Working for the practical realisation of human rights in the Commonwealth  
About us
CHOGM Reports
What's New
CHRI in the News
CHRI Events
Job Opportunities
Contact us
Site Map

Right to Information


State Level RTI: Rajasthan


The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) spearheaded the right to information movement in Rajasthan - and subsequently, throughout India. MKSS famously used the right to information as tool to draw attention to the underpayment of daily wage earners and farmers on government projects, and more generally, to expose corruption in government expenditure. Initially, MKSS lobbied government to obtain information such as muster rolls (employment and payment records) and bills and vouchers relating to purchase and transportation of materials. This information was then crosschecked at Jan Sunwais (public hearings) against actual testimonies of workers. The public hearings were incredibly successful in drawing attention to corruption and exposing leakages in the system. They were particularly significant because of their use of hard documentary evidence to support the claims of villagers.

Over time, the media and the government paid increasing attention to the results of the Jan Sunwais. Consequently, greater attention was focused on the importance of the right to information as a means for increasing transparency and accountability, as well as empowering poor people. Although MKSS was able to obtain some information from Government during the early 1990s, it was not easy. The difficulties experienced by MKSS in trying to access information reinforced the importance of a comprehensive right to information law for Rajasthan.

On 5 April 1995, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced in the Legislative Assembly that his Government would be the first in the country to provide access to information to citizens on all local developmental works. However, no action was taken for months. Exactly a year later on 6 April 1996, MKSS started an indefinite Dharna (protest demonstration) in Bewar town. Their immediate demand was that the State Government pass Executive Orders to provide a limited right to information in relation to local development expenditure. The government responded by issuing Orders to inspect relevant documents on payment of fees. However, the Order was rejected by civil society as ineffective because it did not allow taking photocopies of documents.

On 6 May 1996, one month later, the Dharna was extended to Jaipur, the state capital. The Dharna was strongly supported by the people of the State. On 14 May 1996, the Government responded, announcing the establishment of a committee to look into the practical aspects of implementing right to information within two months. In response, MKSS called off the Dharna. Unfortunately, Government interest again lapsed, such that in May 1997 another series of Dharnas commenced, which continued for 52 long days. At the end of this time, the Government announced that the Government had already notified the right to receive photocopies relating to local level government functions six months earlier! Civil society was taken by surprise - through all their discussions with Government it was the first time they had been told about the order providing access to information to people.

In 1998, during the State elections the Opposition Party promised in its election manifesto to enact a law on right to information if it came to power. Following their election, the Party appointed a committee of bureaucrats, headed by Mr P.N. Bhandari, a Secretary of the Rajasthan Government, to draft a bill on the right to information. As the Committee was comprised only bureaucrats, stong objections were raised by civil society organisations, following which the members of MKSS and National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information were invited to assist in drafting the bill.

MKSS and NCPRI conducted a host of consultations in each divisional headquarters of the State. Drawing on the input from these consultations, a draft civil society Right to Information Bill was prepared, which was then submitted to the Committee. The Committee drew on the citizens draft Bill for its recommendations, but refused to accept the Bill in toto.


The Rajasthan Right to Information Act 2000 was eventually passed on 11 May 2000, but only came into force on 26 January 2001 - after the rules were framed. The Act in its final form retained many of the suggestions of the RTI movement, but diluted others. Activists in the state have stated that it is stronger that some state Acts, like Tamil Nadu, but lags behind those of Goa, Karnataka and Delhi.

In any case, 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 will apply to public authorities in Rajasthan. The Government has issued the Rajasthan Right to Information Rules 2005.

It is not clear at this time whether the Rajasthan RTI Act will be repealed to make way for the national RTI Act.

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

Details of Fee & Costs


Rs 10

Mode of payment

Cash against receipt/ demand draft/bank cheque

Additional Fees:


A-4/A-3 size paper

Rs 2 per page

Large size paper

Actual cost

Samples, models

Actual cost

Publication and printed form

Price so fixed or Rs 2 per page photocopy for extracts


Rs 50

Inspection of records

Free for first hour, Rs 5 for each 15 minutes or a fraction thereof

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

State Information Commission


Name of Commissioner



Mr. M. D. Kaurani
State Chief Information Commissioner

State Information Commission
H.C.M Rajasthan State Instititute of Public Administration (O.T.S)
Jawaharlal Nehru Marg,
Off: 0141-2700645 / 2702342

Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy

  • Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) is a workers and farmers solidarity group, which is dedicated to ensuring fair working conditions and daily wages for daily wage earners and farmers. MKSS has famously used the method of Jan Sunwai (public hearing) to raise awareness of the practical value of the right to information for poor people. MKSS has been a leader in the national campaign for right to information and continues to use the right to information to empower local people to root out corruption and hold their government representatives to account.
    For further information: Contact MKSS at Village Devdungri Post Barar, District Rajsamand-313341, Rajasthan, Tel: 91-2909-243254. Tele Fax: 91-2909-250180. Mobile: 09414007305. E-Mail:,

Resources & Articles



  • 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.
  • For CHRI's posters on RTI click here.




To update us on your RTI activities / share your RTI stories