In any democratic system, the ‘Right To Information‘ means to the people, a commendable step towards ensuring public participation. Because the right to get the proper information from any constitutional authority is with the public representatives only, more or less the same has been transferred to the public through this law. If it is properly exploited by the common people, there can be a significant reduction in power-protected corruption. This reinforces the concept of development and good governance. But if it is misused in any way or data and information collected from enemy countries start to be shared, then the natural pace of the system established by any government can also be blocked.
Perhaps this is the reason why the public’s right to demand certain information is restricted by law in view of certain important aspects like national security, unity, and integrity.
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When RTI was started?
The Right To Information Act was enacted in India on 15 June 2005 and was fully implemented on 12 October 2005 with full sections. Through the Right To Information, the nation makes public it’s functioning and governance system to its citizens. In any democracy, the people of the country give their chosen person an opportunity to govern and expect them to fulfill all their obligations with honesty and duty. But, in the changing circumstances, most of the nations have left no stone unturned in strangling their obligations, not forgetting to lose a single chance to set a big record of corruption, At that time, the importance of the Right To Information Act was understood and a meaningful campaign was launched to implement it.
In fact, to establish various records of corruption, the ruling group does everything that is anti-people and undemocratic. Because then governments forget that the people have chosen them who are the real owners of the country and the government is their chosen servant. Therefore, as the owner, the public has every right to know what the government which is in their service is doing. the demand for Right To Information started from Rajasthan. For this, the mass movement started in the 1990s.
Important things that come under the Right To Information?
- Information means any available material, including various records, documents, memoranda, e-mails, views, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, which are related to private bodies and by any public authority at that time. It can be obtained under the prevailing law.
- Inspection of works, documents, records. Second, obtaining preamble, summary, notes and certified copies of documents or records. Third, taking certified samples of material. Fourth, information can be obtained in the form of print out, disk, floppy, tape, video cassettes or any other electronic form.
- All government departments, public sector units, non-government institutions and institutions of educational support running with any kind of government are included in it. Entirely private entities are not subject to this law. But if a government department can ask for any information from a private institution under any law, then that information can be sought through that department. one or more Public Information Officers have been created in each government department, who accept the application under the Right To Information, collect the information sought and make it available to the applicant.
- It is the responsibility of the Public Information Officer to provide the information sought within 30 days or 48 hours in the matter of life and liberty (in some cases up to 45 days). If the Public Information Officer refuses to take the application does not provide information within the stipulated time frame or gives incorrect or misleading information, a penalty of up to Rs. 25,000 per day can be deducted from his salary for the delay. Also, he will have to give information.
- The Public Information Officer does not have the right to ask any reason for seeking information from you. For seeking information, an application fee has to be paid, for which the Central Government has fixed a fee of Rs 10 with the application. But it is higher in some states, while BPL card holders are exempted from the application fee.
- A fee will also have to be paid for taking a copy of the documents. The central government has kept this fee at Rs 2 per page, but in some states, it is higher. If the information is not provided within the stipulated time, then the information will be given free of cost.
- If any public information officer realizes that the information sought is not related to his department, then it is his duty to send that application to the concerned department within five days and also inform the applicant. In such a situation, the time limit for getting information will be 35 days instead of 30. If the Public Information Officer refuses or bothers to take the application, then his complaint can be made directly to the Information Commission. One can complain to the Central or State Information Commission against denial of information sought under the Right To Information, incomplete, confusing or misinformed information or to demand higher fees for information.
- Public Information Officer can refuse to give information in some cases. The details of cases related to which information cannot be given are given in Section 8 of the Right To Information Act. But if the information sought is in public interest, the information denied in Section 8 can also be given. Especially the information that cannot be denied to the Parliament or the Legislative Assembly. He cannot be denied to give it even to a common man.
- If the Public Information Officer does not give information within the stipulated time frame or refuses to give information by misuse of Section 8, or if not satisfied with the information given, within 30 days, senior to the concerned Public Information Officer First appeal can be made before the officer i.e. First Appeal Officer.
- If you are not satisfied with the first appeal then the second appeal has to be made with the Central or State Information Commission (to which it is concerned) within 60 days.