Right to Information Act; it’s concept and application!

By Subrata Mukherjee

In love with Golapi, Subratagolapi.

The New World (Natun Prithibi)

Perspective in India:

Right to information is an Act passed by the Legislature in India and came in to force on 12th October, 2005, aimed at providing the citizens the right to information.

Under the provisions of this Act any citizen of India may request for information from a public authority, an instrument of the Government of India which is duty bound to furnish the necessary information as sought by the applicant, subject to limitations of law designed specifically for this purpose within 30 days from the date of receiving the application.

Right to information is an implied fundamental right for the citizens of India and this law very well comes within the purview of fredom of speech and expression provided under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

However, this right to information is not an absolute right to be applied unfettered way rather this Act is limited in its scopes subject to restrictions under Official Secrets Act,1923 and Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011.

This Act is a central legislation and is applicable to whole of India and provides information regarding:

1. Constitutional authorities.

2. Institutions/ body constituted under the Acts of central or state legislature.

3. Private institutions funded by the Government of India.

4. Political parties.

The Right to Information in India is governed and guided by two bodies

A.Central Information Commission with the Chief Information Commissioner for central government departments

B. State Information Commission with the State Public Information Officer for state government departments.

The both the central and the state Commission are independent bodies and they have no interference in their acts and mode of operation.

However, the necessary information can only be provided subject to the payment of prescribed fees to the appropriate authority along with the application.

Since it’s inception the Right to Information Act, 2005 has gained much popularity among the citizens of India and no doubt except some practical disputes, it has been performing the necessary purpose in a huge way for the questions and queries in the minds of the applicants in millions.

নতুন পৃথিবী

Perspective in the United Kingdom:

This is the Freedom of Information Act, 2000, is an Act of the parliament in UK that gives the people to get access to information from the public authorities.

The Freedom of Information Act creates a statutory right for the citizens to get access to information from public offices and authorities.

This Act covers three kinds of bodies :

1.Public authorities.

2.Publicly owned companies.

3 Designated bodies performing public functions as empowered for these purposes.

This Information Act is applicable to all public authorities within the United Kingdom. The Act creates a general right of access to get information from the public authorities,the publicly owned companies and the designated bodies on the request with the application in the specified format as per the law, subject to certain limitations and exemptions as mentioned in the specified Acts for such purposes.

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