Act itself defines what right to information means.

Personal belief- The researcher is of the view that this list too is not exhaustive and is merely indicative in nature. One of the hallmarks of the Act is the timeframe it lays down for disseminating the information asked for. The Act requires a request to be disposed of within 30 days provided that where information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within 48 hours.

The Act casts certain obligations on all public authorities. Sec. 4 makes it a duty of public authorities to maintain records for easy access and to publish within 120 days the name of the particular officers who should give the information and in regard to the framing of the rules, regulations etc. The Act provides for a wide dissemination of information in an accessible manner and the person need not give any reasons for the request or any personal details

Powers and Duties of different authorities under the Act: From the perspective of Administrative Law, it is important to look at the different authorities created under the RTI Act, and the powers and obligations conferred upon the authorities. It is important to look at whether these powers are enough for the proper administration of the Act or whether there has been excessive delegation or discretion conferred upon the authorities created under this Act.

Information Commissions: Section 12 of the Act empowers the Central Government to constitute by notification in the Official Gazette, a body to be known as the Central Information Commission (CIC) to exercise the powers conferred on and to perform the functions assigned to it under the Act. Similar power is given to the State Governments under Section 15 of the Act to constitute such Commission at the State level (State Information Commissions). The Central or State Information commissioners are different from the Public Information Officers as they are required to deal with the matters of receiving and inquiring into the complaints from any person who has been refused access to any information under the Act, or who has not been given a response, or has been given incomplete and misleading information and has a grievance which he wants addressed.

Exemptions from disclosure of information: As per Craig one of the most important factors on which the effectiveness of a legislation like the RTI Act depends on is the range of exceptions contained in the legislation. All statutes upon freedom of information contain exceptions, but the number and variety thereof considerably, and the effectiveness of the act depends on the number of exceptions. There can be various categories of valid exceptions for not providing information, like information that is top secret, disclosure of which can affect the sovereignty and integrity of the State; confidential information that may affect the security of the State; and personal information that is not for publication, disclosure of which would affect public order and safety.

A Comparative Analysis Of The Rti Act, 2005 And The British Freedom Of Information Act, 2000
The British Freedom of Information Act, 2000 was promulgated to provide for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them. The Indian Right to Information Act is very similar to the British Freedom of Information Act. Therefore the researcher will briefly look at the British Act and try to draw out the major similarities and differences.

Duties under the Act: There are two principal duties of the authorities under the Act. They are: (1.) Information to be given in writing whether the public authority holds such information or not; and (2.) Communication of the information. All other function of the public authority given under the Act are largely in furtherance of these two principal functions. Chapter 1 of the Act, deals with the ‘right to information’ and under this chapter a person making request for information is to be informed by that authority whether it holds information or not, and if it does, to have that information communicated to him.

Exemptions: Exemptions are provided for under Part – II of the Act. The Act envisages two bases given under section 2 of the Act for the determination of exempted information. They are as follows: (1) Express exemption granted by any provision in Part – II of the Act; and (2) Public Interest factors in non-disclosure outweighing the interest in disclosure of the information. The specific exceptions laid down in Part II which are different from our exceptions are as follows:

(1) Information that may be accessible to the applicant by other means;

(2) Information that is withheld with the intention of publication at a future date, or at the time when the request for information was made or when it is found reasonable to withhold such information until the date of future date of publication.

(3) Information relating to audit of the accounts of other public authorities as well as documents relating to efficiency, economy and effectiveness of use of funds of other public authorities;

(4) Information relating to the formulation of government policy;

(5) Information related to the environment which can be made available only after compliance with Regulations made for this specific purpose under section 74of the Act;

(6) Information, the disclosure of which is prohibited under an enactment, incompatible with community obligation and liable to constitute contempt of court.

Thus to the researcher it seems that the range of exceptions provided under the British Freedom of Information Act 2000 is wider than the range provided under the Indian RTI Act. As mentioned before in this paper, the effectiveness of an Act like RTI act for the purposes of administrative law at least, is inversely proportional to the number of exceptions that are present in it. Therefore, from this viewpoint the Indian RTI Act, 2005 is better and more effective than its British counterpart.

Process of providing information: The process of providing information is more or less similar in both the Acts, except that the British Act is quicker in dispensing information because the time limit under the British Act is 20 days. The public authority is not obliged to comply with the request if it is vexatious or repeated.

Appeals: The main difference between the two Acts, as far as appeals are concerned is that under the British Act there is a provision of appeal from the decision of the Tribunal to the appropriate Court in section 59. There lies no such appeal under the Indian Act. Whether this can be considered to be a shortfall in the Indian Act will be found out only after some time has passed to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Central Information Commission and the State Information Commissions as adjudicatory bodies.

Analysis Of RTI Act, 2005 Under The Analytical School
· Austin’s Theory:
he distinguishing feature of a legal system is the existence of a sovereign whose authority is recognized by most members of a society, the authority of which is enforced by the use of sanctions, but which is not bound by any human superior. The criterion for validity of a legal rule in such a society is that it has the warrant of the sovereign and will be enforced by the sovereign power and its agents.

The three basic tenets of Austin's positivism are:
# the law is command issued by the uncommanded commander—the sovereign;
# such commands are enforced by sanctions; and
# a sovereign is one who is obeyed by the majority.

Austin considered the law as commands from a sovereign that are enforced by threat of sanction. In determining 'a sovereign', Austin recognized it as one whom society obeys habitually. This sovereign can be a single person or a body, like sovereign-many - Parliament, comprising numerous individuals, each with varying authoritative powers. Austin's theory is also somewhat brief in his explanations of Constitutions, International Law, non-sanctioned rules, or law that gives rights. Insofar as non-sanctioned rules and laws that allow persons to do things, for instance contract law, Austin says failure to obey the rules does indeed result in sanctions; however, such sanctions are in the form of "the sanction of nullity." In this way he defined law primarily in terms of the power to control other people. This definition of law was criticized by the 20th century legal philosopher.

Are The Sanctions Under the RTI ACT, 2005 SUFFICIENT?
What are the penalty provisions?

Every PIO/SIO will be liable for fine of Rs. 250 per day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-, for -

1. not accepting an application;
2. delaying information release without reasonable cause;
3. malafidely denying information;
4. knowingly giving incomplete, incorrect, misleading information;
5. destroying information that has been requested and
6. obstructing furnishing of information in any manner.

The Information Commission (IC) at the Centre and the State levels 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.

Analysis: Are these penal provisions enough?
Section 20 of the Act imposes a penalty on a PIO or SIO in the above conditions of Rs.250/day and not exceeding in any way Rs.25000.

This penalty can be categorized as Sanctions under the RTI Act, 2005 but if it is compared to what the Austin’s theory states, these penalties cannot be termed as Sanctions because of the meagre amount as compared to the harm caused.

Austin defined Law as “Command of Sovereign, backed by sanctions” i.e. if the command of the sovereign is not followed by the subjects then subjects are bound to face the sanctions and sanctions should be in accordance with the degree of harm it is causing, if the denial of information under the RTI Act, 2005 is considered as the harm caused to the information seeker by the PIO or SIO then mere penalty of Rs.25000 not exceeding in any case if compared to the salaries of these Government employees is nothing, absolutely disproportionate.

So when a legislation does not have any proportionate sanction behind it then that legislation cannot be termed as “Law” under the Austin’s Theory.

· Bentham's theory of utilitarianism:
Originally developed by English political philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Bentham's theory of utilitarianism asserts that actions and institutions should be judged by their contribution to utility, which is measured by calculating the relative contribution to happiness or pleasure, as opposed to pain. The aim of government should thus be 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number'.

It has been pointed out that not only is pleasure difficult to measure, but that utilitarianism provides neither any guarantee of individual rights against majority interests, nor any means of weighing high levels of pleasure for a few against lower levels of pleasure for greater numbers.

Jurisdiction Of Courts Under The RTI Act, 2005
Section 23 Of The Rti Act, 2005, Emphatically States – Bar Of Jurisdiction Of Courts:
A 13 Judge Constitutional bench formulated under Chief Justice Sikri has defined the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India in detail in Kesavananda Bharti v. State Of Kerela

One of the features of the Basic Structure of the Constitution is that every aspect of governance will be governed by three branches namely, The Legislature, The Executive & the Judiciary.

So, Can (Legislature) Parliament, which is not the only branch of government but one of the three branches of government, make a law which excludes any one of the three branches of the government, from an aspect of governance?

For Example, Can Parliament make the following law:
(a) Bar of President from this particular law: President’s (Executive’s) signature is not required for this particular law to come into effect.
OR
(b) (Legislature) Bar of Parliament from this particular law:  Henceforth Executive / will legislate on this particular subject.
OR
(c) Section 23: Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts from this particular law.

As one can see, in each of the above examples, one of the three branches of the government has been excluded / barred from a particular aspect of governance.

So, Can Parliament make Laws which either INDIRECTLY amends the Constitution (for example sec. 23 of the RTI Act, 2005) OR Invoke Article 368 and DIRECTLY amend the Constitution to exclude any one of the three branches of the Government from a particular aspect of governance, thereby violate the Basic Structure of the Constitution, which lays down that there will be three branches of Government for every aspect of governance

Every law MADE is subject to Judicial Review:
Every law made by the Central (Parliament) or State Legislature is subject to Judicial Review, and if the law violates the basic structure of the Constitution, it will be set aside as null and void by the Judiciary under the Doctrine of Judicial Review, and thus the Supreme Court is the final arbiter and interpreter of all constitutional amendments.

Every Law MADE as well as Every Law IMPLEMENTED is subject to Judicial Review.
If any law made by the Parliament violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India, then Judiciary (Courts) will strike down that law under the internationally well established Doctrine of Judicial Review.

One of the features of the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India is that there will be three branches of government (Legislature, Executive & Judiciary) for every aspect of governance. Section 23 of the RTI Act, 2005 results into exclusion of one of the three branches of the government(judiciary), it thus violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India and hence invalid.

Why Is RTI Act Of 2005 An Exception From Point Of View Of Jurisdiction Of Courts?
Non interference of court:
Section- 23: No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.

Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, the legislature has expressly barred the jurisdiction of the lower courts to take cognizance in the matters decided under this Act, however writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Court under Article 32 and 226 remains unaffected.

Legislative Intent behind It:
Section 23 was incorporated to get rid of the lengthy judicial process in our country. The lengthy delay in judicial cases amount to injustice actually because "justice delayed is justice denied" and if RTI went the same way, the entire effort would go waste.

Now, some might say that this is too harsh and in every sphere of life and law the recourse to go courts in appeal is part of the process of natural justice and snatching this recourse is not right.

Well, there is the scope for appeal against the decision of an Information Commission and this is indicated in Section 19(9) of the RTI Act 2005:

Section 19(9)- The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall give notice of its decision, including any right of appeal, to the complainant and the public authority."

In some cases Central Information Commission has allowed appeals against its own orders/decisions but this is where there is a gross miscarriage of justice or a major oversight.

All we need to do is to highlight Section 19(9) actively and ask for the right of appeal is most cases so that there is a vent and that the lack of appeal proceedings is not use as an excuse to seek redressal from courts.

If we allow RTI appeals to go to court, it will all come to nothing , just like the criminal justice system .

· But this intent for giving expedient relief in a way underestimates the capability of the Judicial System because if seen from my point of view one organ of the Government i.e. the Legislature is excluding and is doubting the capability of the other organ of the Government i.e. Judiciary

· If the Legislature is so concerned about providing quicker relief to the citizens by emphatically barring the court’s jurisdiction from hearing any matter decided under this Act and also to reduce the burden of the courts then why are other Acts passed by the Parliament not exempted from the Jurisdiction of the Courts.

· If these intentions of the Parliament are interpreted by applying the Golden Rules of Interpretation of Statutes, then it becomes very clear that if there is any ambiguity then the statute should be given a benevolent interpretation and should be interpreted in favour of the class for whose benefit it is made.

Conclusion
In the above project work, an analysis is made of the RTI Act, 2005 with the Analytical School of Jurisprudence in which RTI Act is viewed under the light of the Austin’s Theory of “Law as a command of sovereign, backed by sanctions” and it becomes crystal clear that thought RTI Act was passed by the Parliament but appropriate sanctions are lacking from it which does make RTI Act to fall under the Austin’s definition of Law and hence this piece of legislation is not Law from the point of view of the Analytical School of Jurisprudence.

However, despite the strong theoretical and objective base of the Act, there are certain loopholes and grey areas which have come to notice in the short operation of the Act.

Firstly, the official mindset does not seem in favour of sharing any information. As per S.P. Sathe, the main obstacle is the attitude of the bureaucracy which is accustomed to working in closed corridors. While most public departments may not say “no” directly to any information sought, but there are enough grounds in the Act on the basis of which information won’t be given or would be delayed, viz pretext of lack of manpower to compile the data or finalize the accounts, or safety of the document, etc. This discretion that has been conferred upon PIOs may be used against the purposes of the Act, unless efforts are made to make the official mindset conducive to sharing information.

Secondly, The Act stipulates a penalty in case of information is denied without adequate reasons, but it is not harsh enough. There may be cases where administrative accountability can be dispensed by deliberate act of government in lieu of paying this meagre amount. Rather denial to provide information should be made a much more serious offence with a heavier penalty, and if the denial is malafide then it should be made a ground for dismissal as well.

Thirdly,
express bar on Jurisdiction of court gives a freehand to all administrative decisions under the Act. Although an appeal may lie to the Courts for violation of fundamental rights, there must be a provision for appealing to the court, in line with a similar provision that exists in the British Freedom of Information Act.

Fourthly, the Act does not help people other than citizens. At least NRI’s and concerned foreigners should be allowed to access to documents required so as to set a good international trend.19 Moreover, courts have interpreted right to information in preview of Article 21 of the Constitution which is guaranteed to each and every person irrespective of citizenship.

Fifthly
, Under Section 7(9) information may be declined if it disproportionately diverts the resources of the public authority. This provision gives a lot of discretion to the public authorities and safeguards must be provided to ensure that it is not misused. There also should be a provision to identify genuine requests so that the public authorities are not burdened unnecessarily.

It cannot be doubted that information to citizens about administrative action is undoubtedly a vital component of Administrative Law, and indeed democracy itself. Freedom of information is a fundamental right of our citizens and the Right To Information Act is indeed a commendable step to ensure an open democracy. If the loopholes that are pointed out are overcome through public education and judicial activism, this Act will go a long way in achieving transparency and accountability in the country.
*****************************

*Thanks to the Lecturer Mr.Vibhor Gupta and Asstt. Prof. Dr. J.S. Nair, Amity Law School, Noida


# Information Providers is a term used for the entire eco-system appointed/ leveraged by the appropriate Government to implement the RTI. It includes – Public Information Officers (PIOs), First Appellate Authority (FAA), Information Commissions and enabling institutions like Administrative Training Institutes.
# Information Seekers is a term used for the Common Citizens and organizations supporting/enabling a common citizens in accessing information under RTI
# Preamble to RTI Act,2005
# Joseph Pookkatt and Saurabh Sinha, “Comparative Analysis between the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 and the Right To Information Act, 2005” (visited on 07.10.2011).
# AIR 1973 SC 107
# In this case, the Newsprint Control Order was challenged. The impugned order provided that a newspaper would get newsprint in proportion to the copies sold in the previous year. Further, the chain newspapers were to get less newsprint than the single newspapers, this being an indirect way of circumventing the decision of the SC in Sakal Newspaper case. In this case, the court said that the right to know was a part of right to freedom of speech and expression.

# The right to information being part of right to freedom of speech as recognized in several other decisions.In S.P. Gupta, the right of the people to know about every public act, and the details of every public transaction undertaken by public functionaries was described.
# Y.K. Sabharwal, “Right to Information, Issues of Administrative Efficiency, Public Accountability and Constitutional Governance”, . (Visited on 08.10.2011)

# Section 2(h) of the Act, defines a ‘public authority’ to mean any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution, (b) by any other law made by Parliament, (c) by any other law made by State Legislature, (d) by a notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes any (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed, (ii) non-government organization substantially financed,- which, in clauses (a) to (d) are all, directly or indirectly funded by the appropriate Government.

# Section 2(f), The Right to Information Act, 2005.
# Sec. 2(i) defines the word ‘record’ as including (a) any document, manuscript and file, (b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document, (c) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm and (d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device.

# Meaning of right to information: Section 2(j) defines it to mean a right to information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes a right to (i) inspection of work, documents, records, (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records, (iii) taking separate samples of material, (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.

# Such Commission shall consist of the Chief Information Commissioner and not more than 10 Central Information Commissioners.
# For example, the United States Freedom of Information Act 1966 has nine basic exceptions which include: national security; internal personnel rules; the private business information exception; agency memoranda; and an exception relating to personal privacy.

# Joseph Pookkatt and Saurabh Sinha, “Comparative Analysis between the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 and the Right To Information Act, 2005” (visited on 09.10.2011).
# Section 10, British Freedom of Information Act, 2000.
# Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005
# David Miller, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)
# AIR 1973 SC 1461

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: akberahmad.als@legalserviceindia.com




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Article Comments

Posted by ASHOK KUMAR KHARE on May 30, 2016
Bureaucracy is responsible for the CHAOS in day-to-day functioning forcing the Union Government to enact RTI Act- 2005. With Bureaucrats grabbing the position in Information Commissions of STATE and CENTRE the RTI Act turned ineffective. Academician and Judicial Authorities should head the Information Commissions and POWER BROKERS should be kept away from this INSTITUTION.

Posted by rahul on January 07, 2014
good article

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