India is a Parliamentary Democratic Republic. It is based on the federal structure of government to ensure the proper implementation of this features, a proper verification of the functions of our administration is required. This helps in the transparency of the Indian administration. For this purpose there is a provision in our constitution. Under art.19(1)(a). right to information is fundamental right and is an aspect of article 19(1)(a) of the Indian constitution.
RTI ACT 2005:
The right to information is an act of the parliament of India to set out the rules and procedures regarding citizens’ right to information. It replaced the former Freedom of information act 2002.
BACKGROUND OF THE ACT
- In the 1986, in the famous case of Mr. Kulwal vs Jaipur municipal corporation, supreme court stated that right to freedom and expression under article 19 implies the right to information.
- In 1994, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanagathan (MKSS), an organization for workers rights, started a campaign for right to information and demanded for information regarding rural development for information regarding rural development works in Rajasthan these demands lead to the enactment of right to information act in by 2000 Rajasthan’s legislative assembly
- Meanwhile in 1997 Tamil Nadu became the first state in India to have passed a law in right to information.
- In 2000, the new coalition govt. to implement its national agenda on governance, introduced the freedom of information bill,200 and this bill was finally passed in 2002.
- In 2014,the national advisory council appointed by UPA government, recommended changes to the existing freedom of information act,2002. then RTI bill 2004 was tabled at parliament as applicable only to union government
- Then many protests started as most of the information required by the common was from state governments.
Finally, right to information act 2005 was passed with 150 Amendments.
OBJECTIVE OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT:
“The basic object of the right to information act is to empower the citizens promote transparency and accountability in the working of the government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments more accountable to the governed. The act is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the activities of the government”.
According to this, the citizen can request for information from any public office which is required to reply expeditiously or within 30days. In case of matter involving a petitioner’s life and liberty, the information has to be provided within 48 hours.
- In first 10 years of the commencement of act over 1,75,000 applications had been field.
- Every day on an average, over 4800 RTI applications are field.
Right to information in India is governed by 2 bodies.
1.CIC (Chief Information Commission)
2.SIC (State Information Commission)
1.CIC-President appoints the chief Information Commission on the recommendations advice of Cabinet Ministers &Prime Minister. He/ she enjoys the powers of Code of Civil Procedure. CICs heads all the central departments and ministries with their own Public Information Officers.
2.SIC (State Information Commission)-State Public Information Officers or SPIOs head over all the state department and ministers. They are appointed by the Governors of respective states.
State and Central Information Commissions are independent bodies and Central Information Commission has no jurisdiction over the State Information Commission.