section is intended for public officials. It focuses primarily on
implementing and applying the national Right
to Information Act 2005, which comes into force for all Central,
State and local public authorities from 12 October 2005. References
are also provided to the nine State Acts which are in existence
at the time of writing. (NB: Already Karnataka, Maharashtra and
Goa have indicated an intention to repeal their Acts and apply the
Central Act from 12 October 2005. You should check the status of
your State law.)
section is designed not only to be read by Public Information Officers,
Appellate Authorities and Information Commission staff, but also
by ordinary civil servants as a guide to interpreting and understanding
the right to information laws. This is because the right to information
laws place a duty on all officers of government to ensure that the
public can access information promptly and with little fuss. It
is intended to be used as a guide for the people who will be interpreting
the Act, and implementing it. It purports a rounded guide from preparing
to implement the law to applying the law to the ongoing monitoring
and evaluation of the law.
of the "right to information" - a right which belongs to every
member of the public under the Indian Constitution - carries with
it a number of corresponding duties on public bodies and public
- The duty of public bodies to proactively provide
the public with routine information;
- The duty of public bodies to provide other information
upon request within a set amount of time and for a small fee.
right to information is fundamental for the citizen to achieve good
governance aims. The right creates a transparency and openness that
allows the citizen power in the way that they are governed.
may also wish to refer to CHRI's
Online User's Guide, for an insight into the needs and questions
of the public and the type of questions and information they will
be requesting and the form that they will be requesting in.