The Right to Information Act, 2005 has come into force wef 12 Oct 2005 all over India (except the state of Jammu & Kashmir who has her own law in this regard). The RTI Act is a comprehensive legislation that would confer statutory rights on citizens for seeking information from public authorities. The Act is expected to usher in a new era of governance and promote more transparency and accountability. A case has been taken up by the MoD with DoPT for exemption of Armed Forces from the operation of the Act. However till such time exemption is granted, the Act has to be fully implemented by the Armed Forces. Even if the exemption is granted at a later stage, information on the cases of corruption and human rights violation would still have to be provided.
Objective
The Act primarily envisages setting out a 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.
(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 shared in a computer or in any other device.
Processing of Request
The PIO will refer the request to Principal Director of the respective directorate at Naval Headquarters and concerned CSO at Command Headquarters to obtain the information, duly cleared by the respective PSO. The concerned officer or any other officer to whom the request is referred by PIO for supply of information, is to supply the complete information to the PIO at the earliest, but not later than 10 days and if same is getting delayed due to any reason, the reasons are to be communicated to the PIO as an interim reply. Also in terms of Sec 5(5) of the Act, any other officer whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for proper discharge of his duties shall be treated as PIO for the purposes of any contravention of the Act. If the concerned officer fails to provide the information, he/she will be liable for neglect of duty and can be proceeded, under the provisions of Navy Act. Once the information is received, the PIO will supply the same to the applicant within thirty days of the receipt of request or reject the request for any of reasons specified in Sec 8 and 9 of the Act. However where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within 48 hours of the receipt of request.

Right to Information
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 shared in a computer or in any other device.
the Information is to be provided
Where a PIO decides to provide the information, he shall send an intimation to the applicant, stating: –
(a) The details of fees, towards cost of providing the information, together with the calculation details, and requesting him to deposit fees.
(b) The applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by him or the form of access provided including the particulars of the Appellate Authority, time limit, process and any other forms.
Providing of Information
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.
Information is Rejected/Refused
If PIO fails to give a decision on a request within the specified time limit, the request shall be deemed to have been refused. The following shall be communicated to the applicant: –
(a) The reasons for such rejection.
(b) The period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred.
(c) The particulars of the Appellate Authority.

Fee for Providing the Information
The information shall be provided to the applicant on payment of requisite fee. In relation to public authorities falling under the jurisdiction of Central Government, the applicant shall be required to pay the following fee: –
(a) Request for obtaining information – Rs 10 per request under Sec 6 of the Act
(b) For large size paper – Actual charge or cost price
(c) For samples or models – Actual cost or price .

Time limit for Disposal of Request
A request shall be disposed off as expeditiously as possible, subject to the maximum time limit as follows: –
(a) In ordinary course – 30 days
(b) If the information concerns the life or – 48 hours liberty of a person
(c) If the request is made to an Assistant – Normal time +Public Information Officer five days
(d) If the request relates to third party – 40 days
(e) If the request involves information pertaining – 45 days to the allegation of human rights violation in relation to specified Intelligence and Security Organization.

Role of Public Information Officers
A PIO has been assigned following functions: –
(a) To deal with requests from persons seeking information and reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such information.
(b) To render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing.
(c) To dispose a request for information expeditiously.

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