Level RTI: Orissa
Until recently, Orissa did not have a comprehensive access to information law. However, there has been an active civil society campaign advocating for right to information legislation in the state since 2001. A group of activists and lawyers, working with Project
Swarajya prepared a citizen's draft Freedom of Information Bill in July 2001. The citizen's draft Bill was based on a comparative study of the then existing right to information laws in India. The citizen's draft Bill was sent to the Chief Minister of Orissa on 15 October 2001. The Chief Minister referred the citizen's draft Bill to the Secretary of the Department of Information and Public Relations for action.
On 18 and 19 December 2001, CHRI and the Center for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) Bhubaneswar jointly organized a state level consultation to discuss the citizen's draft Bill. During the consultation, amendments were suggested, which were incorporated in the amended citizen's
Right to Information Bill 2002. On 5 May 2002 the amended citizen's draft Bill was finalised and sent to the Government and other civil society groups working on right to information in Orissa.
On 10 and 11 June 2002, CARE Orissa in association with the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) conducted a public consultation. During the consultation programme, the Secretary of DIPR presented the
Government of Orissa's draft Right to Information Bill 2002.
On 13 July 2002, Basundhara,
a civil society group, organised a workshop
to discuss the Government's draft Bill and sent their recommendations
to the Government.
To date, the Government has failed to table their draft Bill in the Assembly for consideration. Shri Chitta Ranjan Behera, a social activist working in Orissa, has
that there are a number of legal instruments, which provide access to information in the State. For example, the Orissa Records Manual 1964, the Orissa Secretariat Instructions 1961, the Rules of the High Court of Orissa 1948 and the Orissa Nizarat Manual 1962 all allow access to information. Furthermore, the Panchayati Raj Department has issued a number of Executive Orders to ensure transparency in the administration of Government. For example, on 28 July 1997, 8 August 1997 and on 21 May 1999 the Panchayati Raj Department issued Executive Orders to make information available to people on all developmental projects under taken by government departments as well as information pertaining to poverty alleviation programmes.
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 RTI Act 2005 and implementation at the national level, click
The RTI Act 2005 covers all Central, State and local government
bodies and applies to the State Government of Orissa.
Orissa Government has started implementing the RTI Act 2005. The
Government has issued the Orissa
Right to Information Rules 2005.
Orissa Government issued the Orissa
Right to Information (Amendment) Rules, 2006.
a list of Public Information Officers and Appellate Authorities
designated by the State Government, click here.
of Fee & Costs
against receipt/treasury challan
Additional fees: Cash against receipt
Appeal fees: Court fees stamp
A-3/A-4 paper created or copied
2 per page
Cost fixed by the PIO depending upon the cost of labour, material, equipment and other ancillary expenses
Reasonable cost fixed by the PIO depending upon the cost of labour, material, equipment and other ancillary expenses
Certified sample or models of material
Actual cost or price for sample or models
diskette (1.44 MB)
First hour free and Rs 5 for every subsequent
15 minutes or a fraction thereof
appeal to Appellate Authority
appeal to SIC
Second Appeals and complaints against non-disclosure of information may be filed with the Orissa State Information Commission.
Dhirendra Nath Padhi
State Chief Information Commissioner
Block B-1,Toshali Plaza
Off: 0674 - 2539007
Fax: 0674 – 2535404
State Information Commissioner
Activities & Advocacy
- Mr Chitta Behera works as a free lancer
on governance reforms and the right to information. He is an advisor
to the Orissa Campaign for Right to Information, conducted currently
by the Orissa Right to Food Campaign.
For further Information: Contact Mr Chitta Behera at
4A Jubilee Tower, Choudhury Bazar, Cuttack-753009, Orissa, Mobile:
91-9861-091-455, Tel: 91-671-2623518 (res.), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The State Government has received 56
applications seeking information from various departments
under the RTI Act. Information has been sought from the General
Administration Department, Revenue, School and Mass Education,
Higher Education, Industries, Forest, Finance, Panchayati Raj
and Urban Development departments. An information cell has been
opened at the reception office of the State Secretariat to provide
assistance to applicants seeking information from the Government.
- From 28-29 July CHRI at the invitation of the
Pressure Group (DPG), a network of development NGOs in Deogarh
district, and AWARD (Association for Women and Rural Development)
conducted a two-day workshop on the RTI Act in the district of
Deogarh. The workshop was organised for DPG representatives.
For further information: Contact, P.C. Mallick, Secretary,
AWARD, At/P.O. Jarabaga, District Sambalpur- 768228. Tel: 91-6642-226422.
- On 30 July a meeting was held by CHRI AND Mr.
Suchit Ranjan Singh of REALS, Bhubaneshwar with the members of
Confederation of Voluntary Organisations (CVOs) at Sundargarh
to discuss about the RTI Act. The Sundargarh Education Society
(SES), on behalf of the Confederation of Voluntary Organisations
(CVO), organized a district level Workshop
on Right to Information for 2 days at Rural Building Centre of
SEWAK on 16 & 17 September 2005. The participants included
members of community-based organizations (CBOs), voluntary organizations
(VOs), lawyers, retired civil servants and others. Facilitated
by noted human rights activist and consultant Sri Chitta Behera,
the workshop was primarily meant for capacity building of CVO
members and other social activists.
For further information: Contact, Mr. Janmejoy Patel,
President, Sundargarh Education Society, At/PO-Mahesidhi, District
Sundergarh-770001. Tel: 91-6622-273541, Email: email@example.com
- The Orissa Right to Food Campaign, is a network
of civil society groups, actively promoting the right to information
in the State. They have held a series of seminars, consultations
and workshops at State, district and local levels with a view
to ensure effective implementation of the RTI Act at the Central
and State level.
For further information: Contact, Pradeep Pradhan,
State Convenor, Tel: 91-9337-330-804, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swarajya is an NGO, which works on various social and developmental issues. They were closely involved with developing the citizen's draft Bill in 2002 and have conducted workshops on RTI. Their website provides useful links on the topic.
For further information: Contact Mrs.Dolli Dash, Secretary,
Project Swarajya, Tel: 91-671-2621097, E-Mail: email@example.com
Cultural Center (PECUC) is a centre for People's Empowerment
& Sustainable Development. It works to help people to develop
and achieve their own potential. PECUC has been active in working
on the right to information campaign in Orissa. They have collaborated
in the organisation of a number of RTI workshops and are involved
in awareness-raising and advocacy efforts.
For further information: Contact PECUC at VII-H-26,
Sailashree Vihar, Bhubaneswar-21, Orissa. Tel: 91-674-2740432.
Fax: 91-674-2741845, E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Chitta Behera (2006) Orissa
Soochana Commission Goes Wayward, in Oriya.
- Orissa Right to Food Campaign (2005) Commissions
and Omissions - critique of the Orissa RTI Rules 2005 vis-à-vis
the RTI Act 2005.
- Orissa Right to Food Campaign (2005) Memorandum
to the Governor - seeking withdrawal of the Orissa RTI Rules
- Orissa Right to Food Campaign (2005) A
Draft Note on the Orissa RTI Rules 2005.
- Staff Reporter (2005) Changes
Sought in Rules to Make RTI Act User-Friendly in Orissa, Digitalopportunity.org.
- Sarada Lahangir (2005) Orissa
Tribal Woman Fights for Villagers Right to Information, 9
- Prakash Rao & Dhirendra Mishra (2005) Look,
how serious are our MLAs on Right to Information, 4 November,
- Dilip Bisoi (2005) Mining
for Information Begins in Orissa, 31 October, The Financial
- Chitta Ranjan Behera (2002) Rethinking
The Right To Information Bill, a talk given at the Workshop
On Right To Information held at DNK Conference Hall, Koraput,
9 October 2002, organised by Koraput Zilla Swechhasebi Sangha
(Kzss) in collaboration with CHRI.
- (2002) Recommendations
on the Draft Bill on Orissa Right To Information Act 2002,
Report of The State Level Consultation on the Draft Bill on Orissa
Right To Information Act 2002 at Basundhara, Cuttack on 13 July
- (2002) Collection
of Papers, Submitted to the State Level Consultation on the
Draft Bill on Orissa Right To Information Act 2002 at Basundhara,
Cuttack on 13 July 2002.
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