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RTI act,2005: An Introduction

No democracy is literally complete until people are given the participating power and imparted knowledge of the  day to day governance. India took one step in this direction on 15th July 2005 when Right to Information Act was passed by the parliament which came into full force on 12th October 2005.

Hitherto, Information disclosure in India was restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act now relaxes.

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI) is a law enacted by the Parliament of India "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens." The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir - which is covered under a State-level law. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen (excluding the citizens within J&K) may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.

This is by far, the only act that has been passed in a period of 3 working days. It was chaired and passed by Loksabha on 12th July 2005, Rajsabha passed this act on 13th July 2005. It was approved by the President of India on 15th July 2005.This act is a very powerful tool for people’s governance; proved by the tacit understanding that bureaucrats do not very much support this act as it brings their erratic modus operandi to light and thus exposing all their malpractices.

As the citizens of this country, it is right to know the nitty gritty stuff pertaining to this all powerful act. Also it’s our imminent duty and responsibility to make use of this act and help bring in good governance to realize the true democracy.

I am going to do my part by writing a series of articles on this topic and help spread the awareness about this act. When and how are you going to play yours?


Alka Gurha said…
Informative Muddasir...Keep me posted. We need to create awareness about the issue.
Since you are in Blore I wanted to share a thought. Bangalore is city with tremendous potential..great weather, warm people, education, fertile soil, lovely water bodies...but it feels so sad. The political leadership has lost it all.I mean the place has the potential to beat any other world city...Alas!
I concur with you.
Bangalore has the potential of being the next metropolis but unfortunately we dont have that visionary leadership.

Keeping my fingers crossed, hoping for a revolution.Lets keep trying and make our contributions
Sadiya Merchant said…
doubt- 2 actually!
under the rite to information we once wrote to a cooperative society bank in bangalore, a yr ago i think, n dat was fr a transaction detail dat seemed shady at d time for tax filing....but dey simply dint reply to us...n dats despite writin again as follow up
so my question is...v do hav laws in place, but how far is it actually implemented? n wat redressal do v hav towards non- compliance?

secnly- even if the public authority does publish certain categories of info, or even their entire accounts for that matter, wats d guarantee that the application shown, in terms of say expenditure truly exists and isn a dummy?
actually the questions you have asked were supposed to be a part of my future posts on this. anyways here I go;
1. If the bank was a PUBLIC AUTHORITY then are bound to reply else they are not.
2. If they dont reply in 30 days time that can be taken to superior authorities and the concerned folks will be punished, fined and in somecases can be released from their duties as well.

2. Redressal mechanisms are in place. I know a few, gimme a week's time, in the next one or two posts on this series I will get you all the details and contacts who can help you with your issues
shruthi said…
Thats an enlightening post..
Thanks for dropping by.
I suggest you pass info about ths to as many people as possible, lets spread the awareness
Arpana said…
An informative post and i would look forward for next.

That is all the motivation I need to keep writing. The knowledge that someone will read it and that my efforts on this will not be wasted.
I will post soon on this topic.

Thanks :)
Thx for giving such a informative post.. i have heard a lot of RTI act, but never really knew the details.. perhaps i will say this was the starting..
@Deviol Incarnate,
This is just the beginning.
There is more to come.

I will keep you infomred when I post on this subject.
Nalini Hebbar said…
We need to get involved in public life more and exercise our rights to justice...only then will India improve reg corruption.
we need to speak up...demand...fight for things...the chalta hai attitude is what Indians have to lose.
A great Act...should be used more.
Great job!
Thanks for such motivating words.
I will surew write more on thi front.
Meantime, please pass on this information to your family and friends as well
Mohan said…
isn't this an old act which is well known for many and also there are RTI awards given out to people for seeking such information!
No there was no such act before 2005. But it is mentioned as a provision of out constitution and people you used to seek infomration under this provision. Though there was a lot of red tape and court room work involved but people used to strive.

But now there is no red tape except for information pertaining to sepcial agencies like CBI and Jammu Kashmir state related infomration.
S.R.Ayyangar said…
Good start and would like you to write more on the subject. It would be better if you can give the format for RTI and submission procedures.
Hello Sir,
thanks for dropping by.
Yes, It is all planned for further posts on this topic.
highlights of the act, case studies, FAQs, help guides, Sample application forms, fallback mechanisms and greviances redressals.
I will try to post it all but not in a single post.
No one will read or benefit from such posts.
Anonymous said…
Informative post. I hope we all get to use this, one day.
good to see you on non infy part of the blogosphere.
Anonymous said…
Thats an very Informative post..
Thanks for sharing!
The knowledge that someone will read it and that my efforts on this will not be wasted.
MPI Machine
raja said…
Can someone clarify whether RTI act applies to Pvt. financial companies like Karvy. I have been requesting for info on defaults on my investments from karvy for which i am not getting any reply from them. Thanks.

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Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of USA(1801-09) and author of the Declaration of Independence says  “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine”. A thought provoking statement with lot of depth to it. It just doesn’t talk of majority in the parliament but about all those wrong-doers who wish to grow their wealth at the expense of everyone else. Right to Information Act, was brought on the table and made a reality just to counter such elements of the society. RTI guarantees transparency of Information that is vital to its functioning and to contain corruption. In other words, it aids to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.
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