RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     15th June 2024        

Context: The Central Information Commission (CIC) recently upheld the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s response to an RTI query regarding instances where the former President of India returned decisions by the Prime Minister or Union Council of Ministers for reconsideration.

Right to Information Act

  • About: The RTI Act, enacted by the Parliament of India, delineates the regulations and protocols governing citizens' access to information. 
  • Replaced by: Freedom of Information Act, 2002.
  • Features
  • Time Limit for Providing Information: 30 days from the day of application.

o2 days for information concerning life or liberty of a person.

  • Penalties: 250/day up to a maximum of 25000 for:

oNot accepting an application.

oDelaying information without reasonable cause.

oKnowingly giving incomplete, incorrect or misleading information.

oDestroying the requested information.

  • Fundamental Right: RTI has been given the status of a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution.
  • Exemptions: The Act, although advocating transparency, incorporates exemptions to disclosure, encompassing categories such as data concerning national security, privacy of individuals, and information pertinent to ongoing investigations.
  • Fees: Public authorities are entitled to levy fees for furnishing information, with the fee framework established by the government, contingent on the information's nature and the mode of access, be it paper-based or electronic.
  • Power to impose penalty: The CIC and the State Information Commission.
  • Name of bills: During his tenure as former President of India gave assent to some important Bills which included the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019; Triple Talaq Bill; amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019; Citizenship Amendment Bill; and three farm Bills among others.

Central Information Commission

  • About: It is a statutory body constituted under Section 12 of the RTI Act, with effect from October 2005.
  • Composition: It consists of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and such number of Commissioners not exceeding 10 as may be deemed necessary.
  • Function: To receive and inquire into a complaint from any person regarding information requested under RTI, 2005. The Commission can order an inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
output themes