What does right to information mean?
Right to information means right to access to information or material relating to the affairs of the National Capital Territory of Delhi excluding subjects such as land, law and order, police and DDA.
Right to Information includes: -
- The inspection of works, documents, records
- Taking notes, extracts; and
- Obtaining certified copies of documents or records
- Taking samples
HOW TO ACCESS INFORMATION?
INFORMATION CAN BE ACCESSED IN TWO WAYS:-
1. Information published by departments/government bodies from time to time.
2. By making an application to designated officer of the department or government body.
It is compulsory for each public authority to publish the following information in the form of booklets, pamphlets, folders at periodic intervals, apart from putting them on their website:-
|S.No||Particulars of Information to be published||Interval|
|1||Particulars of its organization, functions and duties.||Once in five years|
|2||Powers and duties of its officers and employees and the procedure followed by them in the decision making process.||Once in two years|
|3||Norms set by the public authority for the discharge of its functions||Once in two years|
|4||Laws, bye-laws, rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and other categories of records under its control used by its employees for discharging its functions||Once in five years|
|5||Details of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information||Annually|
|6||Name, designation and other particulars of the competent authority||Annually|
HOW TO ACCESS INFORMATION OTHER THAN PUBLISHED ONES THROUGH APPLICATION?
FILING OF APPLICATION:
A with the Competent Authority either in writing or by email giving particulars of the information being sought. Forms are available free of cost with the Competent Authorities. A copy of the form is annexed to this brochure. The format can be used for filing handwritten applications or sending it through email.
WHERE TO APPLY:
The Government of Delhi has notified a number of its officers as "Competent Authority". They are accountable for implementation of the act in each department/agency. The applications can be given to the respective Competent Authorities for getting the information. A list of the Competent Authorities is given in this brochure.In case the competent authority is not available in his/her room the application can be given to his/her personal staff and they will give receipt of the fee deposited. They can't refuse to accept the application.
PROCEDURE FOR SENDING REQUESTS BY E-MAIL:
In case a request is made in electronic format (by e-mail) then the requisite application fee has to be paid in cash within a period of seven days from the date of request. In case fee is not deposited then the request will be treated as withdrawn.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION FEE?
A nominal application fee of Rs. 25/- per application is charged for supply of information. In addition, a sum of Rs. 5/- per page is charged for supply of information, if the information runs in more than one page. The application fee is to be deposited with the designated official in the office of Competent Authority.
WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME FOR SUPPLYING INFORMATION?
The Government will make its endeavor to provide the information in 15 days subject to a maximum of 30 days.
CAN AN APPEAL BE FILED IN CASE OF DELAY OR NON-SUPPLY OF INFORMATION OR GIVING FALSE INFORMATION?
An appeal can be filed before the Public Grievance Commission, M Block Vikas Bhawan, New Delhi for refusal, delay, or giving false information. The appeal can be filed with in 30 days in Form E along with a fee of Rs.50/-. Copy of Form E is attached in this broacher.
In case appeal is allowed, the Competent Authority shall supply the information to the applicant within such period as ordered by the Appellate Authority. This period shall not exceed 30 days from the date of receipt of the order.
IS THERE A PROVISION FOR SECOND APPEAL?
There is no provision for second appeal under the Act.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTY PROVISIONS FOR DELAY OR SUPPLY OF WRONG INFORMATION?
Whosoever being bound to supply the information fails to furnish the information asked for under the Act within the time specified or fails to communicate the rejection order shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs.50/- per day for delayed period beyond the 30 days subject to a maximum of Rs. 500/- per application.
In case the information supplied is found to be false in any material particular and which the person bound to supply it knows or has reasonable cause to believe it to be false or does not believe it to be true, the person supplying the information shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs.1000/- per application.
It may be clarified that the amount of penalty will go to government revenue and not to the applicant.
WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION CAN BE DENIED?
The following type of information can, however, be withheld:-
- Information, which will be against the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India or security of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
- Information relating to personal matters of individual leading to invasion of personal privacy.
- Trade and commerce secrets.
- Information, which may endanger the life and physical safety of any person.
- Cabinet papers and records relating to deliberations of the Council of Ministers.
- Minutes of advice, opinion and recommendations in taking executive decisions.
- Information, which may constitute a breach of privilege of Parliament or Legislative Assembly etc.
CAN COMPETENT AUTHORITY REFUSE THE REQUEST?
The Competent Authority can refuse the request if the information sought is covered by one of the clauses given above. In such cases replies are sent in writing giving reasons for rejection. They are also advised to file an appeal if they so desire.
IS INSPECTION OF RECORDS PERMISSIBLE AND WHAT IS ITS PROCEDURE?
Applicants can file applications for inspection of records. A fee of Rs 15/- is charged for inspection of records for a period of 15 minutes or a fraction thereof. Only such documents are permissible for inspection which can be given under the Act. Inspection of other documents is not permissible.
HOW TO COLLECT INFORMATION?
Information can be collected only after the deposit of the full amount due with the authorized person nominated by the Competent Authority. For example if the information runs into 10 pages then an amount of Rs.50/- (10X5) has to be deposited before hand. Once the applicant is informed about the amount to be deposited for getting information, any delay on the part of applicant in depositing the same will not be construed within 30 days limit.
APPLICATION MADE TO THE WRONG COMPETENT AUTHORITY
If the request for information is made to the wrong Competent Authority, the competent authority will return the application in "Form B" normally within 15 days but not later than 30 days from the date of application. While returning the application the Competent Authority shall try to advise the applicant about the appropriate authority to whom the application should be made. The application fee deposited will however not be refunded.
HOW HAVE PEOPLE USED THE ACT IN DELHI
An analysis of applications received in the first year reflects that most of the applicants have used the Act for settlement of their personal grievances. Details of purposes is as under:
|Settlement of personal grievances||90|
|Information about policy matters||04|
|Information about other persons||06|
SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED BY THE APPLICANTS
Why have I been sent wrong bill for supply of water and when it will be rectified?
What is the admissible quantity of food grains on my food card and why have I not been given the same as per rules?
WHEN WILL MY TA /DA BILL, PENDING OVER 2 YEARS, WILL BE SETTLED?
- Who is responsible for delaying the issue of license and what action is being taken against the defaulter?
- What action has been taken on the complaint filed by me and what is its present status?
- Why am I being asked to drive an out lived vehicle and who will be responsible for accident, if any?
- Give me the detailed accounts in respect of the group housing society and its audit report,
- What is the policy for giving advertisements to news papers? Give us the details of advertisements given to each news paper during the last 3 years.
- What is the policy for issue of SC/ST certificates and what formalities have to be fulfilled to get this certificate? In how many days will it be given?
- Allow us inspection of records in respect of a particular aided school and give us copies of its annual inspection reports.
- How many dealers are registered under Delhi Sales Tax Act.
- How many Sales Tax Assessment were done by the Sales Tax Department during the 2002-2003 under Summary scheme and under regular assessment.
- How many assessment are pending as on 31.12.2003 for the year 2002-2003 and to be completed upto 31.03.2004.
- The details of transporter to whom ST-46 Form have been issued.
- Give me details of marks obtained in the examination of Asstt. Teacher.
- What is the cut off marks for OBC candidates for selection to the post of teachers.
- Whether Mr. X was considered under SC Category or not?
- Give me details regarding non-receipt of reward against acquisition of land situated in Bhalswa, Khasra No.72
- Copy of the minutes of DPC for the post of ____.
- Give me true copy of Group Insurance accident scheme.
Why is the garbage not being lifted from our locality daily and who is responsible for this lapse and what action is being taken to punish the defaulters?
What is the criterion for providing teachers in a particular school and by when will the shortfall be met?
Give us the details of sanctioned Safai Karamcharis so that we can see their attendance and the work done by them. Why the street-lights are non-functional in our area and when will it be made operational?
Give us the details of unauthorized construction, which have taken place in our locality and what action is being taken to punish the irresponsible officers?
Why DTC buses are not being operated from our route and when these will be recommenced?
CONTRACTS AND WORKS BEING CARRIED OUT
Give us details of amount spent on repair of roads, construction of drains and other civil works under taken in a particular area during the last 3 years so that we can cross verify.
What is the future plan for undertaking civil works in our locality?
How much has a particular MLA spent in the locality and for what activities?
How many hand pumps have been installed in our locality and at what cost? Give full details of location at which the pumps have been installed.
In what ratio cement and other ingredients are used in construction works and how the quality of works is ensured?
Using the information obtained from the government department/agency and verifying the facts with ground realities led to conducting of social audit by some NGOs.
The above are illustrative examples of questions that can be asked. A person can ask information relevant to their life from any department of government.
TIPS ON FRAMING THE QUESTIONS
For eliciting best response, please frame the question properly by making them to the point.
The question should be subject specific and brief.
In one application one aspect should be raised and it may contain 3-4 points to facilitate quick disposal.
Personal information about other individuals may be avoided.
Records are maintained in government offices as per retention period prescribed for different categories. As such it will be better to ensure that the records being requisitioned are available.