October 24, 2009

 

The RTI is a powerful tool, which gives you the chance to transform the way the government and its offcials function. By asking for information, you ask for the government to be more transparent and accountable. Since 12th Oct.2005, this powerful tool is in your hands. Don't sit and watch but get involved and use your right to ninformation today.

It promote transparency and accountability in the working of every Public Authority and to contain corruption.

Dimapur district administration disclosure under RTI Act, 2005.

What is right to information ?

When did the Right to Information Act, 2005 come into force?

Who is covered under the Right to Information Act, 2005?

From which orginisations of government I cannot get information ?

What is “Public Interest”?

What does a “public authority” mean?

What are the obligations of "public authority"?

Who can ask for information under RTI ?

Are “file notings’ included in the definition of Information?

What if existing departmental manuals prevent disclosure of information to
the people?

What is not open to disclosure?

Is partial disclosure allowed?

Who are Public Information Officers (PIOs)?

What are the duties of a PIO?

What is the fee?

What could be the ground for rejection?

Who are 'Third Parties'?

If a PIO has touring duties as well, then he will not be physically present to
receive application in the office. Will his absence amount to refusal to accept information request?

Government offices have been providing information to people on the basis of their oral requests in the past. Does the RTI Act require such informal practices to end?

Can Government officers get access to Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) under the RTI Act?

If in a single application the applicant requests information that relates to a
public authority and also other public authority / authorities, is the PIO
responsible for giving all that information himself / herself?

How to write an RTI application ?

How to submit an RTI application ?

What are the time limit under which information can be obtained under RTI act?

Who are the Appellate Authorities and what are the key provisions for appeal under the Act?

How to write first appeal under RTI ?


How to File a Second Appeal under RTI?


How to make a complaint under RTI act?


What are the penalty provisions?

What if the applicant claims that he / she did not receive the intimation letter from the PIO and files an appeal with the AO and the Information
Commission? Will the PIO be penalised?

Can students ask for copies or inspection of their answer scripts if they are
unhappy with the marks awarded by the examiner in public examinations?

Can a request be denied if it is too big? If not, how can we handle such
requests best? How much information can a citizen request in one
application? If s/he asks 20-30 kinds of information in one application should it be given? Or should the citizen be asked to put in fresh applications for each point of information requested and also be asked to pay application fees every time?

If the law under which a Public Sector Unit (PSU) has been constituted does not allow access to information to the people such as agendas of board meetings etc., will such information have to be given under the RTI Act?

Every department performs different kinds of functions at different levels of
operation from the Secretariat to the Taluka / Village level. Will disclosure
under Section 4 (1)(b) have to be made for every one of these levels
separately?

Will not the publication of the 17 manuals mentioned under Section 4(1)(b)
be very difficult and burdensome?

Is it enough to disseminate information under Section 4 (1)(b) on the Internet?

Is it enough to publish information under Section 4 (1)(b) only once at the
time of the commencement of the RTI Act?

What will be the penalty if a public authority / department is not able to meet the deadline for proactive disclosure (120 days)?


Is it possible that some elements may misuse this law and use the information to blackmail / threaten officers?

Some unscrupulous elements may misuse the copies of documents they
access under the RTI Act. How does one prevent such misuse of information released under the RTI Act?

If there is a flood of applications for inspection of records how will the PIO
provide access to all applicants and also do justice to his / her other
designated duties? What if one such applicant mutilates or destroys a record during inspection?

If the same kind of information is sought by more than one person should it
be made available to all such requesters?

If the information requested by a citizen has already been proactively
disclosed can a PIO refuse to accept the request?

Is the Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) an assistant to the Public
Information Officer (PIO)?

If the information requested by the applicant is in the possession of the APIO should he / she not give that information to the applicant?

Will Panchayats / Municipalities / any local authority have to appoint PIOs
irrespective of the size of their office / administrative unit?

Should BPL applicants be charged the further fees for providing
information requested?

If the applicant does not pay the additional fees towards cost of providing
information within the 30 days deadline will the PIO be penalised for failing
to provide information to the applicant?

If the applicant does not respond to the intimation letter of the PIO requesting payment of further fee will the PIO be duty-bound to provide information to the applicant? Will the PIO be duty-bound to provide information within 30 days even in such cases?

Are officials required to give information about themselves and their families under the law? Can the public request this kind of information? Should it be given?

Can any citizen ask any information that is more than 20 years old even if it
does fall within the category of exemptions? Will the PIO be penalised if he /she is unable to provide such information?

In cases where building plans and designs of bridges or other important
public structures have been requested and if the PIO has reasonable
suspicion that the applicant will use those plans for commercial purposes
and make a profit out of it, should such information be given?


If a case is still under consideration (i.e., ‘live’ or ‘current’ file) for final decision,can that file be made available to the requester before the decision has been taken?


Periodic weeding of files results in destruction of many documents which
are not important enough to maintain for as long as 20 years or more. So it
will not be possible to give such information after they have been destroyed. Will the PIO be penalised for this?

What is the process for taking a decision on granting partial access to a
record? Who is the authority to make this decision within a public authority?

Will the APIO be punished for giving wrong or misleading information just
as a PIO can be penalised under this Act?

Will a PIO be penalised if the superior officer orders him not to release
information to the requester?

 

If the information given by the PIO in response to a request turns out to be
wrong, false or misleading but the PIO was not responsible for the creation
of that record or such information will he / she be penalised by the ICs?

The PIO continues to be under the purview of the Official Secrets Act (OSA)of 1923. How will he reconcile his duties under the RTI Act with the secrecy required to be maintained under the OSA? What happens to the oath of secrecy every officer is required to take while joining service?

What is the jurisdiction of courts?

 

GOVERNMENT OF NAGALAND
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER
HEADQUARTERS CHUMUKEDIMA
CAMP: DIMAPUR
DISTRIBUTION OF WORKS AMONGST OFFICERS & STAFFS UNDER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE DIMAPUR, HEADQUARTER.
Deputy Commissioner Appellate Authority & Principal Officer,
Overall control of General Administration of the District and law and order, Confidential, Coordination with Security Forces, Police matters, Election, Annual Inspection of Outposts, Coordination with various Departments in the District and Developmental works and any other subject not allotted to other Officer.
Addl. Deputy Commissioner PIO & Nodal Officer, RTI & Disaster Management
1. All branches of the Office.
2. Chief Executive officer of Dimapur Municipal Council.
3. Normal functions and duties of the Deputy Commissioner during his absence/leave from the station.
4. Protocol
SDO (Civil) 1. Development 2. Arms 3. Protocol 4. Establishment matters
5. Transport 6. Inner Line Permit 7. Pay 8. General 9. Judicial
10. Protocol 11. Permit 12. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
SDO (Revenue) 1. All Land Revenue matters
2. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
EAC (Hq.) 1. EAC HQ 2. General 3. Stationary 4. Protocol 5. Cases
6. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
EAC (Revenue) 1. APIO (RTI) 2. EAC Revenue 3. Accounts and DDO
4. Disaster Management 5. Cases 6. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
EAC (Development) 1. Development 2. Judicial 3. Permit 4. Transport 5. Cases
6. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
EAC (Sadar) 1. EAC Sadar 2. Establishment 3. RTI Cell 4. Arms 5. Traffic
6. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
Manager, circuit house 1.All matters relating to C/H & public relation
2. Protocol 3. House keeping of Circuit House 4. Guest Relationship at Circuit House 5. Supervision of all the staff in the Circuit House.
Office Superintendent 1. Staff Supervision
2.Supervision of Maintenance of files
PA to DC 1. Advises DC in Customary laws.
2. Act as magistrate when need arises
3. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC
Head DB 1. Supervision of all DB’s
2. Customary Cases
3. Any other work assigned by DC/ADC

All file are routed through Office Superintendent and then to the concerned EAC who would put up to the SDO (C) looking after that. Then it is put up to ADC who will then put up to DC.

In certain cases which are given below the approval and endorsement/signatures should be as follows:-

SUBJECT (certificates/files) APPROVAL ENDORSEMENT/SIGNATURE
Indigenous Certificates DC DC
ST Certificates ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then DC) ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then DC)
Verification of Passport ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then DC) ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then DC)
Permit for fair/ permission of large gathering. Etc (a) SDO (C) Sadar
(b) Other Sub-Divisions the respective Administrative Officer (Where issues are involved DC to be Consulted)
(a) SDO (C) Sadar/EAC (Permit)

(b) The Sub-Divisional Officers

Land allotment DC (All cases of allotment in the Sub-Divisions should also be with the approval of DC) (a) RO for cadastral Area
(b) Respective Administrative Officers for the Sub-Division
Inner Line Permit SDO (C) Sadar) SDO (C) Sadar)
Arms (Renewal / Issue / Entries. Etc) DC SDO (C) HQ/EAC (Arms)
Circuit House Manager Circuit House Manager Circuit House
Identity Card ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then SDO (C) HQ) ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then SDO (C) HQ)
Routine Stationary matters ADC EAC Incharge
Routine Account Matters ADC EAC Incharge
Leave of Gr IV/III/II Staffs ADC EAC Incharge
Increments ADC EAC Incharge
Leave of Officers DC EAC Incharge
Succession certificate ADC (If ADC not available/ absent then DC) ADC

INCUMBENCY LIST OF STAFF UNDER DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DIMAPUR

ESTABLISHMENT BRANCH
Sl.No Name & Designation Monthly salary File dealing in
1
2
3
4
Smti. Kunti UDA
Shri. Wati UDA
Shri. Merimo UDA
Smt. Lucy LDA
Rs.13,006
Rs.10,900
Rs.10,994
Rs.8780
1. Appoint files of all the staff under DC Dimapur
2. Maintenance of service rules
3. Increment of all the staff.
4. Leave & Pension cases of all staff.
5. Work allocation of all staff
6. Training of staff.
7. Post creation files.
8. Census of staff.
9. House rent allowance
  Shri. Longri Cashier Rs.11,436 Disbursing of staff salary
  Smti. Imlibenla LDA Rs.6733 Attached to ADC
  Shri. Zanthungo Steno Gr-II Rs.12,952 Issue of Indigenous certificate Forms and deals with all Confidential files
RECEIPT & DESPATCH BRANCH
  Shri. Khriesatuolie LDA
Shri. Aato LDA casual
Rs.6660
Rs.6430
Receipts all letters and enters it and puts up in a register and sends it to concern branches
  Shri. Ghokiye UDA
Smti. Hoili LDA
Rs.12,824
Rs.8154
Dispatches all Letters
ACCOUNTS BRANCH
  Smti. Viholi UDA
Shri. Khema Giri UDA
Smti. Daisy Metha LDA
Smti. Khrielakuno Solo LDA
Shri. Paulus Peon
Rs.13060
Rs.9848
Rs.8090
Rs.6962
Rs.5485
Deals with staff salaries,Wages, TA&DA, Arreares, Pensions, GPF, Leave encashment, Medical re-embrushment, stationary bills, POLL re-emburshment, Grant in Aid in respect of Municipality, house tax commission, monthly Office expences
JUDICIAL BRANCH
  Smti. Meera UDA
Shri. Vizokholie LDA
Shri. Zuechibemo LDA
Rs.9848
Rs.6968
Rs.6430
All cases relating to Judicial matters
Issue of Schedule tribe certificate forms and verification of antecedents and other related documents
PERMIT BRANCH
  Smti. Arenla UDA
Smti. Kethono LDA
Rs.9198
Rs.6300
Permits relating to Movement of house hold goods, Concert, charity, Amusement, road permit, Miscellaneous permit
TYPING POOL
  Smti. Arati Typist Gr-II
Smti. Khenili Typist
Rs.8387
Rs.6324
Typing of all official letters and orders
INNER LINE PERMIT
  Shri. Paulun UDA Rs.10471 Matter relating to issue of ILP forms and issue of line permit
STATIONARY BRANCH
  Smti. Bendangla UDA
Smti. Achong LDA
Rs.10115
Rs.8392
1. Electricity Bill.
2. Telephone Bills.
3. Water Bills.
4. News Paper bills
5. Service stamp.
6. Matter relating to all kinds of stationary items.
TRANSPORT BRANCH
  Smti. Lokhimi UDA
Shri. Vetsuyi LDA
Rs.12,732
Rs.7933
Deals with relating to unions/Associations and detailment of Drivers/handyman. Removal of un-authorised checkgates on the Natioal highways and satate highway/speed breaker/ Block year of vechicles and POL re-embursement of Officers under the DC. Establishment Dimapur
GENERAL BRANCH
  Smti. Pressy UDA
Smti. Neiphrezonuo LDA
Rs.10,670
Rs.5,848
1. Appointment of GB’s
2. Village Councils/jurisdiction
3. Recognisation of Village & Colony
4. Allotment of Government quarters
5. RTI, Census, Red Blanket, house tax
6. Ex-servicemen/zila sainik Board
7. Change of nomenclature
8. Jungle clearance
9. National programmes
10. Miscellaneous Cases
11. GB union.
REVENUE BRANCH
  Shri. T Khongsai UDA
Shri. Repachiba LDA
Smti. K. Banuo LDA
Smti. Glory LDA
Smti. Salomi Typist
Smti. Tsipongsi Typist
Rs.10,716
Rs.7,296
Rs.6,505
Rs.6,568
Rs.9,552
Rs.6962
1. All correspondences Audit, Budget, Revenue collection Mouzadars welfare, registration of documents, resettlement, operation, acquisition of land ETC.
2. Allotment/land dispute/cases/mutation and Partition of land
3. Deals with Land Block No. 1 to 11
4. Deals with revenue Villages.
5. Issue of NOC
6. Issue of Land valuation
ARMS BRANCH
  Smti. Arenla LDA
Smti. Imtila LDA
Rs.7,868
Rs,7,434
Deals with matter relating to issue of ammunition, Arm license renewal, verification
DEVELOPMENT BRANCH
  Smti. K. Kire
Smti. Shiluinla
Smti. Arenla
Rs.13,558
Rs.9,410
Rs.6,431
1. Matter relating to registration of societies, Relief & Natural Calamities, Disaster Management
2. Matter relating to Adhoc Town committee & Municipal council
3. matter relating to various Government Awards
4. Matter relating to Centrally sponsored scheme
5. Matter relating to correspondence of various Department
LIST OF DBs UNDER ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DIMAPUR
SL.NO
NAME & GRADE
SALARY

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39

Shri. P. Chingtang Grade I DB
Shri. H. Illung Phom Grade I DB
Shri. Tepuchol Grade I DB
Shri. Chamongo Grade I DB
Shri. S. Marak Grade II DB
Shri. Shohilo Grade II DB
Shri. B. Kikong Imlong Chang Grade II DB
Shri. Lhouza Rio Grade II DB
Shri. Menguzelie Grade II DB
Shri. T. Shingyo Grade II DB
Shri. Akheto Grade II DB
Shri. Mokoktoshi Ex Cadre
Shri. Limawati Ex Cadre
Shri. Vizotovi Ex Cadre
Shri. Khochen Ex Cadre
Shri. Rokolhoukho Ex Cadre
Shri, Mhabemo Ex Cadre
Shri. Maongtemjen Ex Cadre
Shri. Kevelhou Ex Cadre
Shri. Thepfutou Ex Cadre
Shri. Vanthungo Ex Cadre
Shri. Rensamo Ex Cadre
Shri. Ato Konyak Ex Cadre
Shri. Lirhonthung Ex Cadre
Shri. Lhousazelie Ex Cadre
Shri. Heang Ex Cadre
Shri. Dipul Ex Cadre
Shri. KC Pulo Ex Cadre
Shri. Ringjen Ex Cadre
Shri. Apong Ex Cadre
Shri. Vikugha Ex Cadre
Shri. Mremlie Ex Cadre
Shri. Akangmeren Ex Cadre
Shri. Ngulkhomang Ex Cadre
Shri. Tongtirepa Ex Cadre
Shri. Robin Ex Cadre
Shri. Thangtinhao Ex Cadre
Shri. Kahovi Ex Cadre

10,944
11,216
11,736
10,676
10,780
10,187
9,321
7,713
7,713
7,713
7,527
6,748
6,748
6,748
6,748
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000

DRIVERS UNDER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DIMAPUR
SL.NO NAME SALARY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Shri. Sashikaba
Shri. Kivikhu
Shri. Yashikaba
Shri. Lanutemjen
Shri. Limatemjen
Shri. Nichekum
Shri. Neilakho
Shri. Jatin Mech
Shri. B.Lanu
Shri. Kikheto
Shri. Mongthai Phom
Shri. Vizovolie
Shri. Khehoto
Shri. Maongkaba
Shri. Khehoto
Shri. Khriesakeduo
10,087
10,388
11,108
10,510
10,788
10,012
10,332
10,332
9352
9,141
8,797
7,063
5,903
5,788
6,462
6,240
CIRCUIT HOUSE STAFF
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Smti. Kitila, Caretaker
Smti. Nukshitula, Receptionist
Shri. Bhakta ,Mali
Shri. Dhanama, Sweeper
Shri. Deepbahadur, Bearer
Shri. Gangadhari ,Sweeper
Shri. Chedi ,Dhobi
Shri. Dil Bahadur, Chowkidar
Shri. Dillaram, Cook
Smti. Alila, Sweeper
Shri. Vijay, Sweeper
Shri. Khrishna, bearer
Shri. Khupa, Chowkidar
Shri. Vizoto, Bearer
Shri. Padambahadur, Bearer
Shri. Nitokhu, Mali
Shri.Visekho, Bearer
Shri. Jogendra, Cook
Shri. Pabam Chetri, Cook
Shri. Homlal, Bearer
Shri. Nangshila, Bearer
Shri. Ramasis, Dhobi
Shri. Rajen Sharma
10,252
6,324
7,736
7,657
7,509
7,889
7,233
7,582
7,736
7,736
7,509
6,368
6,721
6,445
5,894
5,846
5,313
7,143
7,582
6,748
6,617
6,990
7,381
LIST OF GRADE IV STAFF UNDER DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OFFICE DIMAPUR ESTABLISHMENT
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Shri. Marba, Chowkidar
Shri. Guhukha, handyman
Shri. Paolus, Peon
Shri. Bansi, Chowkidar
Shri. Aryie, Night Chowkidar
Shri. Devakar, Night chowkidar
Shri. Dzobrunuo, Peon
Shri. Sunil, Peon
Shri, Arepla, Peon
Shri. Mhabemo, Chowkidar Play ground
Shri. Zunuie, Mali attached to Chief Minister
Shri. Y. Easter, Sweeper
Shri. Manyei, Mali
Shri. Chanchio, Chowkidar
Shri. Neichuto, Peon EAC Chumukidima
Shri. Depi-u, Sweeper
Shri. Moon Hoja, Peon
Shri. Medo, Peon
Shri. Mhonjan ,Dak runner
Shri. Rama Rao, Peon
Shri. Vihuto, Handyman
Shri Amento, Peon
Shri. Bhim Bahadur, Dufftry
6,923
5,579
5,485
7,736
7,620
6,781
5,773
5,225
5,604
5,413
5,413
5,413
5,413
5,413
5,413
5,413
7,291
5,030
6,768
7,736
5,545
6,002
7,178
FIXED PAID EMPLOYEES OF DC OFFICE DIMAPUR
SL.NO NAME PAY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Shri. Phudao
Smti. Kevikesenuo
Smti. Masielenuo
Shri. Khrieinening
Smti. Medonuo
Smt. Sentila
Shri. Khrolingilie
Shri. Yehoto
Shri. Zubemo
Shri. Angba
Shri. Rokolhoukho
Shri. Khetoi
Shri. Namdi
Shri. Lavanthung
Shri. D.Changke
Shri. Yahe
Smti. Zanbini Mali
Shri. Yongkum Personal Peon to DC
Shri. Throngren Bearer Circuit House
Shri. Lhangti Bearer Circuit House
Shri. Sunil
Shri. Temsu Driver attached to Manager C/H
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
1,500
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
OFFICER & STAFFS UNDER SDO(C) MEDZIPHEMA OFFICE
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Smti. Linda Solo, SDO (C)
Smti. Honili, UDA
Shri. P. Angami, UDA
Shri. Kisheho, Special Grade DB
Shri. Kedokhrielie, Grade II DB
Shri. Atho, Grade II DB
Shri. Akho, Angami Driver
Shri. Thangkhosie, Chowkidar
Shri. Zhasovilie, Peon
Shri. Vikulie, Chowkidar
Shri. Aviho, Rest house, Cook
Shri. Lalboi, Rest House Cook

11,862
9,533
14,188
7,765
10,980
7,061
9,172
7,529
6,748
5,734
5,413
OFFICER & STAFFS UNDER SDO(C) DHANSIRIPAR OFFICE
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1.
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Smti. Akumla Chuba, SDO (CIVIL)
Shri. Surjya, UDA
Shri. Pukhaho, Grade I DB
Shri. Hotoi, Grade II DB
Shri. Kakiye, Grade II DB
Shri. Anaranjan, Grade II DB
Shri. Howoto, Driver
Shri. Rahado, Dak Runner
Shri. Vikhupu, Chowkidar

9,630
11,636
11,463
7,713
6,968
6,909
5,773
5,545
OFFICER & STAFFS UNDER SDO(C) KUHUBOTO OFFICE
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1.
2
3
4
5
6
7
Smti Arenla Jamir, SDO(C)
Shri. Lucas, LDA
Smti. Akali, LDA
Shri. Lotovi, Grade I DB
Shri. Yevikhe, Grade II DB
Shri. Temsu, Grade II DB
Shri. Khekuto, Grade II DB

7,490
8,301
12,184
7,313
9,321
7,088
OFFICER & STAFFS UNDER EAC CHUMUKEDIMA OFFICE
SL.NO NAME & DESIGNATION SALARY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Shri. Henok EAC
Shri. Yachubiu LDA
Shri. Kiholie LDA
Shri. Megousielie Grade I DB
Shri. Imnaonen Grade II DB
Shri Alem Walling Grade I DB
Shri. Pezhalhoutuo Grade II DB
Shri. R. Angami Driver
Shri. Thekruneiu Peon
Shri. Thepfukehielie Peon
Shri. Kevikesenuo LDA Contigent

8,774
8,824
7,713
10,670
11,216
10,396
10,450
5,725
6,242
2,000

 

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What is right to information?

Every citizen has a right to know how the Government is functioning. Right to Information empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government, inspect any Government documents and seek certified photocopies thereof. Some laws on Right to Information also empower citizens to official inspect any Government work or to take sample of material used in any work.

Right to Information includes the right to:
1. Inspect works, documents, records.
2. Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
3. Take certified samples of material.
4. Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video , cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.

"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.

"record" includes:

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 (whether enlarged or not); and
d) Any other material produced by a computer or any other device;

An applicant cannot ask for opinions/advice/views under the RTI Act, unless the opinion/advice/view is already on "record".

However, under Section 4(1)(d), an applicant can ask for "reasons" behind a administrative or quasi judicial decision of a public authority, especially if he is a "affected person".

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When did the Right to Information Act, 2005 come into force?

The Right to Information Act came into force fully on the 12th October, 2005 (on the120th day from the date of its enactment i.e. 5th June, 2005). Some provisions came into force with immediate effect viz. obligations of public authorities [Section 4(1)], designation of Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers [Sections 5 (1) and 5 (2)], constitution of Central Information Commission [Sections 12 and 13], constitution of State Information Commission [Sections 15 and 16], non-applicability of the Act to Intelligence and Security Organisations [Section 24] and power to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act [Sections 27 and 28].

Who is covered under the Right to Information Act, 2005?
The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir [Section 1].

From which orginisations of government I cannot get information ?
The Second Schedule of the RTI Act exempts certain Public Authorities under the Central Government from disclosure of information under the RTI Act 2005.

However, these Public Authorities have to respond to RTI Applications which pertain to subjects of Human Rights and Corruption. As per Section 5(1) of the RTI Act and the instructions of DoPT, they are also supposed to have a PIO and a AA.

As on 28th March 2008, the following is the list in the Second Schedule:

1. Intelligence Bureau.
2. Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat.
3. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
4. Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
5. Directorate of Enforcement.
6. Narcotics Control Bureau.
7. Aviation Research Centre.
8. Special Frontier Force.
9. Border Security Force.
10. Central Reserve Police Force.
11. Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
12. Central Industrial Security Force.
13. National Security Guards.
14. Assam Rifles.
15. Sashastra Seema Bal.
16. Directorate General of Income-tax (Investigation) .
17. National Technical Research Organisation.
18. Financial Intelligence Unit, India.
19. Special Protection Group.
20. Defence Research and Development Organisation.
21. Border Road Development Board.

Similarly, some States within the union has also exempted certain Public Authorities in the respective states, from the purview of the Act. Please check separately for each State.

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What is “Public Interest”?

In the Indian context, and especially in the context of the RTI Act, 2005, a significant judgment of the Supreme Court of India can be taken note of in understanding the term “public interest”. In ‘S. P. Gupta v President of India’, AIR 1982 SC 149, Justice Bhagwati, in referring to ‘public interest’, maintained: “Redressing public injury, enforcing public duty, protecting social, collective, ‘diffused’ rights and interests vindicate public interest… [in the enforcement of which] the public or a class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.”

In State of Gujarat v Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kasab Jamat & others AIR 2006 Supreme Court 212, the Apex Court held “the interest of general public (public interest) is of a wide import covering public order, public health, public security, morals, economic welfare of the community, and the objects mentioned in Part IV of the Constitution [i.e. Directive Principles of State Policy]”.
One of the decisions of the Central Information Commission also throws some light on this term. Public interest includes “disclosure of information that leads towards greater transparency and accountability” [in the working of a public authority] Decision No. CIC/OK/A/2006/00046, dt. 02.05.2006.

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What does a "public authority" mean?
It means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted: [S.2(h)]
• by or under the Constitution;
• by any other law made by Parliament;
• by any other law made by State Legislature;
• by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government.and includes any-
a. body owned, controlled or substantially financed
b. non-Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government.

What are the obligations of "public authority"?

It shall publish within one hundred and twenty days of the enactment:-
i. the particulars of its organization, functions and duties;
ii. the powers and duties of its officers and employees;
iii. the procedure followed in its 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 used by its employees for discharging its functions;
vi. a statement of the categories of the documents 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 policy or implementation thereof;
viii. a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted by it. Additionally, information as to whether the meetings of these are open to the public, or the minutes' of such meetings are accessible to the public;
ix. a 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 and beneficiaries of such programmes;
xiii. particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it;
xiv. details 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.[S.4(1)(b)]

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Who can ask for information under RTI ?

Any citizen can ask for information under these laws.The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

OCI's (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO's (Persons of Indian Origin) card holders can also ask for information under the RTI Act.

For citizens, OCI's and PIO's who are staying out of India, the RTI Application can be filed with the PIO of the local Indian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission and they will inform you regarding the amount of application fee in local currency as well as the mode of payment.

Are “file notings’ included in the definition of Information?

Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act defines ‘information’ which includes ‘record’. Section
2 (i)(a) states that a ‘record’ includes any document, manuscript and file. The operative definition of a ‘file’ is given in the Manual of Office Procedure prepared by the Central Secretariat, Government of India. The definition of ‘file’ in the Manual includes ‘notes’ and ‘appendices to notes’.
The CIC has held that “file notings are not, as a matter of law, exempt from disclosure”. Thus, file notings can be disclosed under the Act. [CIC Decision No. ICPB/A-1/CIC/2006 dt.31.01.2006].

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What if existing departmental manuals prevent disclosure of information to
the people?

All such manuals were drawn up before the RTI Act came into force. These manuals will have to be reviewed in the light of the new law and all procedures for denying access to information will have to be done away with unless they relate to the exempt categories of information. Even in the case of exempt information the manuals should be so designed as to facilitate complete or partial access in the public interest. All new departmental manuals likely to be drawn up in future must conform to the new regime of transparency set up under the RTI Act, 2005.

What is not open to disclosure?

The following is exempt from disclosure [S.8)]
i. information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence
ii. information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
iii. information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
iv. information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
v. information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
vi. information received in confidence from foreign Government;
vii. information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
viii. information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
ix. cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers;
x. information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual;
xi. Notwithstanding any of the exemptions listed above, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

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Is partial disclosure allowed?

Only that part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information, may be provided. [S.10]

Who are Public Information Officers (PIOs)?


PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.


What are the duties of a PIO?


• PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request cannot be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing.
• If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately.
• PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his/her duties.
• PIO, on receipt of a request, shall as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in S.8 or S.9.
• Where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.
• If the PIO fails to give decision on the request within the period specified, he shall be deemed to have refused the request.
• Where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the requester - (i) the reasons for such rejection, (ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred, and (iii) the particulars of the Appellate Authority.
• PIO shall provide information in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.
• If allowing partial access, the PIO shall give a notice to the applicant, informing:
1) That only part of the record requested, after severance of the record containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided;
2) The reasons for the decision, including any findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on which those findings were based;
3) The name and designation of the person giving the decision;
4) The details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee which the applicant is required to deposit; and
5) His or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided.
• If information sought has been supplied by third party or is treated as confidential by that third party, the PIO shall give a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request and take its representation into consideration.
• Third party must be given a chance to make a representation before the PIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice.

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What is the fee?


1. Application fees to be prescribed which must be reasonable.
2. If further fees are required, then the same must be intimated in writing with calculation details of how the figure was arrived at;
3. Applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by the PIO by applying to the appropriate Appellate Authority;
4. No fees will be charged from people living below the poverty line
5. Applicant must be provided information free of cost if the PIO fails to comply with the prescribed time limit.

What could be the ground for rejection?


1. If it is covered by exemption from disclosure. (S.8)
2. If it infringes copyright of any person other than the State. (S.9)


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 information submitted by them to the Government in confidence. [S.2(n) and S.11]

If a PIO has touring duties as well, then he will not be physically present to
receive application in the office. Will his absence amount to refusal to accept information request?

The best solution for such situations is for the public authority concerned to designate another official within the same public authority (to act as PIO) and to receive applications. The duty of this PIO in maintaining the PIO’s register will be the same.
This will ensure that citizens’ applications are always received to suit their
convenience and prompt action is taken on the same.
Incidentally, a particular public authority may appoint multiple numbers of PIOs such that each PIO is designated for a specific area of the organisation’s functioning. Yet, if an applicant approaches any PIO, he / she cannot refuse to accept the application on the ground that it does not belong to his / her jurisdiction. Accepting the application, the PIO has to seek the requested information from the officer/s in control of the requested information (who may be another PIO, but for the purpose of dealing with this application, he / she becomes an ‘Other Officer’ – in control of the requested information). S/he cannot direct the applicant to take his /her application to the other PIO.

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Government offices have been providing information to people on the basis of their oral requests in the past. Does the RTI Act require such informal practices to end?

No, there is no need to discontinue the conventional and informal practice of giving information upon oral request. The RTI Act does not put an end to such practices. If information can be given without delay upon oral request it is better to give such information to the requester rather than require him / her to put in a formal application.This helps reduce paper work for the public authority.

Can Government officers get access to Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) under the RTI Act?

As per decision No.18/IC(A)/2006 dt.28.03.2006, the CIC held that “the assessment reports by the superior officers are personal and confidential information and therefore exempted under Section 8 (1)(j) of the RTI Act”.
In the case stated above, the Central Information Commission upheld the public authority’s (Indian Oil Corporation’s) decision that ‘Annual Performance Appraisal Reports’ cannot be shared as they are confidential in nature.

If in a single application the applicant requests information that relates to a
public authority and also other public authority / authorities, is the PIO
responsible for giving all that information himself / herself?

The RTI Act makes it clear that the PIO has the power to transfer an application or parts of it if the same relates to information held by another public authority [Section 6 (3)]. The application shall be transferred to the PIO concerned immediately – within 5 days - and the applicant has to be informed about the transfer in writing.

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How to write an RTI application ?


• Pre-requisites:
o Your name, address, contact telephone number and your email id
o Information about Public Information officer, name, address e.t.c. In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI application to the PIO, C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned Public Authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will have to forward your application to the concerned PIO.
o Do not address your RTI application to the PIO by his name, just in case he gets transferred or a new PIO is designated in his place.
Generally, you can deposit your application fee via:
• In person by paying cash [remember to take your receipt]
• By Post through:
• Demand Draft/Bankers Cheque
• Indian Postal Order
• Money orders (only in some states)
• Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states)
• Some state governments have prescribed some head of account. You are required to deposit fee in that account. For that, you can either go to any branch of SBI and deposit cash in that account and attach deposit receipt with your RTI application. Or you can also send a postal order or a DD drawn in favour of that account along with your RTI application. Please see respective state rules for complete details
Application Guidelines:

While filing an RTI application, the framing of the questions is very important. A slight misunderstanding or vague questions gives the PIO a chance to reject your application. Follow these guidelines:
• Use a white sheet of paper to write an application. There is no need to using Note-sheet, or the Court stamp paper. You can use your letter pad for asking for information.
• The matter can be hand written, or typed. There is no compulsion of typing the content.
• Make sure the application is legible and easy to read.
• There is no restriction on number of pages for asking information.
• There are also no restriction on number of questions that can be asked in one application. However, it is generally advisable to ask restrict one application with limited set of questions and generally related ones.
• Be very specific & ask to the point questions. Don't ask vague questions.
• Ask as many short questions as you like ,but don't ask for voluminous information.
• Ask information always by writing your name and signature, and not by your post, as only citizen have the right to information.
• Do not ask a question containing 'WHY'! For example, questions like why you failed to pass the bill, is liable to be rejected for not covering under RTI Act.
• You can ask for reasons behind a "administrative" or a "quasi-judicial" decision under Section 4(1)(d), especially if you are a "affected person"
• If the information sought is voluminous, it is better to ask it in the form of CD to save on cost.
• Remember that, you do not need to write the reason for asking the information.
• Mention the payment details like BC/DD/IPO number, issuing bank/post office, date, cash receipt details , etc., towards the end of your application.

 

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How to submit an RTI application ?


You will need a proof, that your RTI application has been received by the PIO. The tested methods to submit a RTI application are:
• Personally, by hand: Please ensure that you get your copy of the application and proof of payment duly stamped, signed and dated, either by the PIO or by the inward department
• Registered Post AD: The AD card will act as proof of submission, after it is returned to you by the postal department. In case the AD card does not come back with a proper stamp, signature and date of receipt, follow up with the dispatching post office to get the AD card completed
• Speed Post (A postal department service): Once the application is sent by Speed Post, track it on http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Speednew/track.aspx and keep a print out of the delivery status carefully with you
Do not use ordinary post, private courier companies, etc. since these will not provide you with a confirmed proof of delivery.


What is the time limit under which information can be obtained under RTI act ?

Various time limit has been prescribed under which the information can be obtained under Right to Information Act. These time limits are prescribed by the Act itself, and failing which an RTI Applicant can approach appropriate authorities for relief.
Following are the various time limits specified in the RTI Act 2005

For matters involving "Life and Liberty", the time limit for the PIO to provide information is 48 Hours.


For PIO to reply to application 30 days from date of receipt of application
For PIO to transfer to another PA under Sec 6(3) 5 days from date of receipt of application
For PIO to issue notice to 3rd Party 5 days from date of receipt of application
For 3rd Party to make a representation to PIO 10 days from receipt of notice from PIO
For PIO to reply to application if 3rd Party involved 40 days from date of receipt of application
For applicant to make First Appeal 30 days from date of receipt of PIO’s reply or from date when reply was to be received
For First Appellate Authority to pass an order 30 days from receipt of First Appeal OR
Maximum 45 days, if reasons for delay are given in writing
For applicant to make Second Appeal before CIC/SIC 90 days from receipt of First Appeal orders or from the date when orders were to be received
For CIC/SIC to decide Second Appeal No time limit specified
• 3rd Party can be anyone other than the citizen applying for information

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Who are the Appellate Authorities and what are the key provisions for appeal under the Act ?

1. First Appeal: First appeal to the officer senior in rank to the PIO in the concerned Public Authority within 30 days from the expiry of the prescribed time limit or from the receipt of the decision (delay may be condoned by the Appellate Authority if sufficient cause is shown).
2. Second Appeal: Second appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission as the case may be, within 90 days of the date on which the decision was given or should have been made by the First Appellate Authority (delay may be condoned by the Commission if sufficient cause is shown).
3. Third Party appeal against PIO’s decision must be filed within 30 days before first Appellate Authority; and, within 90 days of the decision on the first appeal, before the appropriate Information Commission which is the second appellate authority.
4. Burden of proving that denial of Information was justified lies with the PIO.
5. First Appeal shall be disposed of within 30 days from the date of its receipt. Period extendable by 15 days for reasons to be recorded in writing.
[Section19 (6)] 6. There is no time limit prescribed under the Act for deciding second appeals.


How to write first appeal under RTI ?


13 Simple Guidelines to follow while filing 1st Appeal under Right to Information Act 2005.
1. First appeal has to be filed within 30 days from date of receipt of decision of PIO by the applicant with First Appellate Authority (FAA).
2. If no reply is received within 30 days (35 days if application is lodged with APIO) from the date of receipt by PIO (APIO), then first appeal has to be filed within 30 days from the date when reply was due from PIO.
3. Find out name, designation and address of first appellate authority from the decision letter of PIO. If no reply is received, visit the web-site of the govt. dept/office/undertaking and refer RTI icon for these details.
4. Despite above efforts, if you are not in a position to locate details of FAA, address your first appeal as under:
The First Appellate Authority under RTI Act 2005
C/O.
Head of _______________Dept/office
and mention address of PIO’s dept/office
5. If you want to be present during the first appeal hearing, mention it at the end of your appeal.
6. No fee is prescribed for first appeal for Public Authorities under the Central Government.
7. Some States have a prescribed fee and a specified format for First Appeal. Please check RTI Rules of individual Sates regarding First Appeal fees (if any), mode of payment, format (if any) if your First Appeal is to a Public Authority falling under State Government.
8. All photocopies of enclosures mentioned in the appeal should be self-attested by the applicant under the word ‘Attested’ and full signature.
9. Retain one set of appeal and postal receipt and AD receipt.
10. You can deliver personally also, but mailing by registered ad/speed post is preferable. Couriers should be avoided.
11. FAA has to decide on the appeal within 30 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.
12. The FAA can give either a "spoken" order or a written order.
13. Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued specific instructions to FAA's. These can be referred to here:
http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/2987-i...authority.html

Experience with FAA is not encouraging so far, as he belongs to the same dept/office of which information is sought. Usually FAA concurs with the PIO. FAA is a senior officer in the office/dept of PIO.

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How to File a Second Appeal under RTI?

Kindly follow these guidelines for filling Second Appeal:
1. Fill in the above appeal/complaint form, index and chronological order of progress. If you are filing appeal remove ‘complaint /complainant’ words. If complaint is being filed, cut words “second appeal/appellant”
2. Get it typed in double space.
3. Get one photocopy of:
o Original application under RTI with its enclosures
o First appeal with its enclosures
o Bank demand draft/pay slip/postal order/cash receipt used for paying filing fee of Rs.10/-and other charges
o Copy of demand letter of PIO for charges if any
o Postal proof of mailing original application and first appeal
o Postal AD slips/official acknowledgement received from PIO and FAA
o Decisions of PIO and FAA if received
4. Arrange all papers as per index and then serially number all papers on right hand side top corner. This is one original set of second appeal/ complaint.
5. Prepare additional four sets as above by photocopying.
6. Sign each page of appeal, index and chronology chart [all five sets].
7. Self attest all the photocopies by signing under the word “Attested”
8. Send one set by speed/regd.ad/upc post to each of PIO and FAA and attach photocopy of proof of mailing to the original, extra copy of second appeal/complaint and your copy after filling details in index/chronology chart.
9. Mail original set and one extra copy of set by registered AD to the State Information Commission.
10. Avoid courier services.
11. Retain one set for your record and reference, with proof of mailing and AD received from SIC/PIO/FAA for having received second appeal/complaint.
12. If postal AD card is not received or acknowledgement letter is not received from SIC within 15 days of mailing, it is better to send by speed post copy of only second appeal/complaint [without enclosures] with a request to trace the same at SIC. Photocopy of regd post receipt may also be mailed to SIC.
13. You can consult local NGO/RTI activist for filing first or second appeal to have better result. Services are generally free.

 

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How to make a complaint under RTI act?


COMPLAINT UNDER RTI ACT

Section 18 of the act empowers Central Information Commission [CIC] and also State Information Commissions [SICs] to enquire into complaints against Public Authority, Public Information Officer [PIO] and First Appellate Authority [FAA]. The section has provided for enquiring and taking corrective steps by the respective commissions in respect of majority of problems that the applicant/appellant may face in getting information to which he is entitled to under this act.
Situations under which complaint can be lodged
1. No PIO or APIO or FAA is appointed by public authority.
2. PIO/APIO/FAA has refused to receive application/appeal.
3. No reply is received from PIO & FAA within time limit fixed by the act.
4. Reply received from PIO is unsatisfactory, irrelevant, unreadable, misleading, unclear, false, incomplete etc.
5. Information has been wrongly and unjustifiably refused.
6. When applicant is required to pay fee/charges in excess of those prescribed in RTI rules applicable.
7. PIO/APIO is not accessible in person or by post and his whereabouts are not easily available/prominently exhibited.
8. Proactive disclosure under section 4 [1] has not been made or it is not made publicly available/accessible.
9. PIO/FAA has wrongly refused inspection of records of public authority or reasonable cooperation is not extended during inspection.
10. PIO, FAA or any other person directly/indirectly intimidates or ill-treats or pressurizes the applicant/appellant or restraints him from exercising his right under the act.
11. PIO/FAA disobeys orders of CIC/SIC.
12. Any other situation where the citizen has been wrongly restrained/refused access to information to which he is entitled under the act.
13. Any other violation of provisions of the act by public authority, PIO or FAA.
How to lodge complaint:
1. Complaints relating to information of central government public authorities are to be lodged with Central Information Commission [CIC], August Kranti Bhavan, Bhikaji Kama Place,NEW DELHI 110066. [www.cic.gov.in]
In case of information of public authorities of State Govts, complaints have to be lodged with respective State Information Commissions [SICs]. Details are available on official websites of State Govts. /State Information Commissions. Please refer to www.cic.gov.in and visit icon- CICs of States
2. CIC and some of SICs have prescribed minimum information or papers that must be submitted with the complaint. Some SICs have prescribed format for complaint. For CIC and those SICs, which have not prescribed format, complainants can use guidelines and format as available at http://www.rtiindia.org/guide/how-to...l-under-rti-3/ with minor changes
3. CIC does not charge any fee for complaints. Some SICs charge fees for this purpose.
4. There is no time limit for lodging complaint, but it is advisable to lodge the same within reasonable time of happening of cause for complaint.
5. Send copy of complaint to PIO/FAA simultaneous with CIC/SIC. At times PIO/FAA solves your problem before hearing at CIC/SIC.
6. Ask for punishment to PIO/FAA under the act and also claim compensation for not getting the information in time.
7. Information Commissions are vested with powers of Civil Courts in respect of summoning, enforcing attendance, giving evidence on oath, producing records, etc.
8. Complaint is in addition to Second/final Appeal available to applicants.
9. It is advisable to simultaneously approach head of the organization or govt. dept at capital-level [secretary/chief secretary] for his intervention. This may help get information.
10. After lodging complaint, please check from concerned website if the same is registered and registration number and status.
11. In case of information pertaining to life and liberty, the complaint should be conspicuously branded as “Life & Liberty-Urgent” so that priority is accorded for its disposal before it is too late. Follow-up through email is recommended if available with SIC.
12. CIC/SICs are flooded with appeals/complaints and there is huge pendency. Thus it may take 12 to 36 months before complaint is heard.
13. It is advisable to take free help from experienced RTI activists/NGO if locally available so that matter can be effectively and properly represented through complaint.

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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 an 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 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. (S.20)

What if the applicant claims that he / she did not receive the intimation letter from the PIO and files an appeal with the AO and the Information
Commission? Will the PIO be penalised?

The PIO would do well to maintain a copy of the intimation letter in his / her records for use in such cases. Furthermore, the PIO may send the intimation letter Under Certificate of Posting (UCP) to the applicant. This should be ample proof that the PIO had taken action in good faith. The PIO will not attract penalty in such cases.
The law requires that the PIO be given an opportunity to present his / her case before the relevant Information Commission issues a decision imposing penalty. But a default may invite penalty for the PIO.

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Can students ask for copies or inspection of their answer scripts if they are
unhappy with the marks awarded by the examiner in public examinations?

The present position is that the Central Information Commission has ruled, on an appeal submitted to it, that students cannot have access to answer scripts / supplements [CIC Decision No. 22/ICPB/2006 dt. 18.05.2006]


Can a request be denied if it is too big? If not, how can we handle such
requests best? How much information can a citizen request in one
application? If s/he asks 20-30 kinds of information in one application should it be given? Or should the citizen be asked to put in fresh applications for each point of information requested and also be asked to pay application fees every time?

The Act does not permit rejection of an application simply because it relates to a large number of documents. Under Section 7 (9), information shall be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would ‘disproportionately’ divert the resources of the public authority. A PIO can request the applicant to visit his / her office personally and inspect the required documents or files. However, the PIO shall communicate the date and time to the applicant for such inspection. The PIO has to determine and justify what constitutes ‘disproportionately divert resources’.
An applicant can ask for 20 to 30 different kinds of information in the same application and cannot be asked to apply afresh. If the information published under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Act is comprehensive and proper information systems are maintained to enable such publication, even if an applicant requests for many pieces of information, the same can be provided to the applicant without much difficulty. Appropriate record management systems need also to be instituted.

If the law under which a Public Sector Unit (PSU) has been constituted does not allow access to information to the people such as agendas of board meetings etc., will such information have to be given under the RTI Act?

PSUs fall within the category of public authorities. Even if the law constituting a PSU does not allow disclosure of certain categories of information, the RTI Act, 2005 overrides any such law in existence. Hence the designated PIO for the organization under question has to provide the information.
However, if an applicant seeks information, that includes commercial confidence, trade secrets or Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) etc. the disclosure of which will affect the competitive position of that PSU, such information may not be given unless there is a larger public interest involved.

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Every department performs different kinds of functions at different levels of
operation from the Secretariat to the Taluka / Village level. Will disclosure
under Section 4 (1)(b) have to be made for every one of these levels
separately?

Yes. In several states more than one public authority are notified within every department from the secretariat level to the district and sub-district levels. Every such public authority will have to develop its own proactive disclosure documents or Information Handbooks unique to its powers, functions, area of operation etc. Section 4 (1)(b) is designed to ensure that public authorities disclose certain information which are important to the public voluntarily at every level of operation. It is to be noted that, if implemented properly, Section 4 (1)(b) will reduce the workload of officials and public authorities with regard to the requirement of providing information on request. This is because the information which is regularly needed by the public can be accessed by them without the need of going through a process of making specific request.

Will not the publication of the 17 manuals mentioned under Section 4(1)(b)
be very difficult and burdensome?


The requirement to publish ‘manuals’ reflects the objectives of Section 4 (1)(b) for proactive disclosure on the part of every public authority, which is simply to publish and disseminate key information routinely in a manner and form which is easily accessible and understood by the public [Sections 4 (3) and 4 (4) of the RTI Act which specifically require this].
The 17 subsections of Section 4 (1)(b) are 17 categories of information that a public authority is required to prepare and disseminate proactively through handbooks, notice boards, print and electronic media etc.
Most of the information required to be published proactively under this section may already be available within the public authority albeit in a scattered manner. These will need to be collected and collated to fulfill the requirement of Section 4 (1)(b). Several officials are pleased with Section 4 (1)(b) as it will help them streamline their own recordkeeping, monitoring and reporting procedures. Once the information is compiled and published it in a suitable format it will be easy to update it.
Furthermore, not every public authority may be required to collate information under all categories of Section 4 (1)(b). For example, the Finance Department in a State may not be issuing any permits or concessions. As it does not perform such functions the Finance Department will not be held at fault for not including this category of information in its Public Information Directory.
The CIC has, in one of its letters (dt. 10.05.2006) to all Ministries / Departments, stated that “it is in the interest of the public authorities to make available all the 17 manuals to the citizens, which is likely to reduce the volume of requests for information under the RTI Act”.
If appropriate management information systems are developed and maintained by departments using information and communication technologies, the preparation of the information to be published at different levels annually can be a simple affair.

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Is it enough to disseminate information under Section 4 (1)(b) on the Internet?

Information under Section 4 (1)(b) shall be disseminated through notice boards, news papers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the Internet or any other means.

Is it enough to publish information under Section 4 (1)(b) only once at the
time of the commencement of the RTI Act?

No. The Act requires that every public authority has to update its publications under Section 4 (1)(b) every year. The Central / State Government / Departments will have to come out with general instructions for time-bound updating of all categories of information, including formats for publication. Every public authority may in turn publish updated information that is specific to its functions following the guidelines.

What will be the penalty if a public authority / department is not able to meet the deadline for proactive disclosure (120 days)?

It is advisable to publish as much information as possible under Section 4 (1)(b) within the deadline and give it wide media publicity so that people know that the public authority / department is earnest about implementing the law. Any person can make complaint to the relevant Information Commission under Section 18 (1)(f) of the Act and the Commission may even require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.
It must be noted that the Information Commission has the power under Section 19 (8)(a)(vi) to receive from a public authority an annual compliance report in relation to Section 4 (1)(b). This reporting mechanism will technically make the public authority answerable to the Information Commission for all acts of commission and omission in relation to proactive disclosure.

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Is it possible that some elements may misuse this law and use the information to blackmail / threaten officers?

The fact that the Act requires making as much information as possible available with the public authorities in the public domain may actually prevent blackmail to honest and sincere officers. If information is divided into two types, namely ‘open to disclosure’ and ‘not open to disclosure’, that which is not disclosed must be based only on the exemptions stipulated under the Act. Thus, the question of blackmail or threatening may not arise. As far as possible, information must be made public so as to reduce any possibility of blackmail. An honest and sincere officer need not fear blackmail at all. The strict adherence to the law would facilitate smooth functioning of such officers as they will be protected by law.

Some unscrupulous elements may misuse the copies of documents they
access under the RTI Act. How does one prevent such misuse of information released under the RTI Act?

The Government may have to devise a means of authenticating documents released under the RTI Act to ensure that they are not misused. One suggestion is to mark every page of a document accessed under the RTI Act with a rubber stamp impression saying -”Document released under the RTI Act containing xx pages.” If electronic files are requested the same may be provided in PDF or TIF format on floppies or CDs. This will also obviate the need for certifying the documents separately if the requester wishes to use the same in some litigation.

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If there is a flood of applications for inspection of records how will the PIO
provide access to all applicants and also do justice to his / her other
designated duties? What if one such applicant mutilates or destroys a record during inspection?

Under the Act, every public authority will need to designate as many PIOs as may be required to deal with requests for information from citizens. The PIOs may fix one or two particular days in a week for inspection of records. The Competent Authority needs to make rules and guidelines for public authorities regarding the procedure to be followed for allowing inspection of records [The Public Records Rules (1997), Rule No. 11 (2) prepared by the Government of India may be adopted as a model].
It is important that the PIO takes adequate precautions for the safety of records being inspected. If, however, it is found that a person examining a record or document has mutilated or tampered with the document or attempted to do so it will be appropriate for the PIO / public authority to lodge a criminal complaint immediately.

If the same kind of information is sought by more than one person should it
be made available to all such requesters?

Yes, it has to be made available. However it is advisable that such records be
digitised as far as possible and uploaded on the Internet to facilitate easy access.

If the information requested by a citizen has already been proactively
disclosed can a PIO refuse to accept the request?

There is nothing in the RTI Act that states that information disclosed proactively should not be provided to a citizen on request. If such information is requested the same can be provided in the available formats upon payment of fees / charges at rates prescribed by the Government.

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Is the Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) an assistant to the Public
Information Officer (PIO)?

No, the APIO is not an assistant to the PIO. A Central / State APIO (as the case may be) may be designated at the sub-district or sub-divisional level where a public authority may not have an office or administrative unit [Section 5 (2)].
Designation of APIOs is particularly useful for Departments of the Government of India which rarely have offices below the district level. However, it has been decided that the CAPIOs of Department of Posts will also act as CAPIOs for other Central Government Public Authorities, which do not have an office / or an administrative unit operative at the sub-district / sub-divisional level.
These CAPIOs (of the Department of Posts) will receive requests on behalf of the Central Government public authorities and forward them to the CPIOs concerned.

If the information requested by the applicant is in the possession of the APIO should he / she not give that information to the applicant?

Under the RTI Act, the APIO’s obligation is confined to forwarding the request to the PIO concerned forthwith – within five days.

Will Panchayats / Municipalities / any local authority have to appoint PIOs
irrespective of the size of their office / administrative unit?

Yes. Every public authority shall have to appoint a PIO, irrespective of the size of its office / administrative unit.

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Should BPL applicants be charged the further fees for providing
information requested?


Persons belonging to the ‘Below Poverty Line’ category cannot be charged any fees / charges at all. The form of access can be decided by the PIO concerned subject to the provision of the Act that information shall be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would ‘disproportionately’ divert the resources of the public authority.

If the applicant does not pay the additional fees towards cost of providing
information within the 30 days deadline will the PIO be penalised for failing
to provide information to the applicant?


No. The PIO will not invite any penalty in such cases. The 30-day clock stops ticking from the date of dispatching the intimation for further fees issued by the PIO and restarts on the date on which the applicant pays the additional fee [Sections 7 (3)(a)& 7 (3)(b)].
For example, if the PIO dispatches the intimation letter on the 5th day from the date of receipt of the complete application only 5 days would have elapsed from the 30 days limit. The clock will restart on the date on which the applicant pays the ‘further fees’. The PIO will have to provide the information within 25 days from the date of payment of such further fees. If the applicant chooses to seek a review of the additional fee from the appellate authority or the SIC / CIC the period taken for giving a decision on this matter (if it is decided that no further payment is needed) or for actual payment of further fees (if it is decided that further fees would need to be paid), will not be included in the 30 day limit.

 

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If the applicant does not respond to the intimation letter of the PIO requesting payment of further fee will the PIO be duty-bound to provide information to the applicant? Will the PIO be duty-bound to provide information within 30 days even in such cases?

No. The PIO is not duty bound to provide information to the applicant in such cases.
The RTI Act states very clearly that the PIO will provide access to information only upon payment of further fee as may be determined [Section 7 (1)] by him / her (for non-BPL cases).

Are officials required to give information about themselves and their families under the law? Can the public request this kind of information? Should it be given?

Officials are not required to provide private or personal information which is exempted under Section 8 (1)(j) of the Act. Again, this must be decided on a case by case basis (as has indeed been the case with the decisions of the CIC). If public interest is served by disclosing such information then it must be given.

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Can any citizen ask any information that is more than 20 years old even if it
does fall within the category of exemptions? Will the PIO be penalised if he /she is unable to provide such information?

Yes, any citizen can ask any information more than 20 years old held by or under thecontrol of a public authority, irrespective of whether the information requested for falls within the category of exempted information or not. Nothing in the Act bars a citizen to ask for such information. The PIO concerned has to provide information ‘held’ under the control of the public authorities subject to the provisions of the Act relating to exemptions stipulated under the Act.

In cases where building plans and designs of bridges or other important
public structures have been requested and if the PIO has reasonable
suspicion that the applicant will use those plans for commercial purposes
and make a profit out of it, should such information be given?

If disclosure of building plans and designs would prejudicially affect the economic or security interests of the State or if they relate to commercial confidence, or trade secrets or intellectual property rights, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, then such information would attract exemption under the Act. However, if the concerned authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information, the same can be disclosed.

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If a case is still under consideration (i.e., ‘live’ or ‘current’ file) for final decision,can that file be made available to the requester before the decision has been taken?

A request cannot be rejected on this ground. The requester will have to be given the requested information. It is important to note, however, that such disclosure cannot run contrary to the provisions of the Act that exempt certain categories of information. If so, the PIO cannot provide such information, but has to clearly state the reasons for not doing so. If partial disclosure is possible and is not exempted, then the PIO should disclose that part of the record.


Periodic weeding of files results in destruction of many documents which
are not important enough to maintain for as long as 20 years or more. So it
will not be possible to give such information after they have been destroyed. Will the PIO be penalised for this?

If a record has been destroyed legally the question of penalisation does not arise. But the RTI Act clearly requires a review of all weeding practices in existence to ensure that information which could be requested under the Act is not destroyed. More generally, it is necessary to consider a review of current records management processes.

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Will the APIO be punished for giving wrong or misleading information just
as a PIO can be penalised under this Act?

Given that, under the RTI Act, the APIO’s obligation is confined to forwarding the request to the PIO concerned forthwith - within five days, the question of punishment for an APIO for giving wrong or misleading information does not arise. In one of its decisions, the CIC has stated that the APIO has a limited role of transmitting applications and appeals to their proper destination… and that the APIO’s responsibilities are not co-extensive with the PIO.

What is the process for taking a decision on granting partial access to a
record? Who is the authority to make this decision within a public authority?

Section 10 (2)(b) of the RTI Act makes it clear that the PIO is the deciding authority for granting partial access to records that may contain exempted information. However, when partial information is disclosed the PIO needs to provide valid reasons for the decision. He also needs to mention his name and designation as the decision maker and the applicant’s right with respect to the review of the decision, including the particulars of the AO, time limit, process etc.
Only that part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information, may be provided.

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Will a PIO be penalised if the superior officer orders him not to release
information to the requester?

It needs to be mentioned here that the PIO must note that it is not necessary on his /her part to seek the permission / approval of a superior officer of the public authority concerned for providing information under his / her control. The Act is clear about the fact that the PIO is an independent authority under the law and no approval is required from any superior official to release the requested information.
If a PIO acts upon any order of his / her superior and malafidely rejects requests fully / partially, he / she is liable to be penalised under the Act. In case the information sought for is not available with a PIO, he / she can take the assistance of any other officer including asking for information under that officer’s control and such officer will be treated as a PIO for the purpose of the Act and its penal provisions. In the event a PIO seeks information from another official for providing information, his / her communication and receipt of information (to and from the other official) should be put down in writing and a proper record of the same should be maintained.
This will be helpful, in the defense of the PIO concerned, should the information, turn out to be misleading or wrong, and an appeal is made against the PIO.

If the information given by the PIO in response to a request turns out to be
wrong, false or misleading but the PIO was not responsible for the creation
of that record or such information will he / she be penalised by the ICs?

The RTI Act provides protection to the PIO for ‘action taken in good faith’. If the requested record has not been prepared by the PIO but by some other officer or if the data compiled by the PIO was received from some other officer and the PIO merely passed on that information to the applicant without having prior knowledge that such information was wrong or false or misleading he / she is not guilty of an offence under the RTI Act. The Information Commission will penalise PIO only in such cases where it may find him / her guilty of giving wrong, false or misleading information in a malafide manner.

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The PIO continues to be under the purview of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) of 1923. How will he reconcile his duties under the RTI Act with the secrecy required to be maintained under the OSA? What happens to the oath of secrecy every officer is required to take while joining service?

It must be noted that the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 shall be effective
notwithstanding anything that may be inconsistent with its provisions in the Official Secrets Act, or any other Act of the Union or the State Governments (see RTI Act, 2005, Chapter VI, Section 21).
The ‘Oath of Secrecy’ taken by Government employees therefore only applies to the information that has been exempted from the ambit of the provisions of the said Act. Broadly, this exempted information pertains to matters / issues related to national security, defence, and integrity of the country. The Oath will not be adequate and the test of public interest is the overriding consideration.

What is the jurisdiction of courts?
Lower Courts are barred from entertaining suits, applications or other proceeding
against any order made under this Act [Section 23]. However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution respectively remains unaffected.

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WELCOME TO DIMAPUR DISTRICT

 

 

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