THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
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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:—
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.