The right to information campaign in India began with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan ( MKSS) movement to bring in transparency in village accounts via the demand for minimum wages in rural India. Ghost entries in muster rolls were a sign of rampant corruption in the system, which prompted MKSS to demand official information recorded in government files. The movement soon spread across India. From very modest beginning in the villages of Rajasthan, the success of MKSS has been a source of inspiration for activists in India and throughout the world. It led to the genesis of a broader discourse on the right to information in India.
In 1993, a draft RTI law was proposed by the Consumer Education and Research Council, Ahmedabad (CERC). In 1996, the Press Council of India headed by Justice P B Sawant presented a draft model law on the right to information to the Government of India. The draft model law was later updated and renamed the PCI-NIRD Freedom of Information Bill 1997. Unfortunately, none of the draft laws were seriously considered by the Government.
Meanwhile, MKSS's advocacy gave rise to the National Campaign on People's Right to Information (NCPRI), which was formed to advocate for the right to information at the national level. Constituted in 1996 in New Delhi, the NCPRI aims to provide active support to grassroots struggles for the right to information and to lobby government to enact and implement effective access to information legislation.
In 1997 efforts to legislate for the right to information, at both the State and National level, quickened. A working group under the chairmanship of Mr. H D Shourie (the Shourie Committee) was set up by the Central Government and given the mandate to prepare draft legislation on freedom of information. The Shourie Committee's Report and draft law were published in 1997. Notably, the draft law was criticised for not adopting a high enough standard of disclosure.
The Shourie Committee draft law passed through two successive governments, but was never introduced in Parliament. In the interim, in 1999 Mr Ram Jethmalani, then Union Minister for Urban Development, issued an administrative order enabling citizens to inspect and receive photocopies of files in his Ministry. Disappointingly, the Cabinet Secretary did not permit this order to come into effect.
Eventually, the Shourie Committee draft law was reworked into the Freedom of Information Bill 2000, an even less satisfactory Bill than the Shourie Committee's. The 2000 Bill was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, which consulted with civil society groups before submitting its Report in July 2001. The Committee recommended that the Government address the flaws in the draft Bill pointed out by civil sociey. Unfortunately, the Government did not implement that recommendation, to the detriment of the final content of the Bill.
The national Freedom of Information Bill 2000 was introduced in Parliament in 2002. It was passed in December 2002 and received Presidential asset on January 2003, as the Freedom of Information Act 2002. Unfortunately, a date for the Bill coming into force was never notified, such that it never actually came into operation.
In May 2004, a new UPA Government came into power at the Centre. The national campaign for right to information received a major boost when the UPA Government's Common Minimum Programme promised that: "The Right to Information Act will be made more progressive, participatory and meaningful". The National Advisory Council (NAC) was set up to oversee implementation of the Government's Common Minimum Programme. Since its inception, the NAC has taken a close interest in RTI. At the very first meeting of the NAC on 17 July 2004, NAC members submitted a Statement from the National Campaign for the People's Right to Information to the NAC calling for action on RTI. To aid discussions, CHRI submitted an Analysis of the FOI Act and Recommendations to the NAC and all Cabinet MPs prior to the first meeting.
Following the first NAC meeting, Aruna Roy met with key government stakeholders who recommended that civil society submit a paper recommending amendments to the FOI ACT. Draft National Campaign for the People's Right to Information Recommendations re Amending the Central FOI Act 2002 were developed and submitted to the NAC for consideration at their second meeting on 31 July 2004. The NAC considered the draft NCPRI Recommendations and released draft NAC Recommendations re Amending the FOI Act 2002. NAC members Aruna Roy and Jean Dreze provided an Update on the Discussions of the NAC at these first two Meetings.
In the meantime, a public interest litigation case being pursued by Advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of the NCPRI and Centre for Public Interest Litigation since 2002, tried to compel the Government to notify an effective FOI Act 2002 immediately. The case was heard by the Supreme Court on 20 July 2004. The Supreme Court's Order set a deadline of 15 September 2004 for the Central Government to advise when the Act will be notified and if not, when interim Administrative Guidelines would be issued. In the interim, on 12 August 2004, the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions finally released Draft Rules under the Freedom of Information Act 2002! CHRI issued a CHRI Press Release on the Draft Rules on 14 August.
Meanwhile, at the NAC's third meeting on 14 August 2005, CHRI made a Submission regarding the draft NAC Recommendations, for consideration at the meeting. The NAC agreed on Final Recommendations regarding Amending the FOI Act 2002. (Click here for the final recommendations in table form.) The final version endorsed by the NAC was sent by its Chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, to the Prime Minister's Office. A Government Press Release dated 18 September 2004 stated that: "The government will also introduce in the Winter Session of Parliament a bill to seek amendments to the Right to Information Act, based on suggestions put forth by the NAC."
The Right to Information Bill 2004 (RTI Bill 2004) was tabled on 23 December during the winter session of the Lok Sabha. The RTI Bill 2004 was based largely on recommendations submitted to the Government by the NAC (which were based on the NCPRI's original draft Bill. NCPRI produced a comparative analysis of the RTI Bill 2004 against the FOI Act 2002 and the original NAC Recommendations. CHRI's summary of the Bill was also produced.
The RTI Bill 2004 was referred by Parliament to the Department Related Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for consideration. CHRI submitted CHRI recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee re the RTI Bill 2004 prior to giving evidence before the Committee on 14 and 16 February 2005. A range of civil society activists also gave evidence before the Committee. CHRI made a Supplementary Submission on the RTI Bill on 21 February.
The Report of the Committee (including a proposed amended version of the RTI Bill) was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 21 March 2005. CHRI's tabulated and running text analysis of the report highlights the recommendations for change to the RTI Bill 2004 made by the Committee. CHRI made a Submission to Cabinet commenting on the Committee's Report.
On 10 May 2005, the RTI Amendment Bill 2005 (which actioned many of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee) was tabled in the Lok Sabha. The Bill was passed very quickly - it was approved by the Lok Sabha on 11 May 2005 and by the Rajya Sabha on 12 May. On 15 June 2005, President APJ Abdul Kalam gave his assent to the national Right to Information Act 2005. With presidential assent, the Central Government and State Governments had 120 days to implement the provisions of the Bill in its entirety. The Act formally came into force on 12 October 2005.
As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), India is under an international obligation to effectively guarantee the right to information as per Article 19 of the ICCPR.
The formal recognition of a legal right to information in India occurred more than two decades before legislation was finally enacted, when the Supreme Court of India ruled in State of U.P. v. Raj Narain that the right to information is implicit in the right to freedom of speech and expression explicitly guaranteed in Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. Subsequently, the Court has affirmed this decision in numerous cases, and has even linked the right to information with the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.
On 15 June 2005, President APJ Abdul Kalam gave his assent to the national Right to Information Act 2005 which had previously been passed with amendments by the Lok Sabha (11 May) and the Rajya Sabha (12 May). With presidential assent, the Central Government and State Governments now have 120 days to implement the provisions of the Bill in its entirety.The Act formally came into force on 12 October 2005. The Act covers all Central Government, State Government and local bodies, as well as some private bodies.
The Government of India has notified a new set of Rules combining the Rules relating to fees and costs payable under the Right to Information Act and the appeals procedure before the Central Information Commission which were notified in 2005. The new set of rules makes a few substantive changes in the applications and appeals procedure. For example, an RTI applicant will be required to limit an information request to 500 words and pay for postal charges in excess of Rs. 50 for receiving information. A letter of appeal filed with the Central Information Commission may be returned to the appellant if it contains filing deficiencies described in the new Rules. Click here for the new RTI Rules. Click here for related media reports: The Hindu,Hindustan Times.
Central Information Commission
Name of Commissioner
Shri Sudhir Bhargava
Chief Information Commissioner
Chief Information Commissioner
Room No.401, IV Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone: - 011 - 26717355
E-mail : - bhargav4[at]nic(dot)in
|Shri Bimal Julka
Room No.304, III Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone: - 011 - 26182597/26182598
E-mail : - bjulka(dot)ic[at]gov(dot)in
Shri Divya Prakash Sinha
Room No.201, II Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone: - 011 - 26106140/26179548
E-mail : - dp(dot)sinha[at]gov(dot)in
Shri Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha
Room No.414, IV Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone: - 011 - 26717356
E-mail : - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Vanaja N Sarna
Room No.211, II Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
E-mail :- email@example.com
Shri Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Room No.301, III Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone :- 011 - 26105682
|Shri Suresh Chandra
Room No.311, III Floor,
Baba Gangnath Marg
Munirka, New Delhi-110067
Phone :- 011 - 26181827
Obstacles to RTI
Section 22 of the Right to Information Act 2005 provides that it is to have overriding effect over inconsistent legislation or rules. Although this is a commendable provision, the practical application of the Act by bureaucrats may nevertheless be affected by the continued presence on the law books of several restrictive pieces of legislation.
The Official Secrets Act, 1923, a legacy of British rule in India, contains several provisions prohibiting the flow of information from the Government to ordinary people. It was enacted to protect against spying, but its provisions are far-reaching. They serve not only to restrict access to information, but also to punish the disclosure of certain kinds of information, by any person.
Sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 also impose unnecessary restrictions on making available official information as evidence. Section 123 deals with evidence as to affairs of State and provides that no one shall be permitted to give any evidence derived from unpublished official records relating to any affairs of State, except with the permission of the officer at the head of the department concerned, who shall give or withhold such permission as he thinks fit. Further, section 124, which deals with official communications, states that no public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official confidence, when he considers that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure.
Conduct rules for Civil Servants are also anachronistic in prohibiting disclosure of official information. Section 9 of the All India Services (Conduct Rules) 1968 states that no civil servant shall, except in accordance with any general or special order of the Government, or in the performance in good faith of the duties assigned to him, communicate directly or indirectly any official document or part thereof or information to any government servant or any other person to whom he is not authorised to communicate such document or information. The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1964 lay down similar restrictions.
Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy
- Department of Personnel and Training had invited comments on draft RTI rules (2010) relating to Right to Information Act. Subsequently, CHRI has submitted preliminary comments and recommendations for changes to DoPT.
- The Central Information Commission has issued a Directive on 9th December, 2010 for the designation of Transparency Officer in public authorities for the implementation of S4 of the RTI Act.
- The Department of Personnel and Training under the Ministry of Personnel, Pulbic Grievances & Pensions, Government of India issued an Office Memorandum ( the link :http://persmin.gov.in/WriteReadData/RTI/RTI_rules_01122010-1.pdf ) on 10th December, 2010 inviting comments on the proposed RTI Rules, the text of which is attached to the OM. The comments are to be sent by 27th December to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- The Department of Administrative Reforms which is part of the Ministry of Personnel , Public Grievances and Pensions has issued a set of guideliens for officers of the Central Government about the use of emails in office recognizing e-mails as one of the forms of communications and explaining how they can be effectively managed. The guidelines define e-mail and its components, the purpose of using emails in Government Departments, determining which messages are records and who is responsible for its control and management, issues regarding privacy and security, filing, deleting, and retaining emails. CHRI has listed the highlights of the guidelines with references to RTI Act. Click here to see.
- In response to queries raised by Lok Sabha MPs the Minister for Personnel has replied that the RTI Act will be amended though no timeframe has been fixed for this purpose. The purpose of the amendments will be to review the list of organisations in the Second Schedule of the Act (read with section 24) and make rules for public authorities to disclose more information in the public domain. The Minister has stated that NGOs have sent representations to the Government of India expressing doubts about the proposed amendments. He has also said that NGOs and social activists will be consulted on the propsoed amendments. Please click here for the text of the query raised and the reply provided by the Minister.
- The Government of Jammu and Kashmir tabled The Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Bill, 2009 (the Bill) in the J&K Legislative Assembly on 7th March 2009. The Bill contains provisions that are similar to The Right to Information Act, 2005 (Central RTI Act) enacted by Parliament. The Government has claimed that this Bill is intended to bring the erstwhile law governing people's access to information from public authorities in J&K, on par with the Central RTI Act. The Government of J&K for taking this important step towards fulfilling an electoral promise made to the people of J&K. Before tabling the Bill in the J&K Assembly, the J&K Government advertised the draft Bill in the public domain inviting people to comment on its provisions. Civil society organisations in J&K and elsewhere in India and abroad welcomed this decision as it provided an opportunity for people to participate in the making of a seminal law that aims to transform the fundamental operating principle of Government from obsessive secrecy to compulsory openness. However a reading of the text of the Bill tabled in the J&K Assembly reveals that the Government has ignored almost all the important recommendations made by civil society organisations for strengthening the Bill further. Of the 29 recommendations submitted by CHRI to the Department of Law, only one minor change has been incorporated fully in the Preamble. The public consultation process has been reduced to mere eyewash. CHRI has listed below, the major problems with the provisions of the Bill.
- The J&K Government has drafted a Bill to replace the J&K Right to Information Act 2004 as amended in 2008. This Bill seeks to replace the old law in toto. The draft Bill is closely modeled on the provisions of the Central Right to Information Act enacted in 2005. The text of the Bill tabled in the J&K Assembly on 7th March 2009 indicates that hardly any recommendation made by civil society organisations has been incorporated in the Bill. The public consultation has been reduced to mere eyewash. CHRI has further made 28 recommendations based on the experience gathered regards the implementation of the Central RTI Act in other parts of India. These modifications, if incorporated into law, can secure people's right to information in a more effective manner in J&K.
- The J&K Government has drafted a Bill to replace the J&K Right to Information Act 2004 as amended in 2008. This Bill seeks to replace the old law in toto. The draft Bill is closely modelled on the provisions of the Central Right to Information Act enacted in 2005. The J&K Government has sought people's views on the draft provisions before it finalises the draft for tabling in the Legislature. CHRI has made 29 recommendations aimed at improving the Draft Bill based on the implementation experience with the Central RTI Act. These recommendations have been submitted to the J&K Government.
- The government of Jammu and Kashmir has prepared a revised Draft Bill on Right to Information Act to bring the State law at par with the Central Right to Information Act 2005. The Draft Bill will be posted on the website of the General Administartion Department for soliciting public opinion, after which the Cabinet will again discuss the draft. The Law Department will issue a notification in this regard to seek public opinion on the Draft Bill. (Source: Greater Kashmir, 20 February 2009)
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) has invited views from the people to decide an important issue: are elected representatives of the people covered under the definition of 'public authority'? This invitation was made in response to complaints concerning requests for information under the RTI Act made to Ms. Sonia Gandhi, MP; Shri Sahib Singh Chauhan, MLA; Smt. Sunita Sharma, Municipal Councillor; and Shri Rahul Gandhi, MP. CHRI has made a submission to the CIC on whether the information sought by the concerned applicants from public representatives mentioned above, can qualify as information sought under RTI Act, 2005 and if so, whether the public representatives from whom information is asked for, qualify as public authorities, and as such obliged to provide the information under the RTI Act. (01/09/2008)
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) in India has launched an online system for submission of appeals under RTI. The new system was started in July 2008. In order to use this, applicants will have to log on to the website of CIC and click on the "RTI Complaints and Appeals" link, which will provide an application form. Applicants can also check the status of their appeals/complaints online. (05/08/08)
- The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India is the nodal agency for Right to Information in India. In 2008, DoPT has undertaken a study to review the implementation of RTI Act by Governments at all levels in the country with specific reference to key issues and constraints faced by the "Information Providers" and "Information Seekers". The scope of the study is to review the experience of central and state governments in implementing the RTI Act.The study is being conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers Pvt. Ltd. (05/08/08)
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 2007 (Regulations) for effective functioning of the Commission. The Regulations issued on 13 June 2007 under Section 12(4) of Right to Information Act, 2005 was brought into effect on 21 June 2007.The Regulations lay down among other matters, the duties and functions of officers of the Commission, working hours, and procedures for registration and process of appeals and complaints. CHRI has made a submission to the CIC analysing the Regulations in detail. The analysis has been critical of the lack of public consultation prior to bringing into force the Regulations and the burden the new procedures would put on appellants and complainants and has also questioned the very powers of the Commission to frame such Regulations. (02/07/2007)
- Protests were held by civil society activists during the opening night of a three-day National Convention held in Delhi to mark the first anniversary of the Right to Information Act coming into operation. The protests were aimed at the Central Information Commission for not not doing enough to ensure that the Act is implemented properly by public officials. A number of activists were arrested for holding up banners during an inauguration speech held by President Abdul Kalam, prompting a boycott of the Convention by civil society groups. (16/10/2006)
- The Government has decided not to bring in the proposed amendments to the Right to Information Act(RTI Act) in the current session of the Parliament.The representations of civil society and activists against these amendments aimed at exempting the file notings from the purview of the Act has forced the Government to reconsider this move. But the controversy of the file notings is likely to continue with the President A P J Abdul Kalam expressing his reservations on including file notings. (21/08/2006)
- Right to information activists and civil society groups have formed the 'Campaign to save the RTI Act' in response to the recent release of the tentative draft Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2005. The campaign has recently called for the holding of a civil society referendum on the proposed Bill as part of their protests. In a separate development, both the opposition parties and the Communist parties, which the Government depends on to pass legislation, have said that they would oppose the draft Bill if it were to be tabled in parliament. (18/08/2006)
- A tentative draft Right to information (amendment) bill 2006 was circulated by right to information activists during a press conference held on 3 August. The Bill includes a number of amendments that would narrow the scope of the Right to Information Act 2005 and in particular would make file notings exempt from the law. Since the circulation of the Bill, there have been widespread national protests CHRI has submitted a critique of the amendments to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, several key members of the Government, MPs, the Information Commissioners and civil society partners. (14/08/2006)
- A nationwide anti-corruption campaign, "the Drive against Bribes", was launched yesterday across 48 cities. The 15-day drive will involve groups from across society - including civil society, the media, businesses and government departments - and will focus on training and encouraging the public to use the 2005 Right to Information (RTI) Law to seek information from government instead of paying bribes to do so. Assistance centres manned by over 1,500 volunteers will help the public to file RTI requests during the campaign. (02/07/2006)
- The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has submitted its first report on the implementation of the Right to Information law to Government of India. The report sets out key recommendations to improve the functioning of the Act which include repealing the Official Secrets Act 1923 and incorporating its unauthorised communication of official information as an offence under the National Security Act; ensuring that at least half the members of Information Commissions are drawn from non-Civil Service backgrounds; overhauling public records management with the introduction of public records offices both at the centre and state levels; handing responsibility for monitoring the law to the Information Commissions; and formulating a road-map for effective implementation in the judiciary and legislature. For an unofficial compilation of the summary of recommendations click here. (23/06/2006)
- In a recent notification, the Department of Personnel and Training, the nodal agency at the national level responsible for the implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005, issued 17 May, 2006 has allowed the acceptability of Indian Postal Orders as another mode of payment for fees under the RTI Act. The modes of fee payment notified in the Central and State rules are too few in number. This has caused much inconvenience to citizens while submitting information requests. The latest notification would help in reducing some of the difficulties which the applicants were facing till now.
- The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed an RTI Portal to enable citizens to search for information published online by various departments in the Central and State Government.
- From 27-28 March 2006, CHRI in collaboration with the Indian Social Institute organised ta National Conference on the Working of the Right to Information Act 2005. More than 90 participants from civil society groups, voluntary sectors and people's movements from 20 states attended the conference. Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Central Information Commissioner and Mr C B Paliwal, Joint-Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training attended the conference as guest speakers on different days. A resolution demanding proper implementation of the RTI Act was adopted unanimously by the house. It is hoped that this will be used as an advocacy document by CHRI and all partners to push for the proper implementation of the Act in the states. The workshop report will shortly be uploaded.
- AGNI (Action for Good Governance and Networking in India) have developed a simple and comprehensive Citizen's Guide on Using the Right to Information Act 2005.
- A meeting was held between NCPRI and DOPT on 7 March 2006 to discuss the problems that people were facing in using the RTI Act. The report of the meeting is available here.
- The DOPT circulated an Office Memorandum dated 21 Feb 006 under the directives of the CIC to all ministries/departments on the steps to be taken by them regarding RTI Act within their jurisdictions.
- In a recent decision, the Central Information Commission has held that examineers are not entitled to get a copy of their evaluated answer papers under the Act. Close on the heels of this decision, there are reports in th media that the Government is now considering exempting examination bodies like the UPSC and the CBSE from the RTI Act.
- The Administrative Reforms Commission has published an RTI Questionnaire on its website seeking recommendations on how to effectively implement the RTI Act 2005. The Commission has developed separate questionnaires for the Central and State Governments, NGOs, the media and citizens. These questionnaires are available at http://arc.gov.in/q1.htm. The completed questionnaire may be sent by post to the Administrative Reforms Commission, Government of India, 2nd Floor, Vigyan Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi - 110011 or by email to email@example.com
- The Government of India has amended the Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules 1964 to bring them in line with the provisions of the RTI Act. 18 October 2005 issued a notification of amendment to the Civil Service (Conduct) Rules 1964. The amendment, which was made by a notification issued on 18 October 2005, states that officers will now communicate information in accordance with the RTI Act and its attendant Rules.
- Central Chief Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibbullah, has stated that file notings are accessible under the RTI Act 2005. In an interview with the Indian Express, he has said that the Department of Personnel's definition which excludes file notings and the PM's recent guidelines on making only select notings public are not binding on the Commission. The decision as to whether particular file notings can or cannot be given to applicants will be made by the Commission on a case by case basis.
- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has instructed the Department of Personnel and Training to make changes in the RTI Act to allow file notings related to development and social issues to be made public.The PM however has also asked that the identities of officers be kept secret when revealing such file notings. The Prime Minister's announcement has been criticised by Shekhar Singh, Convenor of the NCPRI and by CHRI.
- The Ministry of Defence has said the armed forces should be excluded from the RTI Act. The Ministry has said the three armed forces should enjoy the same exemptions as provided to security forces listed in the 2nd Schedule of the Act. The Ministry of Personnel has previously responded negatively to requests for the three armed forces to be exempted.
- Newspaper reports indicate that the Central Government will soon declare YASHADA (Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration) as the national resource center for the RTI Act. YASHADA will be tasked with training State Government Officials on the RTI Act under the Training of Trainers (TOT) programme. YASHADA has experience in training more than 5000 officials on the Maharashtra law and since July has been training officials on the RTI Act.
- CHRI has written to Central Chief Information Commissioner on the issue offile notings, the development of proper internal appeals procedure within the Commission and on the monitoring obligations of the new Commission. These letters were copied to the four Central Information Commissioners and all existing State Information Commissions.
- Retired IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir Wajahad Habibullah has been appointed as the Chief Central Information Commissioner by the Central Government under the RTI Act. With his appointment, the Government has set in motion the process of setting up a Commission, a mandatory provision under the RTI Act 2005. The Government has also appointed four Central Information Commissioners - Mr A N Tiwari, Mr O P Kejriwal, Mr M M Ansari and Ms Padma Balasubhramanian.
- CHRI has written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Minister of State for Personnel, Suresh Pachouri, urging that all attempts at bringing amendments to exclude file notings from the purview of the Right to Information Act 2005 be resisted. CHRI has initiated an Urgent Action Appeal on this issue urging RTI activists and civil society organisations to write to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Personnel, Suresh Pachouri, the Law Minister, H R Bharadwaj and Chaiperson of the National Advisory Council, Sonia Gandhi, to register their protest against this move. We would encourage activists to download CHRI's Urgent Action Appeal and use it to formulate their own response. We would be grateful if you could forward a copy your letter to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to CHRI, B-117, First Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi - 110017.
- The Right to Information a new user-driven website launched by Parivartan, allows RTI activitists, ngos and citizens to post details of their experiences with the right to information. Users are encouraged to post their contact details, useful stories and case studies with a view to faciliate dialogue between RTI activitists and users across the country. For further information please contact Mrs Madhu Bhaduri .
- The National Campaign on People's Right to Information (NCPRI) was formed to advocate for the right to information at the national level. Its members comprise RTI activists, campaigners and ngos from across the country. For further Information: Contact NCPRI, C-17A Munirka, New Delhi, 110067 Tel: +91-11-26178048, E-Mail: email@example.com .
- Hum Janenge is a web-based networking platform focused specifically on monitoring use of Indian right to information laws and providing a forum for discussing issues/problems and sharing successes. Hum Janenge's primary networking mode is via their listserve, which all members of the public are welcome to sign up to. To register on the Hum Janenge listserve: click here .For further information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://www.mahadhikar.org/
Resources & Articles Government
- CHRI (2008) Ambit and Scope of section 7 (3) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 Relating to Further Fees, 4 December.
- CHRI (2007) Submission re the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations 2007.
- CHRI (2007) Letter to Central Information Commissioner re the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 25 June.
- CHRI (2006) Recommendations on the tentative draft Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2006.
- CHRI (2006) Backgrounder for Civil Society on File Notings
- CHRI (2006) Information Commissions: Roles & Responsibilities, written by Charmaine Rodrigues and edited by Maja Daruwala.
- CHRI (2006) Dealing with Third Parties: Applications & Appeals, written by Charmaine Rodrigues and edited by Maja Daruwala & Venkatesh Nayak.
- CHRI (2006) Your Guide to using the Right to Information Act 2005, written by Mandakini Devasher and edited by Charmaine Rodrigues & Venkatesh Nayak.
- CHRI (2005) Summary of the RTI Act 2005, prepared by Venkatesh Nayak and Charmaine Rodrigues.
- CHRI (2005) Draft Rules on the RTI Act 2005, submitted to the Central DOPT, May.
- CHRI (2005) Action Plan for Implementation of the RTI Act 2005.
- CHRI (2005) Public Education Strategies, a concept note submitted to the Central DOPT, July.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Central CIC re Monitoring Systems and Annual Reporting, 15 November.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Central CIC re Appeals Procedures, 10 November.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Central CIC re File Notings, 7 November.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to PM re Exemption of File Notings from the RTI Act 2005, 2 November.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Law Minister re Exclusion of File Notings from the RTI Act 2005, 13 October.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Sonia Gandhi re Exclusion of File Notings from the RTI Act 2005, 13 October.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to PM re Exclusion of File Notings from the RTI Act 2005, 29 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Minister of Personnel re Exclusion of File Notings from the RTI Act 2005, 29 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Chief Justice, Supreme Court re Implementing the RTI Act 2005, 20 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to High Courts re Implementing the RTI Act 2005, 19 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to State Police Departments re Implementing the RTI Act 2005, 19 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to State Chief Electoral Officers re Implementing the RTI Act 2005, 16 September.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to DOPT & Law Ministry Clarifying Application of Fees and Exemptions under the RTI Act 2005, 9 August.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Chief Secretaries Clarifying Appointment Procedures of State Information Commission, 8 August.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Ministry of Personnel and Law Ministry Clarifying Appointment of APIOs, 2 August.
- CHRI (2005) Letter to Ministry of Personnel, Law Ministry, DOPT re Clarification of Key Issues, 2 August.
- Mandakini Devasher (2005) RTI Act 2005: E-Governance As An Implementation Tool, October, powerpoint presentation.
- Indra Jeet Mistry (2005) Implementing the RTI Act 2005: Lessons From International Best Practice, October, powerpoint presentation.
- Mandakini Devasher (2005) Making the RTI Act Effective, 9 October, The Tribune.
- Indra Jeet Mistry (2005) Inform and Broadcast, 6 October, The Hindustan Times.
- Maja Daruwala (2005) Information Law: Dead on Arrival? 1 October, The Indian Express.
- Mandakini Devasher (2005) RTI Law: Long Road Ahead, 30 August, IndiaTogether.org.
- Mandakini Devasher (2005) Presidential Concerns over the New RTI Act, 31 July, The Hindu.
- Charmaine Rodrigues (2005) Preparing to Implement Successfully, June, i4d (Information for Development).
- Charmaine Rodrigues & Aditi Datta (2005) Road Ahead for Access Law, 31 May, The Hindu.
- Aditi Datta & Charmaine Rodrigues (2005) RTI Bill: Just a Beginning, 22 May, The Tribune.
- Maja Daruwala, Charmaine Rodrigues & Aditi Datta (2005) RTI Bill Undergoing Gradual Metamorphosis, 12 May.
- Maja Daruwala (2005) Eyes Wide Shut, 12 May, The Hindustan Times.
- Maja Daruwala (2005) Lost in Transition, 1 April, The Hindustan Times.
- Charmaine Rodrigues & Peter Slough (2005) India's Right To Information Movement Makes A Breakthrough, 22 March, Open Government, Vol. 1, Issue 1.
- Aditi Datta (2005) RTI Bill: old wine with a new label?, 8 February, The Hindu.
- Charmaine Rodrigues(2005) Supplementary Submission on the Right to Information Bill 2004, submitted by CHRI to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, 21 February.
- Charmaine Rodrigues (2005) Recommendations on Right to Information Bill 2004, submitted by CHRI to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, 14 February.
- Venkatesh Nayak & Peter Slough (2005) Summary of Right to Information Bill 2004, CHRI.
- B.K. Chakraborty, State Chief Information Commissioner, Tripura Information Commission (2008) RTI and protection of individual privacy, RTI Act, 2005 vis-a-vis the Right to Privacy, paper presented at the Third Annual RTI Convention organised by the Central Information Commission, 3-4 November 2008.
- (2006) Urgent appeal from campaign to save the Right to Information Act.
- (2006) Campaign to save the Right to Information Act referendum ballot paper.
- NCPRI (2006) Press note concerning the tentative draft Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2006, 3 August.
- (2006) Anti-corruption campaign launched, Doha Press Association, 2 July.
- Shailesh Gandhi (2006) Right to information as a tool to empower citizens to combat bribery -a national campaign.
- AGNI(2006) Our Right to Information: A Guide for Citizens on the RTI Act 2005.
- NCPRI (undated) Constitution and Information Brochure
- NCPRI (2006) Problems in Implementation of the RTI Act 2005.
- Staff Reporter (2005) Yashada Will be National Resource Centre for RTI, 21 November, Express News Service.
- NCPRI (2005) Draft Rules on the RTI Act 2005.
- Siddharth Narrain (2005) Affirming the Right to Know, June 4-17, Frontline, Vol 22, Issue 12.
- Siddharth Narrain (2005) The South African Experience, Interview with Mothusi Lepheana, Director, Access to Information Unit, South African Human Rights Commission, June 4-17, Frontline, Vol 22, Issue 12.
- Kavita Chowdhury (2005) Commonwealth Countries Compare Notes on RTI, 25 May, Indian Express-Delhi Newsline.
- NCPRI (2005) Submission on the RTI Bill 2004, submitted to Parliament.
- Centre for Civil Society (2005) Comments on the RTI Bill 2004.
- KRIA KATTE (2005) Recommendations on the RTI Bill 2004, submitted by KRIA Katte to Parliament.
- Chitta Behera (2005) Suggestions on the RTI Bill 2004, submitted to the Parliament.