THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

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THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION
ACT, 2005

No. 22 of 2005

[15th June, 2005]

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens
to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order
to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every
public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and
State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Whereas the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic;

And whereas 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;

And whereas revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict
with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use
of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;

And whereas it is necessary to harmonise these conflicting interests while
preserving the paramountcy of the democratic ideal;

Now, therefore, it is expedient to provide for furnishing certain information to
citizens who desire to have it.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—

CHAPTER I

Preliminary

1 (1)   This Act may be
called the Right to Information Act, 2005.
(2)   It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3)   The provisions of sub-section
(1) of section 4, sub-sections (1) and
(2) of
section 5, sections 12, 13, 15,16, 24 , 27 and 28 shall come into force at once, and
the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on the one hundred and twentieth
day of its enactment.
2   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
  (a) “appropriate Government” means in relation to a public authority which
is established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by
funds provided directly or indirectly—
  (i)  by the Central Government or the Union territory administration,
the Central Government;
(ii) by the State Government, the State Government;
(b) “Central Information Commission” means the Central Information
Commission constituted under sub-section (1) of section 12;
(c) “Central Public Information Officer” means the Central Public
Information Officer designated under sub-section
(1) and includes a Central Assistant Public Information Officer designated as such under sub-section
(2) of section 5;
(d) “Chief Information Commissioner” and “Information Commissioner”
mean the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner appointed
under sub-section (3) of section 12;
(e) “competent authority” means—
  (i) the Speaker in the case of the House of the People or the
Legislative Assembly of a State or a Union territory having such Assembly and the
Chairman in the case of the Council of States or Legislative Council of a State;
(ii) the Chief Justice of India in the case of the Supreme Court;
(iii) the Chief Justice of the High Court in the case of a High Court;
(iv) the President or the Governor, as the case may be, in the case of
other authorities established or constituted by or under the Constitution;
(v) the administrator appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
(f) “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;
(g) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act by the
appropriate Government or the competent authority, as the case may be;
(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;

(i)

“record”
includes—

  (a) any document, manuscript and file;
(b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;
(c) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such
microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and
(d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device;
(j) “right to information” means the right to information accessible under
this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes
the right to—
  (i) inspection of work, documents, records;
(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
(iii) taking certified samples of material;
(iv)  obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes,
video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where
such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;
(k)  “State Information Commission” means the State Information
Commission constituted under sub-section (1) of section 15;
(l)  “State Chief Information Commissioner” and “State
Information Commissioner” mean the State Chief Information Commissioner and the
State Information Commissioner appointed under sub-section
(3) of section 15;
(m) “State Public Information Officer” means the State Public Information
Officer designated under sub-section (1) and includes a State Assistant Public
Information Officer designated as such under sub-section
(2) of section 5;
(n) “third party” means a person other than the citizen making a request
for information and includes a public authority.

CHAPTER II

Right to information and obligations of public authorities

3 Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.
4 (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 computerised are, within a reasonable time
and subject to availability of resources, computerised 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 organisation, 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 or
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 as much
information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications,
including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.
(3) For the purposes of sub-section
(1), every information shall be
disseminated widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public.
(4) All materials shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost effectiveness,
local language and the most effective method of communication in that local area and the
information should be easily accessible, to the extent possible in electronic format with
the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may
be, available free or at such cost of the medium or the print cost price as may be prescribed.
Explanation.—For the purposes of sub-sections
(3) and (4), “disseminated”
means making known or communicated the information to the public through notice
boards, newspapers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means,
including inspection of offices of any public authority.
5  (1) Every public authority shall, within one hundred days of the enactment of
this Act, designate as many officers as the Central Public Information Officers or State
Public Information Officers, as the case may be, in all administrative units or offices under it as
may be necessary to provide information to persons requesting for the information under
this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section
(1), every public authority shall designate an officer, within one hundred days of the enactment of this Act, at each
sub-divisional level or other sub-district level as a Central Assistant Public Information
Officer or a State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, to receive the
applications for information or appeals under this Act for forwarding the same forthwith to the
Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or senior officer
specified under sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the
State Information Commission, as the case may be:
Provided that where an application for information or appeal is given to a
Central Assistant Public Information Officer or a State Assistant Public Information Officer, as
the case may be, a period of five days shall be added in computing the period for response
specified under sub-section (1) of section 7.
(3)

Every Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as
the case may be, shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and render
reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such information.

(4)

The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as
the case may be, may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it
necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.

(5) Any officer, whose assistance has been sought under sub-section
(4), shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer,
as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention
of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public
Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.
6 (1)

A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make
a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official
language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying such fee as may
be prescribed, to—

  (a) the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer,
as the case may be, of the concerned public authority;
(b) the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant
Public Information Officer, as the case may be,
specifying the particulars of the information sought by him or her:

Provided that where such request cannot be made in writing, the Central
Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall render
all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing.

(2)

An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give
any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be
necessary for contacting him.

(3) Where an application is made to a public authority requesting for an information,—
  (i) which is held by another public authority; or
(ii) the subject matter of which is more closely connected with the functions
of another public authority,
the public authority, to which such application is made, shall transfer the application
or such part of it as may be appropriate to that other public authority and inform the
applicant immediately about such transfer:

Provided that the transfer of an application pursuant to this sub-section shall be
made as soon as practicable but in no case later than five days from the date of receipt of
the application.

7 (1)

 Subject to the proviso to sub-section
(2) of section 5 or the proviso to sub-section
(3) of section 6, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, as expeditiously
as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide
the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of
the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9:

Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a
person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.

(2)

If the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as
the case may be, fails to give decision on the request for information within the period
specified under sub-section (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have refused the request.

(3) Where a decision is taken to provide the information on payment of any further
fee representing the cost of providing the information, the Central Public Information Officer
or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall send an intimation to the
person making the request, giving—
  (a)

the details of further fees representing the cost of providing the
information as determined by him, together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount
in accordance with fee prescribed under sub-section
(1), requesting him to deposit that fees, and the period intervening between the despatch of the said intimation
and payment of fees shall be excluded for the purpose of calculating the period of
thirty days referred to in that sub-section;

(b) information concerning his or her right with respect to review the
decision as to the amount of fees charged or the form of access provided, including the
particulars of the appellate authority, time limit, process and any other forms.
(4)

Where access to the record or a part thereof is required to be provided under
this Act and the person to whom access is to be provided is sensorily disabled, the
Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be,
shall provide assistance to enable access to the information, including providing such
assistance as may be appropriate for the inspection.

(5)

Where access to information is to be provided in the printed or in any
electronic format, the applicant shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section
(6), pay such fee as may be prescribed:

Provided that the fee prescribed under sub-section
(1) of section 6 and sub-sections (1) and
(5) of section 7 shall be reasonable and no such fee shall be
charged from the persons who are of below poverty line as may be determined by the
appropriate Government.

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section
(5), the person making
request for the information shall be provided the information free of charge where a
public authority fails to comply with the time limits specified in sub-section
(1).
(7) Before taking any decision under sub-section
(1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall take into
consideration the representation made by a third party under section 11.
(8) Where a request has been rejected under sub-section
(1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall
communicate to the person making the request,—
  (i)

the reasons for such rejection;

(ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be
preferred; and
(iii) the particulars of the appellate authority.
(9) An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought
unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental
to the safety or preservation of the record in question.
8  (1)

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation
to give any citizen,—

  (a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the
sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of
the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;
(b)

information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by
any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;

(c) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege
of Parliament or the State Legislature;
(d) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or
intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third
party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants
the disclosure of such information;

(e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless
the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the
disclosure of such information;

(f)  information received in confidence from foreign Government;
(g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or
physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given
in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
(h) information which would impede the process of investigation or
apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
(i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of
Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:

Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof,
and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public
after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over:

Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in
this section shall not be disclosed;

(j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which
has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause
unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information
Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be,
is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information:
Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a
State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.
(2)


Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of
the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public
authority may allow access to information, if public interest in
disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

(3) Subject to the provisions of clauses
(a), (c) and (i) of sub-section
(1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred
or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under secton 6
shall be provided to any person making a request under that
section:

Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period
of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be
final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act.

9 Without prejudice to the provisions of section 8, a Central Public Information
Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may reject a request for
information where such a request for providing access would involve an infringement of
copyright subsisting in a person other than the State.
10 (1)

Where a request for access to information is rejected on the ground that it is
in relation to information which is exempt from disclosure, then, notwithstanding
anything contained in this Act, access may be provided to that part of the record which does
not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure under this Act and which
can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempt information.

(2)

Where access is granted to a part of the record under sub-section
(1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall
give a notice to the applicant, informing—

  (a) that only part of the record requested, after severance of the record
containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided;
(b) the reasons for the decision, including any
findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on
which those findings were based;
(c) the name and designation of the person giving the decision;
(d) 

the details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee
which the applicant is required to deposit; and

(e) his or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding
non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of
access provided, including the particulars of the senior officer specified under
sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the State
Information Commission, as the case may be, time limit, process and any other form of access.
11  (1)

Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information
Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on
a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and
has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer
or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the
receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that
the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may
be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party
to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be
disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision
about disclosure of information:

Provided that except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by
law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance
any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party.

(2) Where a notice is served by the Central Public Information Officer or State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under sub-section
(1) to a third party in respect of any information or record or part thereof, the third party shall, within ten days from the
date of receipt of such notice, be given the opportunity to make representation against
the proposed disclosure.
(3)  Notwithstanding anything contained in section 7, the Central Public
Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within forty days
after receipt of the request under section 6, if the third party has been given an opportunity
to make representation under sub-section
(2), make a decision as to whether or not to
disclose the information or record or part thereof and give in writing the notice of his decision to
the third party.
(4) A notice given under sub-section
(3) shall include a statement that the third
party to whom the notice is given is entitled to prefer an appeal under section 19 against
the decision.

CHAPTER III

The Central Information
Commission

12 (1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,
constitute a body to be known as the Central Information Commission to exercise the powers
conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
(2) The Central Information Commission shall consist of—
  (a)

 the Chief Information Commissioner; and

(b) such number of Central Information Commissioners, not exceeding ten,
as may be deemed necessary.
(3)

The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall
be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of—

  (i) the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee;
(ii) the Leader of Opposition in the Lok
Sabha; and
(iii) a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
Explanation.—For the purposes of removal of doubts, it is hereby declared
that where the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People has not been recognised as
such, the Leader of the single largest group in opposition of the Government in the House of
the People shall be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition.
(4)

 The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the
Central Information Commission shall vest in the Chief Information Commissioner who shall
be assisted by the Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do
all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Central Information
Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.

(5) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall
be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science
and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration
and governance.
(6)

The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not
be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union territory, as
the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party
or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.

(7) The headquarters of the Central Information Commission shall be at Delhi and
the Central Information Commission may, with the previous approval of the Central
Government, establish offices at other places in India.
13  (1)

The Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five
years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall not be eligible for reappointment:

Provided that no Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office as such after
he has attained the age of sixty-five years.

(2)

Every Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years
from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of sixty-five
years, whichever is earlier, and shall not be eligible for reappointment as such
Information Commissioner:

Provided that every Information Commissioner shall, on vacating his office under
this sub-section be eligible for appointment as the Chief Information Commissioner in the
manner specified in sub-section (3) of section 12:

Provided further that where the Information Commissioner is appointed as the
Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five years in
aggregate as the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner.

(3)

The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall
before he enters upon his office make and subscribe before the President or some other
person appointed by him in that behalf, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for
the purpose in the First Schedule.

(4) The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner may,
at any time, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign from his office:
Provided that the Chief Information Commissioner or an Information
Commissioner may be removed in the manner specified under section 14.
(5) The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of
service of —
  (a)

the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the
Chief Election Commissioner;

(b) an Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of an
Election Commissioner:
Provided that if the Chief Information Commissioner or an Information
Commissioner, at the time of his appointment is, in receipt of a pension, other than a disability or
wound pension, in respect of any previous service under the Government of India or under
the Government of a State, his salary in respect of the service as the Chief
Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall be reduced by the amount of
that pension including any portion of pension which was commuted and pension equivalent
of other forms of retirement benefits excluding pension equivalent of retirement gratuity:
Provided further that if the Chief Information Commissioner or an
Information Commissioner if, at the time of his appointment is, in receipt of retirement benefits in
respect of any previous service rendered in a Corporation established by or under any Central Act
or State Act or a Government company owned or controlled by the Central Government
or the State Government, his salary in respect of the service as the Chief
Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall be reduced by the amount of
pension equivalent to the retirement benefits:
Provided also that the salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of
the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners shall not be varied
to their disadvantage after their appointment.
(6) The Central Government shall provide the Chief Information Commissioner
and the Information Commissioners with such officers and employees as may be necessary
for the efficient performance of their functions under this Act, and the salaries and
allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees
appointed for the purpose of this Act shall be such as may be prescribed.
14 (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section
(3), the Chief Information Commissioner or any Information Commissioner shall be removed from his office only
by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the
Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the
Chief Information Commissioner or any Information Commissioner, as the case may be, ought
on such ground be removed.
(2) The President may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also
from attending the office during inquiry, the Chief Information Commissioner or
Information Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court
under sub-section (1) until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the
Supreme Court on such reference.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section
(1), the President may by order remove from office the Chief Information Commissioner or any Information
Commissioner if the Chief Information Commissioner or a Information Commissioner, as the case
may be,—
(a)

is adjudged an insolvent; or

(b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the
President, involves moral turpitude; or
(c) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the
duties of his office; or
(d) is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason
of infirmity of mind or body; or
(e) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect
prejudicially his functions as the Chief Information Commissioner or a Information Commissioner.
(4)  If the Chief Information Commissioner or a Information Commissioner in
any way, concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of
the Government of India or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit
or emolument arising there from otherwise than as a member and in common with the
other members of an incorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section
(1), be deemed to be guilty of misbehavior.

CHAPTER IV

The State Information Commission

15 (1) Every State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,
constitute a body to be known as the ……… (name of the State) Information Commission to exercise
the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
(2)

 The State Information Commission shall consist of—

  (a) the State Chief Information Commissioner, and
(b) such number of State Information Commissioners, not exceeding ten,
as may be deemed necessary.
(3) The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State
Information Commissioners shall be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a
committee consisting of—
  (i)

 the Chief Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee;

(ii)  the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly; and
(iii) a Cabinet Ministrer to be nominated by the Chief Minister.
Explanation.—For the purposes of removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that
where the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly has not been recognised as such,
the Leader of the single largest group in opposition of the Government in the Legislative
Assembly shall be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition.
(4) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the
State Information Commission shall vest in the State Chief Information Commissioner who
shall be assisted by the State Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers
and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the State
Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other
authority under this Act.
(5) The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State
Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge
and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism,
mass media or administration and governance.
(6) The State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information
Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or
Union territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any
political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.
(7) The headquarters of the State Information Commission shall be at such place
in the State as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify
and the State Information Commission may, with the previous approval of the State
Government, establish offices at other places in the State.
16 (1)

 The State Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five
years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall not be eligible for reappointment:

Provided that no State Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office as such
after he has attained the age of sixty-five years.
(2)

Every State Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five
years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of sixty-five
years, whichever is earlier, and shall not be eligible for reappointment as such State
Information Commissioner:

Provided that every State Information Commissioner shall, on vacating his
office under this sub-section, be eligible for appointment as the State Chief
Information Commissioner in the manner specified in sub-section
(3) of section 15:
Provided further that where the State Information Commissioner is appointed as
the State Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five
years in aggregate as the State Information Commissioner and the State Chief
Information Commissioner.
(3) The State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information
Commissioner, shall before he enters upon his office make and subscribe before the Governor or
some other person appointed by him in that behalf, an oath or affirmation according to the
form set out for the purpose in the First Schedule.
(4)

The State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information
Commissioner may, at any time, by writing under his hand addressed to the Governor, resign from
his office:

Provided that the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State
Information Commissioner may be removed in the manner specified under section 17.
(5)

The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of
service of—

  (a) the State Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of
an Election Commissioner;
(b)

the State Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the
Chief Secretary to the State Government:

Provided that if the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State
Information Commissioner, at the time of his appointment is, in receipt of a pension, other than a
disability or wound pension, in respect of any previous service under the Government of India
or under the Government of a State, his salary in respect of the service as the State
Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner shall be reduced by
the amount of that pension including any portion of pension which was commuted and
pension equivalent of other forms of retirement benefits excluding pension equivalent of
retirement gratuity:
Provided further that where the State Chief Information Commissioner or a
State Information Commissioner if, at the time of his appointment is, in receipt of
retirement benefits in respect of any previous service rendered in a Corporation established by or
under any Central Act or State Act or a Government company owned or controlled by the
Central Government or the State Government, his salary in respect of the service as the State
Chief Information Commissioner or the State Information Commissioner shall be reduced by
the amount of pension equivalent to the retirement benefits:
Provided also that the salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of the
State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall not
be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment.
(6) The State Government shall provide the State Chief Information
Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners with such officers and employees as may
be necessary for the efficient performance of their functions under this Act, and the salaries
and allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of service of the officers and
other employees appointed for the purpose of this Act shall be such as may be prescribed.
17 (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section
(3), the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner shall be removed from his office
only by order of the Governor on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after
the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the Governor, has on inquiry, reported that
the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner, as the
case may be, ought on such ground be removed.
(2) The Governor may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also
from attending the office during inquiry, the State Chief Information Commissioner or a
State Information Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the
Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until the Governor has passed orders on receipt of the report
of the Supreme Court on such reference.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section
(1), the Governor may by order remove from office the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State
Information Commissioner if a State Chief Information Commissioner or a State
Information Commissioner, as the case may be,—
 

(a) is adjudged an insolvent; or

(b)  has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the
Governor, involves moral turpitude; or
(c) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the
duties of his office; or
(d) is, in the opinion of the Governor, unfit to continue in office by reason
of infirmity of mind or body; or
(e) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect
prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State
Information Commissioner.
(4) If the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information
Commissioner in any way, concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the
Government of the State or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit
or emoluments arising therefrom otherwise than as a member and in common with the
other members of an incorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section
(1), be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.

CHAPTER V

Powers and functions of the Information Commissions, appeal and penalties

18 (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the
Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to
receive and inquire into a complaint from any person,—
  (a)  who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public
Information Officer or State Public Information
Officer, as the case may be, either by reason that
no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because the Central
Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information
Officer, as the case may be, has refused to accept his or her application for information or appeal under
this Act for forwarding the same to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer or senior officer specified in sub-section
(1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or
the State Information Commission, as the case may
be;
(b)  who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;
(c) who has not been given a response to a request for information or access
to information within the time limit specified under this Act;
(d) who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she
considers unreasonable;
(e)

who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or
false information under this Act; and

(f) in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access
to records under this Act.
(2)

Where the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission,
as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter,
it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.

(3) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as
the case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same
powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,
in respect of the following matters, namely:—
  (a)

summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them
to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;

(b)  requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d)  requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;
(e)

 issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and

(f)  any other matter which may be prescribed.
(4) Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of Parliament
or State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information Commission or the
State Information Commission, as the case may be, may, during the inquiry of any
complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control
of the public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds.
19  (1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in
sub-section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section
(3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of
the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may
be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such
a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central
Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each
public authority:
Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of
thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from
filing the appeal in time.
(2)  Where an appeal is preferred against an order made by a Central Public
Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under section 11 to
disclose third party information, the appeal by the concerned third party shall be made within
thirty days from the date of the order.
(3)

A second appeal against the decision under sub-section
(1) shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually
received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission:

Provided that the Central Information Commission or the State
Information Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period
of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from
filing the appeal in time.
(4)

 If the decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, against which an appeal is preferred relates to information of
a third party, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as
the case may be, shall give a reasonable opportunity of being heard to that third party.

(5) In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was
justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as
the case may be, who denied the request.
(6) An appeal under sub-section
(1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of
within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a
total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to
be recorded in writing.
(7)

The decision of the Central Information Commission or State
Information Commission, as the case may be, shall be binding.

(8) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State
Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to—
(a) require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary
to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including—
(i) 

by providing access to information, if so requested, in a
particular form;

(ii) by appointing a Central Public Information Officer or State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be;
(iii)  by publishing certain information or categories of information;
(iv) by making necessary changes to its practices in relation to
the maintenance, management and destruction of records;
(v) by enhancing the provision of training on the right to information
for its officials;
(vi)  by providing it with an annual report in compliance with clause
(b) of sub-section (1) of section 4;
(b) 

require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss
or other detriment suffered;

(c) impose any of the penalties provided under this Act;
(d) reject the application.
(9) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as
the case may be, shall give notice of its decision, including any right of appeal, to the
complainant and the public authority.
(10) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as
the case may be, shall decide the appeal in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed.
20 (1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State
Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of
the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information
Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application
for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section
(1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given
incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of
the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a
penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is
furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees:

Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard
before any penalty is imposed on him:

Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and
diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer,
as the case may be.
(2) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information
Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that
the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case
may be, has, without any reasonable cause and persistently, failed to receive an application
for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section
(1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given
incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of
the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall recommend
for disciplinary action against the Central Public Information Officer or the State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under the service rules applicable to him.

CHAPTER VI

Miscellaneous

21 No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person
for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule
made thereunder.
22

The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything
inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time
being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

23 No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of
any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than
by way of an appeal under this Act.
24 (1)  Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the intelligence and
security organisations specified in the Second Schedule, being organisations established by the
Central Government or any information furnished by such organisations to that Government:

Provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and
human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section:

Provided further that in the case of information sought for is in respect of
allegations of violation of human rights, the information shall only be provided after the approval of
the Central Information Commission, and notwithstanding anything contained in section 7,
such information shall be provided within forty-five days from the date of the receipt of request.
(2) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend
the Schedule by including therein any other intelligence or security organisation established by
that Government or omitting therefrom any organisation already specified therein and
on the publication of such notification, such organisation shall be deemed to be included in
or, as the case may be, omitted from the Schedule.
(3) Every notification issued under sub-section
(2) shall be laid before each House of Parliament.
(4) Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to such intelligence and
security organisation being organisations established by the State Government, as that
Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify:
Provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and
human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section:
Provided further that in the case of information sought for is in respect of
allegations of violation of human rights, the information shall only be provided after the approval of
the State Information Commission and, notwithstanding anything contained in section 7,
such information shall be provided within forty-five days from the date of the receipt of request.
(5) Every notification issued under sub-section
(4) shall be laid before the State Legislature.
25 (1) 

The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as
the case may be, shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each year, prepare a report on
the implementation of the provisions of this Act during that year and forward a copy thereof
to the appropriate Government.

(2) Each Ministry or Department shall, in relation to the public authorities within
their jurisdiction, collect and provide such information to the Central Information
Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, as is required to prepare the
report under this section and comply with the requirements concerning the furnishing of
that information and keeping of records for the purposes of this section.
(3) 

Each report shall state in respect of the year to which the report relates,—

(a)  the number of requests made to each public authority;
(b) the number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the
documents pursuant to the requests, the provisions of this Act under which
these decisions were made and the number of times such provisions were invoked;
(c)

 the number of appeals referred to the Central Information Commission
or State Information Commission, as the case may be, for review, the nature of
the appeals and the outcome of the appeals;

(d) particulars of any disciplinary action taken against any officer in respect
of the administration of this Act;
(e) the amount of charges collected by each public authority under this Act;
(f) any facts which indicate an effort by the public authorities to administer
and implement the spirit and intention of this Act;
(g)

 recommendations for reform, including recommendations in respect of the
particular public authorities, for the development, improvement, modernisation,
reform or amendment to this Act or other legislation or common law or any other
matter relevant for operationalising the right to access information.

(4)  The Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may,
as soon as practicable after the end of each year, cause a copy of the report of the
Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be,
referred to in sub-section (1) to be laid before each House of Parliament or, as the case may
be, before each House of the State Legislature, where there are two Houses, and where there
is one House of the State Legislature before that House.
(5)  If it appears to the Central Information Commission or State
Information Commission, as the case may be, that the practice of a public authority in relation to the
exercise of its functions under this Act does not conform with the provisions or spirit of this
Act, it may give to the authority a recommendation specifying the steps which ought in
its opinion to be taken for promoting such conformity.
26 (1)

The appropriate Government may, to the extent of availability of financial
and other resources,—

(a) develop and organise educational programmes to advance the
understanding of the public, in particular of disadvantaged communities as to how to exercise the
rights contemplated under this Act;
(b) encourage public authorities to participate in the development
and organisation of programmes referred to in clause
(a) and to undertake such programmes themselves;
(c) promote timely and effective dissemination of accurate information by
public authorities about their activities; and
(d)

 train Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information
Officers, as the case may be, of public authorities and produce relevant training materials
for use by the public authorities themselves.

(2)  The appropriate Government shall, within eighteen months from the
commencement of this Act, compile in its official language a guide containing such information, in an
easily comprehensible form and manner, as may reasonably be required by a person who wishes
to exercise any right specified in this Act.
(3) The appropriate Government shall, if necessary, update and publish the
guidelines referred to in sub-section (2) at regular intervals which shall, in particular and
without prejudice to the generality of sub-section
(2), include—
(a)

 the objects of this Act;

(b) the postal and street address, the phone and fax number and, if
available, electronic mail address of the Central Public Information Officer or State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be, of every public authority appointed
under sub-section (1) of section 5;
(c) the manner and the form in which request for access to an information
shall be made to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be;
(d) the assistance available from and the duties of the Central Public
Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, of a public
authority under this Act;
(e)

 the assistance available from the Central Information Commission or
State Information Commission, as the case may be;

(f) all remedies in law available regarding an act or failure to act in respect of
a right or duty conferred or imposed by this Act including the manner of filing
an appeal to the Commission;
(g) the provisions providing for the voluntary disclosure of categories of
records in accordance with section 4;
(h) the notices regarding fees to be paid in relation to requests for access to
an information; and
(i)

any additional regulations or circulars made or issued in relation to
obtaining access to an information in accordance with this Act.

(4) The appropriate Government must, if necessary, update and publish the
guidelines at regular intervals.
27 (1) The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2)

In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power,
such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a) the cost of the medium or print cost price of the materials to be
disseminated under sub-section (4) of section 4;
(b) the fee payable under sub-section
(1) of section 6;
(c) the fee payable under sub-sections
(1) and (5) of section 7;
(d)

 the salaries and allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of
service of the officers and other employees under sub-section
(6) of section 13 and sub-section (6) of section 16;

(e) the procedure to be adopted by the Central Information Commission or
State Information Commission, as the case may be, in deciding the appeals under
sub-section (10) of section 19; and
(f) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.
28 (1)

The competent authority may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power,
such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—
  (i) the cost of the medium or print cost price of the materials to be
disseminated under sub-section (4) of section 4;
(ii) the fee payable under sub-section (1)
of section 6;
(iii) the fee payable under sub-section
(1) of section 7; and
(iv) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.
29 (1)

Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid,
as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session,
for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or
more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the
session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in
the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter
have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however,
that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of
anything previously done under that rule.

(2) Every rule made under this Act by a State Government shall be laid, as soon
as may be after it is notified, before the State Legislature.
30  (1)

If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the
Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions
not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as appear to it to be necessary or expedient
for removal of the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two
years from the date of the commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made,
be laid before each House of Parliament.
31 The Freedom of Information Act, 2002 is hereby repealed.
THE FIRST SCHEDULE

[See sections
13(3) and
16(3)]

Form of oath or affirmation to be made by the Chief Information
Commissioner/the Information Commissioner/the State Chief Information Commissioner/the
State Information Commissioner

“I, …………………, having been appointed Chief Information
Commissioner/Information Commissioner/State Chief Information Commissioner/State Information
Commissioner 
swear in the name of God
solemnly affirm
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and
integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and
judgment perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I
will uphold the Constitution and the laws.”.

THE SECOND SCHEDULE

(See section 24)

Intelligence and security organisation established by the Central Government

1. Intelligence Bureau.
2. Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat.
3. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
4. Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
5. Directorate of Enforcement.
6. Narcotics Control Bureau.
7.

Aviation Research Centre.

8.  Special Frontier Force.
9.  Border Security Force.
10. Central Reserve Police Force.
11. Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
12. Central Industrial Security Force.
13. National Security Guards.
14. Assam Rifles.
15. Special Service Bureau.
16.

Special Branch (CID), Andaman and Nicobar.

17. The Crime Branch-C.I.D.- CB, Dadra and Nagar
Haveli.
18. Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police.
 

 

 

 

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