The Right To Information Act - 2005

The Right of Information Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 11, 2005 and by the Rajya Sabha on May 12, 2005.

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency an accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of Central Information Commission and State Information Commission and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Whereas the constitution of India has established democratic Republic;

And whereas democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold government and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed;

And whereas revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;

And whereas it is necessary to harmonize these conflicting interests while preserving paramountcy of the democratic ideal;

Now, therefore, it is expedient to provide for furnishing certain information to citizens who desire to have it;

Salient features of the Right to Informations Act, 2005

  • All citizens possess the right to information.
  • The term information includes any mode of information in any form of record, document, e-mail, circular, press release, contract, sample or electronic data.
  • Right to information covers inspection of work, document, record and its certified copy and information in form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes in any electronic mode or stored information in computers etc.
  • Applicant can obtain information within 30 days from the date of receipt of request for information in a normal case.
  • Information can be obtained within 48 hours from time of request, if it is a matter of life or liberty of a person.
  • Every Public Authority is under obligation to provide information on written request or request by electronic means.
  • Certain information are prohibited.
  • Restrictions made for Third Party Information.
  • Appeal against the decision to the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission can be made to an officer who is senior in rank.
  • Penalty for refusal to receive an application for information or for not providing information is Rs.250/- per day but the total amount of penalty should not exceed Rs.25,000/-.
  • Central information Commission of State Information Commission are to be constituted by the Central Government and the respective State Governments.
  • No Court can entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order made under the Act.