Right to Information Act provides to every citizen of India right to ask information held by a Public Authority. The Central Right to information Act covers all Indian states except for the state the State of Jammu and Kashmir. All public organizations/groups that come under the authority of government and/or are sponsored by Government, come under the RTI act and can be petitioned for any information by the citizens of India. All private bodies, which are owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government, are also directly covered.
In case, one has been denied any information that he/she asked for, he/she may file Appeal/Complaint before the Central Information Commission (CIC).
In every Government Department – whether State or Central Department – one or more officers have been designated as Public Information Officers (PIOs). The PIO acts as the nodal officer for the implementation of Right to Information in that Department. He is supposed to receive applications from the people, collect information from that Department and then provide that information to the applicant. In some Departments, which are very huge, a number of officers have been designated as PIOs.
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:
- Inspect works, documents, records.
- Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
- Take certified samples of material.
- 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.
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”.
Originally posted 2011-06-24 17:30:33.