Right to Information Act

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About Right to Information

1) This Act may be called the Right to Information Act, 2005.

2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

3) The provisions of sub-section (1) of section 4, sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 5, sections 12, 13, 15,16, 24 , 27 and 28 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on the one hundred and twentieth day of its enactment.

When does it come into force?
It comes into force on the 12th October, 2005 (120th day of its enactment on 15th June, 2005). Some provisions have come into force with immediate effect viz. obligations of public authorities [S.4(1)], designation of Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers[S.5(1) and 5(2)], constitution of Central Information Commission (S.12 and 13), constitution of State Information Commission (S.15 and 16), non-applicability of the Act to Intelligence and Security Organizations (S.24) and power to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act (S.27 and 28). Who is covered?

The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. [S.(12)]

What does information mean?
Information means any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force but does not include "file notings" [S.2(f)]. What does Right to Information mean?

It includes the right to -
i.inspect works, documents, records.
ii.take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records. iii.take certified samples of material.
iv.obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.[S.2(j)] v.

Officers and their obligations
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; the names, designations and...
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