It comes into force on the 12th October, 2005 (120th day of its enactment on 15th June, 2005). Some provisions have come into force with immediate effect viz. obligations of public authorities [S.4(1)], designation of Public Information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers[S.5(1) and 5(2)], constitution of Central Information Commission (S.12 and 13), constitution of State Information Commission (S.15 and 16), non-applicability of the Act to Intelligence and Security Organizations (S.24) and power to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act (S.27 and 28).
The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. [S.(12)]
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 notings" [S.2(f)].
It includes the right to
It shall publish within one hundred and twenty days of the enactment:
The following is exempt from disclosure [S.8)]
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]
It means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted: [S.2(h)]
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 Center, 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)]
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]
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.
The Appointments Committee will be headed by the Chief Minister. Other members include the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and one Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister. The qualifications for appointment as SCIC/SIC shall be the same as that for Central Commissioners. The salary of the State Chief Information Commissioner will be the same as that of an Election Commissioner. The salary of the State Information Commissioner will be the same as that of the Chief Secretary of the State Government. (S.15)
Every PIO will be liable for fine of Rs. 250 per day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000/-, for
Lower Courts are barred from entertaining suits or applications against any order made under this Act. (S.23) However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts under Articles 32 and 225 of the Constitution remains unaffected.
Central Government, State Governments and the Competent Authority as defined in S.2(e) are vested with powers to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005. (S.27 & S.28)
If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions in the Act, the Central Government may, by Order published in the Official Gazette, make provisions necessary/expedient for removing the difficulty. (S.30)