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An Insight on Business

Regulations.

Business Administration Department.


Unit 3: INFORMATION LAWS AND RTE (10)
• Right to Information Act, 2005: Objectives
of the RTI Act, Scope, SuoMoto disclosure,
Method of seeking information, Eligibility to
obtain information, Authorities under the
Act,.
• Right to Education Act: Objectives of the
RTE Act – Salient Features.
Indian Citizens
• ‘Democracy requires an informed citizenry and
transparency of information which are vital to its
functioning and also to contain corruption and to
hold Governments and their instrumentalities
accountable to the governed’
What does Right to Information mean?
Right to Information (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India to
provide for setting out the practical regime of right to
information for citizens and replaces the previous Freedom of
information Act, 2002.
Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request
information from a "public authority" (a body of Government
or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply
expeditiously or within thirty days.
The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their
records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain
categories of information so that the citizens need minimum
recourse to request for information formally.
This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came
fully into force on 12 October 2005. The first application was
given to a Pune police station. Information disclosure in India
was restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various
other special laws, which the new RTI Act relaxes. It codifies a
fundamental right of citizens.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION AND
OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC
AUTHORITIES
• -(1) Every public authority shall–
(a) maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form
which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records
that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time and
subject to availability of resources, computerized and connected through a
network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is
facilitated;
(b) publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,--
• (i) the particulars of its organization, functions and duties;
• (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees;
• (iii) the procedure followed in the 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, held by it or under its
control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;
• (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are 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 its
policy or implementation thereof;
• (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies
consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose
of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils,
committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such
meetings are accessible for 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 of beneficiaries of such programmes;
• (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations
granted by it;
• (xiv) details in respect 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;
(xvii) such other information as may be prescribed,
and thereafter update these publications every
year; (c) publish all relevant facts while
formulating important policies on announcing the
decisions which affect public; (d) provide reasons
for its administrative or quasi judicial decisions to
affected persons.
(2) It shall be a constant Endeavour of every public
authority to take steps in accordance with the
requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) to
provide a means of communications, including
internet, so that the public have minimum resort
to the use of this Act to obtain information.
Objective of the 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.
• Curb corruption.
• 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 of governance.
• Make the government more accountable.
• The Act is a big step towards making the citizens
informed about the activities of the Government.
Scope of RTI
• The Act covers the whole of India except Jammu and
Kashmir, where J&K Right to Information Act is in
force.
• It covers all constitutional authorities, including the
executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or
body established or constituted by an act of
Parliament or a state legislature.
• It is also defined in the Act that bodies or authorities
established or constituted by order or notification of
appropriate government including bodies "owned,
controlled or substantially financed" by government,
or non-Government organizations "substantially
financed, directly or indirectly by funds"
SuoMoto disclosure
Suo Moto Law and Legal Definition
• Suo moto is a Latin term meaning "on its own
motion". It is used in situations where a
government or court official acts of its own
initiative.
• It is a special power of High Courts and the
Supreme court of India to initiate a hearing by
itself without anybody filing any appeal or writ
petition or PIL. When court feels that a matter
requires serious and immediate legal
intervention, it acts Suo Motu.
• "Suo Motu" is a the term give to the action taken by an
authority on its own will. The Judiciary usually takes action
once a case or cause is brought before it by a party. For
example I file a case against a hospital that they did not admit
a case of accident due to which the patient died.

• But if suppose the court comes to know about a news report


where a hospital is exposed for its illegitimate practice of not
admitting emergency patients then the court may take action
on its own and call for the management of the hospital to
answers as to why they are doing so.

The court usually takes suo motu action in case of gross


negligence on part of public authorities and government. Or in
case where it thinks that it is necessary to do so.
• Suo Motu Disclosure –
• The Act makes it obligatory for every
public authority to make suo-motu
disclosure in respect of the particulars of
its organization, functions, duties etc.
• as provided in section 4 of the Act.
Besides, some public authorities under
the Central Government have published
other information and have posted them
on their websites.
Exemptions from Disclosure.
• The right to seek information from a public authority is
not absolute. Sections 8 and 9 of the. Act enumerate
the categories of information which are exempt from
disclosure.
• At the same time Schedule II of the Act contains the
names of the Intelligence and Security Organizations
which are exempt from the purview of the Act. The
exemption of the organizations, however, does not
cover supply of information relating to allegations of
corruption and human rights violations.
• The applicants should abstain from seeking
information which is exempt under Section 8 and 9 and
also from the organizations included in the Second
Schedule except information relating to allegations of
corruption and human rights violations.
Method of seeking information
A citizen who 'desires to obtain any information
under the Act, should make an application to
the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of
the concerned public authority in writing in
English or Hindi or in the official language of the
area in which the application is made.
The applicant can send the application by post or
through electronic means or can deliver it
personally in the office of the public authority.
The application can also be sent through a
Central Assistant Public Information Officer
appointed by the Department of Post at sub-
divisional level or other sub-district level.
First Appeal - Not received response within in prescribed 30
days or 48 hours/Not Satisfied - officer senior in rank to the
CPIO Appellate authority – Has to Disclose information with
in 30 days or 45 days in exceptional cases

Second Appeal - Not received response within in prescribed


30 days or Not Satisfied from Sr.Officer of CPIO you can
make an appeal to Central Information commission (Within
90 days)
Step 1: Identify the public authority
which holds the information
The first thing you will need to do is identify which
public authority holds the information you want.
If you are not certain who that is, make a list of
the possible public authorities who you think
might deal with the information and then
consider the one most likely to have it.
For example: If you want to know how much money
was allocated to construct a bylane in your
colony/neighbourhood, you would need to submit
an application to the local municipal corporation
responsible for roads and public works in your
area
Step 2: Identify who to submit your application
to within the public authority
• Once you have identified the public authority
that holds the information you want, you will
need to decide who to submit the application
to. You should be able to get a list of Public
Information Officers (PIOs) and Assistant
Public Information Officers (APIOs) appointed
in each department from the relevant
department website or by contacting the
department directly and asking them for
guidance
Step 3: Draft a clearly focused application
• You can make a written or electronic application
in English, Hindi or in the official language of your
area.32 When writing out your application, it is
important that you draft your request in a clear
and concise way. It is absolutely essential that you
make your request as specific as possible so that
you get the information you want and avoid
getting loads of documents you do not want and
which you may have to pay for. It is important to
draft your application in specific terms so that the
PIO cannot return it on the grounds that it was
too vague or difficult to understand.
Step 4: Submit your application
• After completing the application, you need to send it to:
The PIO in the public authority which has the information
you want; or The APIO located at the sub-district or sub-
divisional level near you, who is then under a duty to
forward your application to the relevant PIO. You can
submit your application in person or send it by post, fax or
email. If you are sending your application by post you
should send it by registered post or under certificate of
posting (UCP) so that you have proof of postage and the
PIO cannot deny that he/she never received the application.
If you are submitting your application in person, always
make sure to ask for a receipt for the application. The
acknowledgment should indicate the time and date when
the application was received, where it was received and
who received it. (People who are “Below the Poverty Line”
pay no fees)
Step 5: Wait for a decision
• Once the PIO receives your application, complete with the
application fee, he/she is required to process it as fast as
possible but no later than 30 days from the date on which
he/she receives the application.37 If an APIO passed the
application on, another 5 days gets added to this
timeline.38 However, where the information requested is
vital to ensuring the life or liberty of a person, a decision
has to be made within 48 hours.39 For example, if a person
is picked up by the police without an arrest warrant or an
arrest memo, his family, friends or even a concerned third
person can ask for his whereabouts from the PIO of the
police department and a response must be made within 2
days. Where such an application is made, it is good practice
to include in the application an explanation as to why you
think the application relates to “life or liberty” so the PIO
does not delay assessing your application.
Fee for Seeking Information
• 15. The applicant may also be required to pay further
fee towards the cost of providing the information,
details of which shall be intimated to the applicant by
the CPIO as prescribed by the Right to
Information(Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005.
• 16. If the applicant belongs to below poverty line (BPL)
category, he is not required to pay any fee. However, he
should submit a proof in support of his claim to belong
the below poverty line. The application not
accompanied by the prescribed fee of Rs. 10/- or proof
of the applicant’s belonging to below poverty line, as
the case may be, shall not be a valid application under
the Act and therefore, does not entitle the applicant to
get information.
First Appeal
If an applicant is not supplied information within the
prescribed time of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case
may be, or is not satisfied with the information
furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first
appellate authority who is an officer senior in rank to
the CPIO. Such an appeal, should be filed within a
period of thirty days from the date on which the limit of
30 days of supply of information is expired or from the
date on which the information or decision of the CPIO
is received.
The appellate authority of the public authority shall
dispose of the appeal within a period of thirty days or
in exceptional cases within 45 days of the receipt of the
appeal
Second Appeal
If the appellate authority fails to pass an order
on the appeal within the prescribed period or
if the appellant is not satisfied with the order
of the first appellate authority, he may prefer
a second appeal with the Central Information
Commission within ninety days from the date
on which the decision should have been made
by the first appellate authority or was actually
received by the appellant.
The appeal made to the Central Information
Commission should contain the following information
(i) Name and address of the appellant; (ii) Name and address of the
Central Public Information Officer against the decision of whom
the appeal is preferred; (iii) Particulars of the order including
number, if any, against which the appeal is preferred; (iv) Brief
facts leading to the appeal; (v) If the appeal is preferred against
deemed refusal, particulars of the application, including number
and date and name and address of the Central Public Information
Officer to whom the application was made: (vi) Prayer or relief
sought; (vii) Grounds for prayer or relief: (viii) Verification by the
appellant; and (ix) Any other information, which the Commission
may deem necessary for deciding the appeal.
6. The appeal made to the Central Information Commission should be
accompanied by the following documents: (i) Self-attested copies
of the orders or documents against which appeal is made; (ii)
Copies of the documents relied upon by the appellant and referred
to in the appeal; and (iii) An index of the documents referred to in
the appeal.
Eligibility to obtain information
• In summation, information can be
sought under the Act, by -
- a citizen of India as a person
- OCI or PIO card holder
- any functionary in his personal
capacity
- a person representing a group of
individuals like an association, HUF
etc
Eligibility to obtain information
• Any citizen can ask for information under these
laws.The Act extends to the whole of India except
the State of Jammu and Kashmir. OCI's (Overseas
Citizens of India) and PIO's (Persons of Indian
Origin) card holders can also ask for information
under the RTI Act.
• For citizens, OCI's and PIO's who are staying out
of India, the RTI Application can be filed with the
PIO of the local Indian Embassy/Consulate/High
Commission and they will inform you regarding
the amount of application fee in local currency as
well as the mode of payment.
• Irrespective of the nature of the job a person may be
performing as far as a person is a citizen of India
he/she shall have the right to information subject to
the provisions of RTI Act. ALL citizens are entitled for
information under RTI, which included employees.
Same is clear from S. 6(1). It starts with non obstinate
clause 'A person'. So it is the person matters not the
employability or employee.
• The application/ appeal from an Association or a
Partnership Firm or a Hindu Undivided Family or from
some other group of individuals constituting as a body
or otherwise is to be accepted and allowed. Kolkata
high court has allowed use of post box in filing RTI
which shall enable contact of a user with the authority
without revealing personal details of the information
seeker. You do not need to worry about your safety
when Post Box is there.
Authorities under the Act
• The RTI act lays down that all ‘public authorities’ have to provide
information to the Citizen. Public authority has been defined by Section 2
(h) of the act as follows:
“h) public authority means any authority or body or institution of self
government established or constituted,—
(a) by or under the Constitution ;
(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
(c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government,
and includes any--
(i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
(ii) non-Government organization substantially financed,
directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;”
Effectively a) , b) and c) and d) mean any authority or body which we
consider as Government in common parlance- all Ministries and their
departments, Municipal Bodies, Panchayats, and so on. This also includes
Courts, Universities, UPSC, Public Sector Undertakings like Nationalised
Banks, LIC, and UTI amongst others.
All Stock Exchanges and SEBI are Public authorities and subject to RTI.
Important Web-sites 29. Given below are the
addresses of some important web-sites which
contain substantial informatipn relevant to the
right to information:
(i) Portal of the Government of India
(http://indiaimage.nic.in).
(ii) Portal on the Right to Information
(www.rti.gov.in).
(iii) Website of the Central Information
Commission (http://cic.gov.in).
THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION ACT
• The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
Education Act' or 'Right to Education Act also
known as RTE', is an Act of the Parliament of
India enacted on 4 August 2009, which
describes the modalities of the importance of
free and compulsory education for children
between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of
the Indian Constitution. India became one of
135 countries to make education a
fundamental right of every child when the act
came into force on 1 April 2010
• The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words
‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means
that no child, other than a child who has been
admitted by his or her parents to a school
which is not supported by the appropriate
Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of
fee or charges or expenses which may prevent
him or her from pursuing and completing
elementary education.
The Act has the following major provisions
• Every child between the age of six to fourteen years, shall have the
right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school, till
completion of elementary education.
• For this purpose, no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or
charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing
and completing elementary education.
• Where a child above six years of age has not been admitted to any
school or though admitted, could not complete his or her
elementary education, then, he or she shall be admitted in a class
appropriate to his or her age.
• For carrying out the provisions of this Act, the appropriate
government and local authority shall establish a school, if it is not
established, within the given area, within a period of three years,
from the commencement of this Act.
• The Central and the State Governments shall have concurrent
responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of
this Act
This Act is an essential step towards improving each
child's accessibility to secondary and higher
education. The Act also contains specific
provisions for disadvantaged groups, such as child
laborers', migrant children, children with special
needs, or those who have a disadvantage owing
to social, cultural, economical, geographical,
linguistic, gender or any such factor. With the
implementation of this Act, it is also expected
that issues of school drop out, out-of-school
children, quality of education and availability of
trained teachers would be addressed in the short
to medium term plans.
Salient Features of the Right to Education Act, 2009

• Every child in the age group of 6-14 has the


right to free and compulsory education in a
neighborhood school, till the completion of
elementary education
• Private schools will have to take 25% of their
class strength from the weaker section and the
disadvantaged group of the society through a
random selection process. Government will
fund education of these children.
• No seats in this quota can be left vacant. These children
will be treated on par with all the other children in the
school and subsidized by the State at the rate of
average per learner costs in the government schools
(unless the per learner costs in the private school are
lower).
• All schools will have to prescribe to norms and
standards laid out in the Act and no school that does
not fulfill these standards within 3 years will be allowed
to function. All private schools will have to apply for
recognition, failing which they will be penalized to the
tune of Rs 1 lakh and if they still continue to function
will be liable to pay Rs 10,000 per day as fine. Norms
and standards of teacher qualification and training are
also being laid down by an Academic Authority.
Teachers in all schools will have to subscribe to these
norms within 5 years.
• No donation and capitation fee is allowed.
• No admission test or interview either for child or parents.
• No child can be held back, expelled and required to pass the
board examination till the completion of elementary
education.
• There is provision for establishment of commissions to
supervise the implementation of the act.
• A fixed student and teacher ratio is to be maintained.
• All schools have to adhere to rules and regulations laid
down in this act, failing which the school will not be allowed
to function. Three years moratorium period has been
provided to school to implement all that is required of
them.
• Norms for teachers training and qualifications are also
clearly mentioned in the act.
• All schools except private unaided schools are to be
managed by School management Committees with 75% of
parents and guardians as members.
Who is Monitoring RTE
• The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
(NCPCR) has been mandated to monitor the
implementation of this historic Right. A special Division
within NCPCR will undertake this huge and important
task in the coming months and years. A special toll free
helpline to register complaints will be set up by NCPCR
for this purpose. NCPCR welcomes the formal
notification of this Act and looks forward to playing an
active role in ensuring its successful implementation
• NCPCR also invites all civil society groups, students,
teachers, administrators, artists, writers, government
personnel, legislators, members of the judiciary and all
other stakeholders to join hands and work together to
build a movement to ensure that every child of this
country is in school and enabled to get at least 8 years
of quality education.