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Right to Information: India - Legislation


Madhya Pradesh Act No. 3 of 2003

The Madhya Pradesh Jankari Ki Swatantrata Adhiniyam 2002
Table Of Contents


    1. Short title and extent
    2. Definitions
    3. Obligations of public bodies
    4. Freedom of Inspection and obtaining Certified copies
    5. Procedure and fees.
    6. Grounds for refusal to supply information in certain cases
    7. Appeal
    8. Penalties
    9. Responsibilities of Head of Public Body
    10. Power to make rules
    11. Protection of action taken in good faith
    12. Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts
    13. Removal of difficulties
    14. Act to have overriding effect

(Received the assent of the Governor on the 24th January, 2003, assent first published in the 'Madhya Pradesh Gazette (Extra-ordinary)' dated the 31 January 2003)

An act to provide for freedom to every citizen of the State to secure access to information under the control of public authorities consistent with public interest and as a right to promote openness and transparency in administration and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Be it enacted by the Madhya Pradesh Legislature in the Fifty third year of the Republic of India as follows:-

Short title and commencement

    1. This act may be called the Madhya Pradesh Jankari Ki Swatantrata Adhiniyam 2002
    2. It extends to the whole of the State of Madhya Pradesh.


2. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires:-

    a) 'Personal information' means recorded information about an individual.
    b) 'public body' means-

    (i) all offices of the State Government
    (ii) all local authorities and statutory authorities constituted under any Act of the State Legislature for the time being in force and all Companies. Corporations and Cooperative Societies in which not less than fifty one percent of the paid up share capital is held by the State Government.

    But does not include-

    (i) Offices of the Central Governor situated in Madhya Pradesh.
    (ii) any establishment of the Armed forces or Central para Military forces in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
    (iii) corporations owned by the Central Government.
    (iv) religious organisations.
    (v) the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.
    (vi) the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and other Courts of Law including Tribunals, and other Organisations which have the Status of Courts and whose proceedings are deemed to be judicial proceedings.
    (vii) the Secretariat of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh
    (viii) the office of the Lokayukt.

    (c ) 'head of a public body' means a person who is the Chief Executive and in charge of the affairs of a public body.
    (d ) 'Designated Officer' means an officer appointed by the head of a public body to carry out the provisions of this Act.
    (e) 'record' means-

    (i) any document, manuscript and file;
    (ii) any microfilm, microteche and facsimile copy of a document
    (iii) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and
    (iv) any other material produced by a computer or by any such device.

3. Every public body shall-

    (a) Maintain all records in such manner and form as is consistent with its operational requirements;
    (c) Publish the details of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information.


(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act every citizen shall have the freedom to inspect and obtain copies of any record created within three preceding calendar years which is in possession of a public body.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1), no person shall be given-

(a) Information, the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, strategic scientific or economic interest of India or conduct of international relations;

(b) Information, the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect public safety and order or which may lead to an incitement to commit an offence or prejudicially affect fair trial or adjudication of a case;

(c) Information relating to Cabinet papers and every Government Order issued on the basis of the Cabinet decision including records of the deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other Officers;

(d) Information the disclosure of which would harm, frankness and candor of internal discussions including inter departmental or intra departmental notes, correspondence and papers containing advice or opinion as also of projections and assumptions relating to internal policy analysis;

(e) Information the disclosure of which would prejudice the assessment or collection of any tax, cess, duty or fee or assist in avoidance or evasion of the tax, cess, duty or fee.
(f) Information the disclosure of which would constitute a breach of privilege of the Parliament or the State Legislature;

(g) Information regarding trade or commercial secrets protected by law or such information, the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the legitimate economic and commercial interest or the competitive position of a public body or would cause unfair gain or loss to any person;

(h) Information regarding any matter which is likely to-

(i) help or facilitate escape from legal custody or affect prison Security or

(ii) which relates to the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

(iii) information the disclosure of which is prohibited under any enactment regulation or international agreement.

Explanation - The period of three years shall be reckoned from 1st January of the calendar year in which any person applies to inspect or obtain copies of any record.


(1) A person desiring to inspect or obtain a copy of record under this Act may make an application in writing to the designated officer.

(2) The designated officer shall, as soon as possible, but not later than thirty days, of receipt of such an application subject to the provisions of sub section (2) of Section 4 and Section 6 of this Act, permit inspection of the record or supply copies, as the case may be unless the application fails to pay the requisite fee or refuse such permission if information can not be supplied under the provisions of this Act.

(3) Where a request is rejected under sub-section (2) the designated officer shall communicate to the person making request:-

(i) the reasons for such rejection;

(ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred;

(iii) the particulars of the appellate authority.

(4) Every public body shall charge fees for the information supplied or inspection of document allowed at such rates as may be notified by the State Government.

6. Without prejudice to the provisions of Section 4, the designated officer may also reject a request for supply of information where such request-

(a) is too general in nature and the information sought is of such nature that, it is not required to be ordinarily collected by the public body;

(b) relates to information that is required by law, rules, regulations or orders to be published at a particular time;

(c) relates to information that is contained in published material available to public;

(d) relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual;

(e) relates to matters classified as 'Secret' or 'Confidential'.

(f) is vague or meaningless; or too large in volume to prepare copies.


(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the designated officer refusing to provide information may prefer an appeal within thirty days of the impugned order to the State Government or to such appellate authority as may be notified by the State Government subject to such rules as may be prescribed.

Explanation - An application made under sub-section (1) of Section 5 shall be deemed to have been refused if no communication is received within a period of forty days from the date of such application.

(2) An appeal shall be decided within thirty days form the date of filing it

(3) The decision in appeal shall be final and binding on all concerned.


(1) Where the head of a public body or designated officer fails to supply the desired information within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of the copy of the order of the appellate authority, the appellate authority may impose a penalty not exceeding two thousand rupees on the concerned head of the public body or designated officer as it thinks appropriate after giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard and such a penalty shall be recoverable in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The head of the public body or designated officer or whom a penalty under sub-section (1) has been imposed may within thirty days from the date of communication of such order to him, prefer an appeal to the State Government.


(1) The head of every public body shall be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the provisions of this Act.
(2) Every head of public body shall for the purposes of this Act, appoint one or more officials as designated officer.


1) The State Government may make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act

(2) All rules made under this Act shall, as soon as possible after they are made, be laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly.

11. No suit prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the State Government or any public body or any person for anything which is done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of this Act or the rules made there under.

12. No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal if any provided under this Act.

13. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act the State Government may by order, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as appears to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty.

14. The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent herewith contained in any other law made by the State Legislature in respect of any matter falling under State list or Concurrent list except the provisions of any existing law or a law made by Parliament in respect of any matter falling under concurrent list.