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State Level RTI: Karnataka

Background

The Karnataka Government took steps to make information available to the public as far back as 1997. From that time, many Government departments issued Executive Orders to provide access to information on developmental projects undertaken by their Departments and to keep relevant records open for inspection or available for copying for a nominal fee.

On 25 August 2000, the Executive Orders were supplemented by the Right to Information Ordinance. The Ordinance was brought in because the Karnataka Government recognised it was necessary to enact a comprehensive law to ensure openness, transparency and accountability in government administration as a matter of priority. As the State Assembly was not in session at the time this policy decision was made, the Governor passed an Ordinance on the matter as a first step.

The Karnataka Right to Information Act 2000 was enacted soon after by the State Assembly on 10 December 2000. Section 13 of the Karnataka Right to Information Act, 2000 explicitly repeals the Karnataka Right to Information Ordinance 2000 although it saves all actions taken under the Ordinance. Unfortunately, the Act was not properly operationalised until July 2002, when the Government of Karnataka notified the Karnataka Right to Information Rules.

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.

On 17 October 2005, the Government promulgated Karnataka Ordinance No.3 of 2005 repealing the Karnataka Right to Information Act 2000. The State Government has started implementing the RTI Act 2005. The Government has already issued the Karnataka Right to Information Rules 2005 modeled on the Central Government's Rules.

The Government made some changes in the Karnataka Right to Information Rules 2005 with the new Karnataka Right to Information (Second Amendment) Rules 2006.

For a list of Public Information Officers and Appellate Authorities designated by the State Government, click here.

Details of Fee & Costs

Application

Rs 10

Mode of payment

Indian postal order/ demand draft/bankers' cheque/ or by remitting it to the treasury as per Karnataka Financial Code

Additional Fees:

A-4 size paper:

Information under section 7(1)

Information under section 4 (4) (new clause (aa) to section 2 of Karnataka Right to Information (Second Amendment) Rules 2006



Rs 2 per page

Rs 1 per page

Maps, plans, reports, partial record, technical data, sample or models

Fee fixed by PIO

Floppy /CD/ diskette or any other electronic mode

Rs 50 per item

Inspection of records

1st hour free, Rs 10 for each subsequent half hour or a fraction thereof

Inspection of works

Fee fixed by PIO

Second Appeals and complaints against non-disclosure of information may be filed with the Karnataka State Information Commission.

State Information Commission

S.N.

Name of Commissioner

Contact

1

Shri. A.K.M. Nayak
State Chief Information Commissioner

Karnataka Information Commission
3rd Floor, 3rd Stage, Multistoried Buildings, Dr.Ambedkar Road,
Bangalore- 560001
Off: 080-22371191
Fax: 080-22371192
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
Website: http://www.kic.gov.in

2

Shri. J.S. Virupakshaiah
State Information Commissioner

Tele fax: 080 22371193

3

Shri Krishna
State Information Commissioner

Tele fax: 080 22371193

4

Shri D. Thangaraj
State Information Commissioner

5

Shri M.R. Pujar
State Information Commissioner

6

Shri T.Rama Naik
State Information Commissioner

7

Dr. Shekhar D. Sajjanar
State Information Commissioner

Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy

  • On 17th March 2008 the Government of Karnataka (GOK) amended the RTI Rules issued in 2005 . The new Rule #14 added to the existing body of Rules restricts the length of the RTI application and the number of topics on which information can be sought. With the notification of this Rule citizens in Karnataka can seek information henceforth on one subject matter only and must restrict their request to 150 words. If the application contains more than one subject matter PIOs will be required to deal only with the first one. CHRI has done a preliminary critique of the Rules and sent it to the Governor.
  • Karnataka State Chief Information Commissioner K.K. Misra has written to the Government asking them to shift his office outside the Vidhana Soudha, as he feels security restrictions are preventing him from making himself more accessible. The State Government has appointed K.A. Thippe Swamy, Personal Secretary to Public Works and Power Minister H.D. Revanna as the State Information Commissioners.
  • In response to an application by Karnataka RTI activist Mr Anil Kumar, the Karnataka State Information Commission has provided detailed information on the structure and functions of the Karnataka State Information Commission.
  • A local NGO, Ella Kannada Vedike International (E-KAVI) in a letter to the Karnataka State Governor, has asked for the removal of recently appointed Karnataka State Information Commissioner K K Misra. The demand for Misra's removal comes after it was revealed that barely four months before his appointment, the Karnataka High Court passed strictures on Misra for knowingly witholding important facts and documents, making false statements in affidavits filed in the court as well committing perjury in the PIL related to the Rs 2,250 crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project. The Supreme Court passed a stay on his prosecution within 10 days of the High Court Verdict and Misra's appeal is currently pending before the apex court. E-KAVI has said that Misra cannot be "considered independent enough to be the final appellate authority'' under the RTI Act. E-KAVI in a letter to K K Misra has requested him to resign from his post. For more information click here.
  • Mr. S M Acharya, Principal Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms, has publicly reiterated it is the duty of public authorities to meet their proactive disclosure obligations under Section 4 (1) B of the RTI Act - for which no fee is to be charged and no application submitted.
  • Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has criticised the Karnataka Right to Information Act Rules for not being people-friendly. In a press release MGP has said the application fee of Rs 10 to secure information is not necessary. MGP has also criticized the costs set to process information (Rs 2 per page), photocopying (Re 1 per page) and costs for access to a floppy or CD (Rs 50), as being too high and likely to discourage the public.
  • The Karnataka Government Secretariat has issued a circular notifying the creation of the Post of the State Chief Information Commissioner (No.siAsue/174/dbm/2005, dated 04/08/2005). Till such time as the State Information Commission is set up, the State Chief Information Commissioner and his staff have been allocated Room number 302 in the Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore. The direct phone number is 22253651 and intercom number 2593. The payments of monthly bills has to be met out of the budget allocations made to the Commission.

  • Mr R Suresh, Principal Secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, wrote a letter to Public Affairs Centre regarding the Karnataka Government's Preparations to Implement the Right to Information Act 2005. He advised that the State RTI Act would be replaced by the Central RTI Act. He also advised that a high level committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to monitor the implementation of the new national Act. Secretaries were requested to conduct weekly meetings in their departments and to expedite various steps on top priority. Suresh's letter also advised that the Government had initiated action to constitute the State Information Commission. For more information click here.
  • KRIA KATTE (Forum) is a platform for interested groups and individuals to meet, share experiences and spread awareness about the right to information in Karnataka. Launched in July 2004 at a joint meeting organized by Parivartan, Delhi and the Rejuvenate India Movement, Bangalore, it works towards devising effective strategies for the implementation of RTI in Karnataka and serves as a nodal vehicle of advocacy.
    For Further Information: Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kria/
  • The Public Affairs Centre (PAC) works on RTI as one of their key issues and has also been involved in campaigns on the voters' right to know in Karnataka for a number of years. In 2003, CHRI and PAC were responsible for undertaking the first ever implementation audit of a right to information law in India. The implementation audit revealed that over 80% of the applications under the State RTI Act were not responded to and in cases where information was provided it was only after repeated follow up by citizens and after the expiration of the 30 day time limit stipulated by the law.
    For further information: Contact PAC at 422, 80 Feet Road, VI Block, Kormangala, Bangalore, 560095. Tel: 91-80-5520246/ 5525452/ 5525453/ 5533467/5537260. E-Mail: pacindia.vsnl.com. Website www.pacindia.org
  • Consumer Rights, Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT) is an organization working for the cause of consumers rights in Karnataka. CREAT is also working on right to information and has collaborated with CHRI on many occasions in creating awareness on right to information in the state of Karnataka.
    For further information: Contact CREAT at, Mr. Y.G. Muralidharan, 239, 5th C Main, Remco Layout, Vijaynagar, Bangalore-560040, Tel: 91-80-23357280, 23403170, Fax: 91-80-23303973,E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Website: www.creatindia.org


Resources & Articles

Government

CHRI

Miscellaneous

Links

 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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