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State Level RTI: Delhi

Background

Until recently, Delhi was one of only 9 States in India to have enacted right to information laws. The Delhi Right to Information Act 2001 was passed on 16 May 2001 and came into force on 2 October 2001. About 119 departments have been brought under the preview of the Act.

Before enacting the Act, the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi formed a Working Group under the auspices of the Secretary Services, General Administration, Training, Administrative Reforms and Public Relations. The Working Group made recommendations to enact a law along the lines of the Goa Right to Information Act. The Working Group emphasised the value of setting up a Right to Information Council to oversee the implementation of the new right to information law. This suggestion was included in the Act as it was finally passed, although the effectiveness of the Delhi Right to Information Council in overseeing the Act and ensuring proper implementation was arguable.

The Delhi Public Grievances Commission (PGC) headed by Chairman, Shailaja Chandra was set up as the Appellate Authority to hear appeals under the Delhi Right to Information Act. Citizens could lodge complaints with the Commission via the PGC website.

Law

In May 2005, the national Right to Information Act 2005 was passed by Parliament. The RTI Act 2005 received Presidential assent on 15 June and came fully into force on 12 October 2005. (For more information on the passage of the Act and implementation at the national level, click here.) The RTI Act 2005 covers all Central, State and local government bodies and applies to the Government of Delhi.

Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dixit, has said with the Centre's permission the Delhi Right to Information Act 2001 will be repealed in favour of the RTI Act 2005. Currently however, the Delhi Right to Information Act 2001 is still in force concurrently with the national RTI Act. Notably though, the Delhi Government is now working to implement the new national RTI Act, on the assumption that it will be the primary legislation in Delhi used by citizens to access information. Click here to view the Right to Information Regulation of Fee and Cost Rules 2005 and Right to Information Appeal Rules 2005 notified by the Central Government which is applicable in Delhi.

Central Information Commission

S.N.

Name of Commissioner

Contact

1

Shri. Satyananda Mishra
Central Chief Information Commissioner

Central Information Commission
306,2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan
Bhikaji Cama place,
New Delhi-110066
Off: 011 - 26717355
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.cic.gov.in

2

Mrs. Annapurna Dixit
Central Information Commissioner

Room No.6, Club building, Old JNU Campus
New Delhi-110067
Off: 011 - 26161997
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

4

Shri M.L Sharma
Central Information Commissioner

Room No-308, II Floor
Augaust Kranti Bhawan,
Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi-110066
Off: 011 - 26162662
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

5

Shri Shailesh Gandhi
Central Information Commissioner

Room No:415, IV floor, Block IV
Old JNU Campus,
New Delhi-110067
Off: 011 - 26161796
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

6

Mrs. Deepak Sandhu
Central Information Commissioner

Room No.296, II Floor, August Kranti Bhavan,
Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi-110066
Off: 011 - 26180532
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

7

Mrs. Sushma Singh
Central Information Commissioner

Room No.6, Club Building,
Old JNU Campus,
New Delhi-110067
Off: 011 - 26161997
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy

  • Accessing information in Delhi was facilitated further in June 2011 when The Municipal Corporation of Delhi enabled a website for online submission of RTI requests and fee payment.
  • The Delhi Government website on Right to Information provides citizens with information on the Central RTI Act 2005 and the Delhi Right to Information Act. Under the Central RTI Act 2005, the website lists instructions to departments, a users manual for PIOs, list of departmental PIOs, forms for download and allows PIOs and citizens to check the status of applications. The website also provides access to the 17 manuals prepared by departments to meet their proactive disclosure obligations under the Central Act.
  • The second meeting of the State Council for Right to Information to review the implementation of the Delhi Right to Information Act for the period commencing from 2 October 2001 to 30 September 2005 was held on 27 October 2005. It was reported in the meeting that 9,060 applications were received of which 95% had been disposed, 479 applications were in process. Information in respect of 7,692 cases had been provided, appeals were filed in 1,560 cases out of which 1,454 appeals had been decided and 1,070 appeals had been allowed. It was reported that the Committee would soon be its implementation report. Chairing the meeting, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit described the RTI Act 2005 as more effective and powerful than the Delhi Act. She said the Delhi Government would like to repeal its Act, if permission to set up a State Information Commission was granted by the Centre.
  • Documents obtained by Parivartan under the Delhi Right to Information Act 2001 are at the heart of a major public controversy over the World Bank's involvement in a scheme to privatize Delhi's water supply. The documents reveal that during the bidding process World Bank officials repeatedly intervened with the Delhi Jal Board on behalf of Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
  • Parivartanis a leading citizen's group working for right to information in Delhi which has regularly reported on its struggles to access information from the Delhi Government. Parivartan works in Sundernagari, a resettlement colony in east Delhi. Parivartan has gone on Satyagraha in the past to ensure effective implementation of the Act. Parivartan has also adopted the method of Jansunwai (Public Hearing) as innovated by MKSS in Rajasthan. For example, in 2002, Parivartan organized a Social Audit of Public Works in Sundernagari, which revealed that 'ghost work' had been done in most of the cases. for more on this. Parivartan has also taken the lead in accessing information on the public distribution system in Delhi. They have been very active in exposing the corruption of ration dealers who have been diverting essential rations to the open market while claiming that they have been supplying them to the poor.
    For further information: Contact Parivartan at G-3/17, Sundernagari, Delhi 110092. Tel: 91-11-55254077. E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Website: www.parivartan.com.
  • The National Campaign on People's Right to Information (NCPRI) was formed to advocate for the right to information at the national level. In collaboration with Parivartan, the NCPRI has launched the Delhi Campaign for People's Right to Information and the Campaign for Electoral Transparency in Delhi.
    For further Information: Contact Parivartan at G-3/17, Sundernagari, Delhi 110092.Tel. 91-11-55254077. E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • The Delhi Right to Information Manch is a collective effort on the part of citizens to create a common platform to spread awareness on Delhi Right to Information Act and to promote the use of right to information amongst the citizens of Delhi. The Manch also acts as a forum to share personal experiences resulting from the use of the Delhi Right to Information Act and to discuss various issues related to the Act. The Manch identifies the problems related to implementation of the right to information and make efforts to get them removed including filing cases in appropriate courts to achieve the same. Any individual, association or group could be a member of the Manch. The Manch meets every second Sunday of the month at Gandhi Bhawan, Near School of Correspondence, Delhi University.
    For further Information: Contact Arvind Kejriwal at Parivartan, G-3/17, Sundernagari, Delhi 110092. Tel: 91-11-55254077. E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Satark Nagrik Sangathan(SNS) is a non-hierarchical citizen's group working towards encouraging active participation of citizens in governance to ensure transparency and accountability in government functioning. It runs an information center in the Malviya Nagar constituency of South Delhi. SNS seeks to encourage citizens' participation in governance and helps citizens to use tools such as the Delhi Right to Information Act (RTI) to keep themselves informed about the various activities of the Government; to use the information obtained to monitor Government works, to ensure that public funds are spent properly and to participate in planning the allocation of public funds to ensure that funds meant for the welfare of citizens are spent on activities that are considered important by them.
    For more information: contact SNS at B-76 (Garage)S.F.S. Flats Sheikh Sarai-1 New Delhi-10017, Tel: 26011362 , 9811420295, E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: http://www.snsindia.org/

  • Centre for Civil Society (CCS):The Centre for Civil Society is an independent public policy think tank based in New Delhi working on three major issues: Education, Governance and Livelihood. CCS' emphasis is on proposing alternative policies that reduce government control and provide alternative private and community arrangements. To this end, CCS is actively engaged in promoting the suo motu disclosure of public information held by public authorities into the public domain. CCS has created a Duty to Publish Index to measure public authorities' compliance with Section 4 of the RTI Act. CCS aims to ensure maximum compliance with Section 4 of the Act by all public authorities without any ambiguities across public authorities regarding what or how much of information should be disclosed.
    For more information contact: Centre for Civil Society, K-36, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi-110016. Website: www.ccs.in/dtp.asp. Tel: 011-26537456, 26521882, Fax: 2651 2347

Resources & Articles

Government

CHRI

  • CHRI (2005) Forwarding Information Requests and Appeals: A Step by Step Guide for Assistant Public Information Officers under the Right to Information Act 2005, prepared by Mr Venkatesh Nayak.
  • CHRI (2005) Processing Information Requests: A Step by Step Guide for Assistant Public Information Officers under the Right to Information Act 2005, prepared by Mr Venkatesh Nayak.
  • CHRI has conducted numerous training programmes and workshops in Delhi. For more information, click here.
  • CHRI (2003) Training Presentation on the Delhi Right to Information Act.
  • CHRI (2003) Delhi Right to Information Act Users Guide.
  • For CHRI's posters on RTI click here.

Miscellaneous

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