Presentation on Right to information Act 2009 As a tool to improve Transparency in public affairs On 25.11.2014 Ms Richa Sabharwal Law Officer ,NHM, J&K Introduction History Aims of the Act and Objectives of the Act Applicability Key of Act Provisions of the Act Introduction A good system of administration presupposes the existence of a mechanism for handling grievances against administrative action and such factor justifies the recognition of a right of every member of public what passes in government files. Government openness is a sure guarantee against administrative faults. A government which revels in secrecy, not only acts against democratic decency but buises itself with its own burial. Right to know the truth is basis of all other rights. Openness in government is bound to act as a powerful check on the misuse of power by government and a good device to minimize administrative faults. Open government is a new democratic culture of an open society towards which every liberal democracy is moving and our country is no exception. Thus in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every Public Authority, RTI Act 2009 was enacted History of the Act Enacted by Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Date Of Enactment 20th March 2009 Aims and Objective of the Act To secure access to information under the control of Public Authorities. To promote transparency and accountability in working of every Public Authority. To strengthen the concept of Open Government Applicability of Act Extends to whole State of J&K Key Provisions of the Act 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" Who can avail Right to information under Right to information Act 2009? Every person residing in the state of J&K. What does a "public authority" mean? It means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; by any other law made by Parliament; by any other law made by State Legislature; Condt… by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes anybody owned, controlled or substantially financed non-Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government Obligation of Public Authorities Maintain all records Publish particulars of Organisation,functions and duties Powers &duties of officers and employees Norms set by it for discharge of its functions Rules ,regulations instructions Condt… Manuals records held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions. Statement of categories of documents. A directory of its officers and employees The monthly remuneration received by its officers and employees. Budgetary plans The names ,designation and other particulars of the PIOs. Condt… To update information every year. The budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it; Designation Public authority can designate as many as Officers as PIOS as per the need. Designation of APIOs Request for information Request for information can be made to the following: PIO APIO Transfer of application If subject matter of application concerns other public authority Applicant to be informed about the transfer If part of application concerns other public authority, copy of application sent Transfer to be done within 5 days If there is delay in transfer PIO responsible Disposal of request Time limit 30 days 48 hours 5 days added (35 days ) 30 days 48 hours *time in calculating the fees shall be excluded from the prescribed time period. * Failure to decide within time deemed as refusal When request has been rejected Reason given. for rejection must be Period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred The particulars authority. of Appellate Fees S.no Situation Fees 1 BPL Exempted from payment of fee. 2 A-4 or A-3 size paper created or copied. a copy in larger size paper samples or models Rupees 2 for each page For inspection of records For information provided in diskette or floppy For information provided in printed form diskette or floppy no fee for first hour and a fee of Rs 5 for each 15 minutes thereafter. Rs 50 per 3 4 5 6 7 Actual charge or cost price Actual charge or cost price At the price fixed for such publication or Rs 2 per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication. Safeguards against disclosure Affecting the sovereignty and integrity of India, security, Strategic, scientific or economic interests of state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence Forbidden to be published by any court or may lead to contempt of court Breach of privilege of Parliament or State Legislature Commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property of third party Information in confidence from foreign govt. Condt… Endanger life or safety of any person or identify source of information Impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders Cabinet papers Personal Information in fiduciary relationship Invasion of privacy Severability If a part of information which is required is not allowed to be disclosed then such part is not required to be replied and applicant to be informed about the same. PIO to give notice in this regard. to the applicant. Third party Information Information supplied by third party to be treated as confidential, PIO must cause a notice to third party inviting his submission within 5 days. Except trade secrets, disclosure may be made if the public interest outweighs. The third party within ten days to make representation on disclosure. PIO to decide within 40 days make a decision as to whether or not to disclose information and inform about the decision taken in this regard to Third party. Condt… Third party to whom notice is given may prefer an appeal within 30 days from the receipt of such order. Sec. 19. ( Third party to be heard before imparting information) Provisions with regard to Appeal. First Appeal Any officer senior to PIO Appeal within 30 days Decide within 30 days extendable to 45 for reasons to be given in writing Second Appeal A second appeal is the last option under the RTI Act to get the information requested. Lies to State Information Commissioner Decision of State Information Commission shall be binding Time Limit is 90 days from the date of receipt of decision of first appeal If Appeal relates to information of a third party then third party shall be given an opportunity to put forward its view. Condt… The state information Commission to dispose of the appeal within 30 days. and the said period of 30 days is extendable to 120 days but in this regard reasons have to be given. Grounds of Appeal Non acceptance of requests Refusal of access to information No response to request within time limit Fees considered unreasonable Incomplete, misleading or false information Any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records. Condt… Appeal to State Information Commission Within 90 days of date when decision should have been made or when information was actually received Onus to justify denial on PIO No limit on SIC to decide SIC has powers of civil court May seek compliance of Act Reject Impose Penalties Award compensations Contents of Appeal Name and address of the applicant Name and address of the PIO, against the decision of whom the appeal is preferred. Particulars of the order including the number, if any. Against which the appeal is preferred. Brief facts leading to appeal If the appeal is preferred against deemed refusal , the particulars of the application, including number and date , name and address of the PIO to whom application was made. Prayer Condt.. of relief sought. Grounds for the prayer. Verification by the appellant ; and Any other information which the commission may deem necessary for deciding the appeal. Documents to accompany Appeal. Self attested copies of the Orders or documents against which the appeal is being preferred. Copies of the documents relied upon by the appellant and referred to in the appeal and An index of the documents referred to in the appeal. Procedure in deciding appeal Same procedure to be followed by commission as it is followed in civil proceedings And the commission shall have all the powers as exercised by the Civil Courts Modes of Serving of Notice by the Commission. By the party itself By hand delivery By registered post Through HoD of the Department. Penalties S.no Offence Penalty 1 Refusal to receive an application Penalty of Rs 250 each day till information is furnished 2 Not furnishing of information within stipulated time period. Penalty of Rs 250 each day till information is furnished 3 Intentionally denial of information Penalty of Rs 250 each day till information is furnished 4 Providing misleading or incomplete information. Penalty of Rs 250 each day till information is furnished •Amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs 25,000 *PIO must be afforded reasonable opportunity of being heard. *Burden of Proof lies on PIO. Disciplinary action Condt… While deciding appeal SIC is of the opinion that PIO without any reason has failed to receive application requesting for information or Failed to provide information within the stipulated time or Intentionally denied information or Provided misleading or incomplete information or Destroyed any information which was subject of request or Obstruct in any manner in providing information Miscellaneous Protection of action taken in good Faith Bar of Jurisdiction of courts. Act not applicable to certain Organizations. Monitoring and Reporting Status of RTI Applications recieved by State Health Society S.no Year Applications received 1 2012-13 27 2 2013-14 46 3 2014- till date 23 Thank You!!!