Wednesday 10 Aug 2022

Understanding the RTI Act

The Right to Information Act (RTI) has been a milestone of great importance in the evolution of the Indian Democracy. The Goa Right to Information Act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Goa on July 31, 1997 and assented to by the Governor of Goa on October 29, 1997.

Shanti Maria Fonseca | AUGUST 06, 2012, 12:06 PM IST

What is the Right To Information: ‘The Right to information’means the right to access any information relating to the affairs of the Stateor any local body or authority in the state, funded or controlled by thegovernment or executing any public work or service on behalf of thegovernment.   This includes theinspection of works, documents, records, or taking of samples of material. 

Procedure for application:

-         A person desiring information makes anapplication to the Competent Authority giving the particulars of the matterrelating to which he seeks information.

-          In case aperson is unable to write, then the competent authority may either accept anoral request, which may subsequently be reduced in writing.

-         Upon receipt of an application, the competent authorityshall furnish the information required or pass orders refusing the requestwithin thirty working days from the date of receipt of application. 

-         In case such information is related to the lifeor liberty of an individual, the Competent Authority shall furnish informationor pass orders refusing the request within 48 hours on receipt of theapplication. 

-         Information is to be supplied in English or inthe official language.

Restrictions on information: 

-         The competent authority may withholdinformation, if its disclosure prejudicially affects the country’s integrity, internationalrelations, or public order, or administration. 

-         Information of any individual may also bewithheld if it does not serve any public interest or which is an unwarrantedinvasion of the privacy of an individual, or which leads to incitement of anoffence.

-         Trade and commercial secrets are also protected bythese restrictions.

Appeal:

-         Any person aggrieved by an order of the competentauthority, or any person who has not received any order of the competent authority,within 30 working days may appeal to the Administrative Tribunal.

-         The decision of the Administrative Tribunalshall be final. 

-         No order adversely affecting any person shall bepassed unless that person a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

-         Every appeal shall be disposed as quickly aspossible, and the endeavor shall be made to dispose of an appeal within 30 daysfrom the date on which it is presented.

Obligation of competent authority:

-         Every competent authority is obliged to maintainall its records, and grant access to information, subject to the provisions ofthis Act.

Charging of fees:

-         The competent authority shall charge fees forthe supply of information, which shall not exceed the cost of processing andmaking available of information.

Penalties:

-         Any person responsible for providing anyinformation under this act shall be personally liable for furnishing theinformation.

-         In the event where information provided is falseor incorrect than he/she is liable for imposition of penalties.

-         In addition, the disciplinary authority mayorder him/her to pay a fine of Rs.100/- for every day of delay after the day bywhich the information is required to be given.

Protection of action taken in good faith:

-         No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedingsshall lie against any person for anything done in good faith or intended to bedone while following this act.

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