Right to information is an act enacted by the parliament of India in 15 June,
2005. it replace the former act which is known as freedom of information act
2002. in FOIA 2002, The government do some modification with this act then,
commence a body on 12 oct, 2005 for making the RTI act 2005.
In the provision of RTI act 2005, any citizen of India may request any
information from a government authorities and in the provision it also talk
about the time of reply from the public authority. When a RTI file, the
government has to reply within 30 days and the citizen also have right to asked
for information of work, sample of the work, documents related to work,
records, certified copies of any work which is held by public authority or
control by public authority. the RTI act 2005, also asked public authority to
computerizing all their records so that citizens have not to file a RTI
application for any small information and its reduced in the number of
application. This also help in the promoting transparency in the government and
maintain a flow in the system.
RTI act 2005, aims that to provide a efficient method of providing information
so that we can effectively use the right under Art 19(1) of the constitution of
India which told every citizen of India have freedom to speech and expression.
RTI act 2005, also gives expression of method of enforcing the freedom of
expression and method then we should know what my government function in my
favour or against then we have very important part, every people of country
living with choice of dignity according to the art 21 of the constitution. The
living of life with dignity come form Menaka Gandhi
case and for running a
suitable democracy these two essential is important which indirectly connect
with RTI Act 2005. Under the RTI act there are some restriction also in the
information given by the public authority as per the Official Secrets Act and
other various law and the RTI act also by the time codifies as the fundamental
right of the citizen of India.
Historical Background Of Right To Information
First time this act come into origin from Sweden in 1776, In 1776 Sweden
government passed a convention of granting right to information act and by this
Sweden wants to achieve the minimizing level of corruption in the country and
made the government transparent and they successful achieve this target by RTI
and they increases the transparency in their government agencies and by this
convention Sweden top the transparency international index.
Same as Sweden, The united assembly also make a bill on RTI in 1948 to declare
that freedom of information is a fundamental right and also this law already
passed by 56 countries.
The supreme court of India also gave the direction to apply the art 19 of the
constitution which have told that freedom of speech and expression are the
fundamental right and no one is deprive from them. The RTI act can not be fully
functional without the information come under the ambit of right to freedom and
First campaign of RTI was introduced by Sakti Mazdoor Sangthan of
Rajasthan in 1990 which was lead by Smt.Aruna Roy, and also the division
commissioner of Bilaspur introduced a movement in 1996 by opening the register
of employment exchange and record the public distribution system of the people.
In 1997, Tamil nadu becomes the first state in India to have passed a law on
RTI, also the Madhya Pradesh government issued order to the department to
implement RTI which later jointed by large number of people, under the
chairmanship of HD Shorie, appointed by the united front government and the act
drafted by FOI, 1997.
Goa legislature also passed a law on RTI. The M P government presented a law on RTI, which was passed by both the houses but the bill still did not becomes a
law because the governor of the Madhya Pradesh did not give his assent and when
in 1998 the NDA government come in power the PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee ensured the
people that RTI will be enacted soon in the country.
Again in 1999, A PIL was
filled in the supreme court of India to lift the restrain which is enacted on
the minister and declare sec 5 of Official Secret Act,1923 unconstitutional,
and asked the government to give proper instruction for RTI for pending
legislation and a order passed on making transparency in the urban affair
ministry by the union minister in 1999. In 2002, a report by select committee
submitted to the government and the bill is passed by both the houses of the
parliament in December 2002 and finally the bill also found the assent from president
of India on 6 January 2003 and becomes a law and known as freedom of information act
2002 act 2002 no. 5 of 2003.
UPA government presented the RTI bill in 2004, which is only applicable to the
central government and not to the state government, with this point many civil
people are not happy with this decision because most of the information required
from the state government and this bill is only limit to central, the people
did not get proper benefit of it and finally after the heavy lobbying by the
organization with 150 amendments this bill are also applicable to the state.
Finally this law published in gazette of India and come into force with effect
from 12 oct,2005. 
Features Of Right To Information
the information seeker be must an Indian citizen and need to state their
name and address.
10 rupees, free for below poverty line categories
Mode of Payment:
DD, postal order, cash, online and The applicant may also be
required to pay further fee towards the cost of providing the information.
- All such information which can not be denied to MP/MLAs shall also not
be denied to applicant of RTI.
- Information may be asked in any medium and any forms.
within 30 days of RTI filling, but if the information sought concern the life or
liberty of a person within 48 hours of the information has to given.
- Only such information can be supplied under this act which is already
exist and held by the public authority or under the control of public
authority. The information officer is not supposed to create information.
- RTI act shall override the Official Secret Act 1923 in case of any
In RTI act the sec 8 (1) talked about which information
are exempted under RTI act information related to national security, strategic
matter of the state, foreign relation, incitement to offence, contempt of
court, commercial interest, trade secret, third party personal information, IPR, information related to physical satisfy and life of any one, cabinet
papers. And in sec 8(2) says above information can be disclosed if public
interest in disclosure overweight the harm of protected interest.
How Right To Information Works
Citizen who wants to any information from the public authority could file a RTI
application and asked for information in writing. The application goes to CPIO
office and CPIO officer receive the request and examine the application, after
examine the application he has two option if the information are available then
provide within 30 days and if the information is not available or exempted as
per sec 8(1) then he reject to give the information and give proper reasons for
rejecting it and also giving the details of appellate authority.
Form here, the citizen have two option to stop here or go further to appellate
authority for the information and if citizen appeal to appellate authority then
he also examine the information. here the appellate authority have authority to
give the information or not on the basis of sec 8(1) of the official secret act. if the information are not given by the appellate authority then citizen have
option to satisfied from them or appeal to the final authority known as CICs and
like a judge he heared both parties and give the final judgment whether the
information given or not.
Controversies On Right To Information
In India there are many controversies on the RTI act for use of the RTI for
asking the educational degrees of political peoples and the refusal to provide
information on the big cases which is on high profile people and allegation to
misuse by the civil society. For asking information on the big politician or
high profile people there are many times a RTI activists attacked.
Attack on RTI activists and Protection suggestion:
According to the data of commonwealth human right initiative data they are lum
sum 300 cases across the India where people attacked, murdered, physically or
mentally harassed because they asked some information under the RTI act The data
also shows that over 50 of them murdered and 2 suicides are directly linked by
the RTI application.
There should need a amend on RTI act to provide the protection of those who
seeking information under RTI act.
Protection Measures Suggestion included:
- On threats or attack on any RTI activists immediate action should be
take by filing a FIR and placing the FIR before the magistrate within 24
hours for issuance of direction of protection of those who under threat or
attack and also their family member and regular review on such protection.
- Conducting an enquiry on this FIR should be by a police officer which is
not below the rank of DSP/ACP and the case concluded within 90 days.
Rejection of RTI
The RTI act originally intent to made transparency in the government policies
and also made government more accountable to the people but there are many
faltering in the government system as they reject the RTI application and the
bureaucratic system bogged down the million of request under RTI act. Many RTI
rejected because of bureaucratic requirement includes the technocratic languages
are too legalistic for the ordinary people because they do not understand them.
Only in Delhi the information commissioner rejecting the 60% the RTI application
and giving the reason behind them includes the application are hand written they
do not understand them, application are not in typed form, not written in
English or lack of papers attached to application and many more.
This bureaucratic barrier, worsen for those people who not well educated and
they are simply deprived from there right because they are not abled to write
the application in proper manner so they do not access the information which
they needed from the government. this is clearly failure in a democratic
government where the people can not access information because they are
illiterate, some people also goes to, take help from the NGOs, RTI activists, or lawyer for filing their RTI application.
In RTI act there is clearly
mention that the information could be asked by a people in any language and the
public authority have to provide the information but here are something other
rule is added in by the people who is in system they simply rejected the
application because they do not understand it, application not written in
proper legalistic languages, by their thinking if you want the information
firstly you should be well educated. Government should looked these kind of
worked by their officer and should correct them otherwise a ordinary people are
not get their fundamental of right to know.
Right To Information (Amendment ) Bill 2019
The amendment bill 2019,amend sec 13 and sec 16 of the RTI act 2005.
- In section 13 of the original act set the term of the central chief
commissioner and the information commissioner at five year or until the age
of 65, which ever is first. the amendment proposes that the appointment will
be for such term as may be prescribed by the central government.
- Again section 13 state that the salaries, allowances, and other term of
services of the chief information commissioner shall be the same as that of the
chief election commissioner and An information commissioner shall be same as the
election commissioner. Amendment proposes that the salaries, allowances, and
other term of the services of CIC and IC shall be such as may be prescribed by
- In section 16 of the original act deal with state level CICs and ICs it set
the term of state level CICs and ICs at five year or 65 year of age which is
- The amendment proposes that these appointment should be for such term as
may be prescribed by the central government and while the original act
prescribes the salaries, allowances, and other term of the services of the
state CICs as the same as that the chief secretary of the state government
shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government
- The amendment bill also remove the provision that when appointment take
place, if the CIC and IC are receiving any benefit or pension from the union
government, their salaries will be reduced by an amount which is equal to the
The RTI act 2005, is a route taken by the government of India to setting a
foundation of democracy in the country. In a democratic people have right to
know how government are working, whether the government work for better or not, whether government tell actually amount to people or not in a public
construction, for all this answer government come RTI act, if any people have
any doubt in any of the policies, bills, documents which is held by a public
authority they can asked it by simply file an RTI application.
The RTI act
promote a good governance in the country by making transparency in the
government. we can also say that RTI act 2005 is a tool to check corruption in
the country and ensure the accountability of various government bodies, This
also prevent the arbitrary action to the government, which is the most important
for ensuring a democracy in the country. RTI provide a essential
road map that how a citizen of India can access any information form the
government of India which turn to promote a good governance. This act itself
state that the most important part of the democratic government is to shared
information from the people of the country.
- Explainer: The right to information ( amendment ) bill 2019, PRS India, 19 july 2019. retrieved on 19 dec
- Noronka, Fredrick (2010),access to knowledge: a guide for everyone
- PTI political parties under RTI : congress reject CIC order, the hindu
newspaper, retrieved 20 dec 2020.
- Sharma, nidhi ( 6 oct 2016 ) 1.75 cr RTI application filled since 2005
: study, the economics times of India, retrieved 20 dec 2020.
- The gazette of India, 2,24 (2019 ), http://www.egazatte.nic.in, the
government of India -209629_pdf.
- Indian kanoon, http://Indiankanoon.org. ( last visited on 18 dec, 2020 )