State Level RTI : Karnataka
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.
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
Mode of payment
Indian postal order/ demand draft/bankers' cheque/ or by remitting it to the treasury as per Karnataka Financial Code
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 Contact Details
ROOM NO. 302, Mahiti Soudha,
Devaraj Urs Road, Opposite to Vidhan Soudha West Gate-2,
Bangalore - 560001.
Phone No.: 080 – 22371959
FAX No. : 080 - 22341660
Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy
- On 17th March 2008 the Government of Karnataka (GOK) amended the RTI Rulesissued 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: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com . 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: firstname.lastname@example.org , Website: www.creatindia.org
Resources & Articles
- CHRI (2008) RTI: restore full rights by Venkatesh Nayak & Sohini Paul, Deccan Herald, 06 May.
- CHRI (2008) Preliminary critique of the Karnataka Right to Information (Amendment) Rules, (Apr 2008)
- 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.
- CHRI (2005) Karnataka Right to Information Act 2000.
- CHRI and CREAT (2005) Report of the Bangalore Capacity Building and Strategy Planning Workshop on RTI, 3-4 March.
- CHRI and CREAT (2005) Report on Tumkur workshop for judges and lawyers on KRIA, 8 January.
- Y.G. Muralidharan (2004) Important Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, 31 December, Kannada Prabha (Kannada).
- Y.G.Muralidharan (2004) Right to Information:A Powerful Tool for Citizens,13 September, Kannada Prabha (Kannada).
- Y.G.Muralidharan (2004) Amendments to Freedom of Information Act, 7 August,Kannada Prabha (Kannada).
- Y.G.Muralidharan (2004) Is Right to Information Act Effective?, 2 August, Indian Express.
- Y.G.Muralidharan (2004) Right to Information : Obstacles to Implementation, 9 July,Prajavana(Kannada).
- For information on CHRI's activities in Karnataka, click here.
- CHRI & PAC (2003) Report on the Results of the 2003 Implementation Audit on the Karnataka RTI Act.
- Deepika Moglishetty Farias (2002) Karnataka Right to Information User Guide, CHRI.
- Deepika Moglishetty Farias (2002) Karnataka Right to Information Law: A Comparative Analysis of Salient Features, CHRI.
- For CHRI's analysis of the Karnataka law click on CHRI on the Karnataka Right To Information Bill.
- For Material in Kannada click here.
- For CHRI's posters on RTI click here.
- Staff Reporter (2005) Right to Information Helps Media Unearth Crucial Things, 14 November, Deccan Herald.
- Staff Reporter (2005) Centre's Act on Right to Info Now In Place, 10 November, DH News Service Bangalore.
- T.S. Ranganna (2005) Official Keen on Being Accessible to People, 4 November, The Hindu.
- Special Correspondent (2005) Rules on Right to Information Act not People-Fiendly, says MGP, 3 November, The Hindu.
- Staff Reporter (2005) Right to Information Act, Whom to Contact, 28 October, Star of Mysore.
- Oommen John P (2005) Right Information, Now a Matter of Right, DH News Service Bangalore.
- Anuradha Rao (2005) Karnataka Preparing for National RTI, 27 July, India Together.
- Deepa Sateesh (2005) Tutorials Not Coached in Registration Act, 28 February, Bangalore Vijay Times.
- KRIA KATTE (2004) Minutes from a meeting with DPAR discussing the implementations http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/oct92005/state1856272005108.asptatus of KRIA and the activities of KRIA KATTE, 10 December.
- KRIA KATTE (2004) Collection of RTI Cases from Karnataka, minutes from KRIA KATTE meeting, 20 November.
- KRIA KATTE (2004) Memorandum of Recommendations to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka to Strengthen the KRIA, 28 September.
- Varupi Jain and Subramaniam Vincent (2004) Active Citizenship Taking Root, 28 September, India Together.
- Subramaniam Vincent (2004) The Pressure for Accountability: A Perspective from Karnataka, 22 July, Deccan Herald.
- Ramesh Ramanathan (2004) PROOF: Right-to-Information or Disclosure Practice, June 16 to July 15 issue, Janaagraha Times.
- Nistulla Hebbar (2004) Paper Tiger Act Awaits Action, 27 March, Times of India.
- Stanly Pinto (2004) KWD charges a big price for its plan, 5 February, Times News Network.
- Y. G. Muralidharan (2002) A Tool for Citizens' Empowerment, 1 July, The Hindu.
- Staff Reporter (2000) Information bill in the budget session, 9 April, The Times Of India News Service.