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FAQs
  1. Who are Public Information Officers (PIOs)?
  2. Who are 'Third Parties' with reference to RTI?
  3. Which Dept, Agencies etc is excluded under RTI?
  4. What does a "public authority" mean?
  5. Is partial disclosure of information is allowed under RTI?
  6. What is not open to disclosure under RTI?
  7. What are the obligations of public authority?
  8. What does Right to Information mean?
  9. What does information mean?
  10. Which area of India is covered under RTI Act?

Q-1- Who are Public Information Officers (PIOs)?
Ans- PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.

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Q-2- Who are 'Third Parties' with reference to RTI?
Ans- A third party means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Third parties have a right to be heard in respect of applications and appeals dealing with information submitted by them to the Government in confidence. [S.2 (n) and S.11]

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Q-3- Which Dept, Agencies etc is excluded under RTI?
Ans- Central Intelligence and Security agencies specified in the Second Schedule like IB, R&AW, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement, Narcotics Control Bureau, Aviation Research Centre, Special Frontier Force, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, NSG, Assam Rifles, Special Service Bureau, Special Branch (CID), Andaman and Nicobar, The Crime Branch-CID-CB, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police. Agencies specified by the State Governments through a Notification will also be excluded.
The exclusion, however, is not absolute and these organizations have an obligation to provide information pertaining to allegations of corruption and human rights violations. Further, information relating to allegations of human rights valuations could be given but only with the approval of the Central or State Information Commission, as the case may be. [S.24)]

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Q-4- What does a "public authority" mean?
Ans- It means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted, [S.2(h)]
(i) By or under the Constitution.
(ii) By any other law made by Parliament.
(ii) By any other law made by State Legislature.
(iii) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes,
a. Anybody owned, controlled or substantially financed.
b. Non-Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government

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Q-5- Is partial disclosure of information is allowed under RTI?
Ans- Only that part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information, may be provided. [S.10]

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Q-6- What is not open to disclosure under RTI?
Ans- The following is exempt from disclosure [S.8)]
(i) Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence.
(ii) Information, which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court.
(iii) Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.
(iv) Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
(v) Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
information received in confidence from foreign Government.
(vi) Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes.
(vii) Information, which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
(viii) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.
(ix) Information which relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual.
(x) Notwithstanding any of the exemptions listed above, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

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Q-7- What are the obligations of public authority?
Ans- It shall publish the followings 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.
(xvi) The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers.[S.4(1)(b)]

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Q-8- What does Right to Information mean?
Ans- Right to Information includes the following rights of a citizen:
(i) Right to inspect works, documents, and records.
(ii) Right to take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
(iii) Right to take certified samples of material.
(iv) Right to obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts. [S.2(j)]

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Q-9- What does information mean?
Ans- 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 noting" [S.2(f)].

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Q-10- Which area of India is covered under RTI Act?
Ans- The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. [S.(12)]

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