RTI

 

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

BACKGROUND & OBJECT of RTI Act 2005

RTI Act 2005 provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

WHEREAS the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic:

AND WHEREAS democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed;

AND WHEREAS revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;

AND WHEREAS it is necessary to harmonise these conflicting interests while preserving the paramountcy of the democratic ideal;

NOW, THEREFORE, it is expedient to provide for furnishing certain information to citizens who desire to have it.

Right & obligations under RTI Act 2005

…….all citizens shall have the right to information.

What is Information?

Information is any material in any form. It includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form. It also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force.

 

What is Right to Information?

The right to information includes an access to the information which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents / records and certified samples of the materials and obtaining information which is also stored in electronic form.

 

Who can seek information?

 

Section 3 of the Right to Information Act provides as under:

 

“Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.”

 

- Normally, an applicant is not required to submit any proof of citizenship. However, if the CPIO has any doubt about the identity of the applicant he can seek for his proof of identification.

 

The Act gives the right to information only to the citizens of India. It does not make provision for giving information to Corporations, Associations, and Companies etc which are legal entities / persons but not Citizens.

 

Who is a Public Authority?

As per Section 2 (h) of Right to information Act, 2005 A “public authority” is any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the Central Government or a State Government. The bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government and non-Government organizations substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government also fall within the definition of public authority.

 

As Government of India is holding major and controlling share holdings, Vijaya Bank fall within the definition of Public Authority and thus is under obligation to provide the information to Citizens.

 

Structure of RTI in Vijaya Bank

 

Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO)

The Bank has designated Branch Head of all the Branches, One official at each Regional office and Head office as Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO). These officers forward the application or appeal received by them to the Central Public Information Officer or the Appellate Authority respectively for disposal. An Assistant Public Information Officer is not responsible for supply of the information.

 

Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)

Central Public Information Officers are responsible for giving information to a person who seeks information under the RTI Act. The Bank has designated Second line Executives of all Regional Offices of the bank as Central Public Information Officer under the Act.  At Head Office a Deputy General Manager is designated as Central Public Information Officer.

 

Appellate Authority (AA)

If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the First Appellate Authority who is an officer senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer. The Bank has designated Regional Head of all the Regional offices as Appellate Authority. At Head office, General Manager has been designated as Appellate Authority.

 

             How to make an RTI application:

1)    Online Mode: Applicant can make the application online by visiting the

RTI Online portal (https://rtionline.gov.in/)

2)    Offline Mode: There is no prescribed format of application for seeking information. The application can be made on plain paper. The application should, however, have the name and complete postal address of the applicant. The application should be made in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanied by the prescribed fee and specifying the particulars of the information sought to the Central Public Information officer concerned, within whose Jurisdiction the information pertains would be available. Applications can also be made over fax or email. However, the same shall be followed by “signed” hard copy of the said application to the CPIO concerned along with the requisite fees. Only upon receipt of duly signed application along with requisite fee the application will be considered for processing. The period of 30 days shall commence from the date of receipt of duly signed application along with requisite fees. List of the CPIO, AA is attached herewith. Click Here for CPIO Appellate Authority.

 

Application Fee & fees for providing Information

Application Fee - Application fees Rs. 10/-.

Fees for providing Information - Fee for providing information under sub-section (4) of Section 4 and sub-sections (1) and (5) of Section 7 of the Act shall be charged at the following rates, namely :--

(a) rupees two for each page in A-3 or smaller size paper;

(b) actual cost or price of a photocopy in large size paper;

(c) actual cost or price for samples or models;

(d) rupees fifty per diskette or floppy;

(e) price fixed for a publication or rupees two per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication;

(f) no fee for inspection of records for the first hour of inspection and a fee of rupees 5 for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof; and

(g) so much of postal charge involved in supply of information that exceeds fifty rupees.

Exemption from Payment of Fee.--

No fee under rule 3 and rule 4 shall be charged from any person who, is below poverty line provided a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate Government in this regard is submitted along with the application.

Mode of Payment of Fees –

The RTI fee and the cost of information, where applicable are to be paid by Indian Postal Order or Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque in the name of ‘Vijaya Bank’ and payable at the centre where CPIO is located. Alternatively, applicant may deposit the prescribed fee in MIS REC REG FEE UNDER RTI ACT” bearing A/c No. XXXXX0022503002 at any branch of the Vijaya Bank and should attach counterfoil thereof in original with the application / request while forwarding it to the CPIO / CAPIO. A voucher has been specially designed by the Bank for depositing the RTI fee / additional fee. Click Here for Voucher

 

What information can be sought?

 

A citizen has a right to seek such information from a public authority which is held by the public authority or which is held under its control. This right includes inspection of work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; and taking certified samples of material held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. It is important to note that only such information can be supplied under the Act that is available and existing and is held by the public authority or is held under the control of the public authority. The Public Information Officer is not supposed to create information that is not a part of the record of the public authority. The Public Information Officer is also not required to furnish information which require drawing of inference and/or making of assumptions; or to interpret information; or to solve the problems raised by the applicants; or to furnish replies to hypothetical questions.

 

A citizen has a right to obtain information from a public authority in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through print-outs provided such information is already stored in a computer or in any other device.

 

 

The information to the applicant should ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought. However, if the supply of information sought in a particular form would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or may cause harm to the safety or preservation of the records, supply of information in that form may be denied.

 

In some cases, the applicants expect the Public Information Officer to give information in some particular proforma devised by them on the plea that they have a right to get information in the form in which it is sought. It need be noted that the provision in the Act simply means that if the information is sought in the form of photocopy, it shall be provided in the form of photocopy, or if it is sought in the form of a floppy or in any other electronic mode, it shall be provided in that form, subject to the conditions given in the Act. It does not mean that the PIO shall re-shape the information.

 

 

Some Information Seekers request the Public Information Officers to cull out information from some document(s) and give such extracted information to them. A citizen has a right to get ‘material’ from a public authority which is held by or under the control of that public authority. The Act, however, does not require the Public Information Officer to deduce some conclusion from the ‘material’ and supply the ‘conclusion’ so deduced to the applicant. It means that the Public Information Officer is required to supply the ‘material’ in the form as held by the public authority, but not to do research on behalf of the citizen to deduce anything from the material and then supply it to him. The Central Public Information Officer is not supposed to create information; or to interpret information; or to solve the complaints raised by the applicants; or to furnish replies to hypothetical questions.

 

Information which are exempted from Disclosure

 

Under Section 8 & 9 of RTI Act provides certain categories of information that are exempt from disclosure to the citizens. The content of Section 8 & 9 are reproduced here below

 

Section 8 - Exemption from disclosure of information

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,--

(a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;

(b) information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;

(c) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;

(d) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;

(e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;

(f) information received in confidence from foreign government;

(g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;

(h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;

(i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:

Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over:

Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed;

(j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has not relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information:

Provided that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923(19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

(3) Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section:

Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act.

Section 9 - Grounds for rejection to access in certain cases

Without prejudice to the provisions of section 8, a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be may reject a request for information where such a request for providing access would involve an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State.

 

Time Period for disposal of RTI Applications and Appeals Requests:   

 

 

The following table shows the maximum time (from the receipt of application) which may be taken to dispose off the applications in different situations:

 

 

Sr.

Situation

Time limit for disposing off applications

 

1

Supply of information in normal course.

30 days

 

2

Supply  of  information  if  the  application  is received through APIO

05 days shall be added to the  time  period  indicated at Sr. No. 1

 

3

Supply of information if it concerns the life or liberty of a person

48 hours.

 

4

Transfer   of application   to   other   public

05 days

 

authority under section 6(3) of the Act

 

5

Supply of information if application/request is received  after  transfer  from  another  public authority:

 

 

(a) In normal course

a) Within 30 days of the Receipt of the application by the concerned public authority.

 
 
 

(b) In case the information concerns the life or   liberty of a person.

b)  Within  48  hours  of Receipt of the application by the concerned public authority.

 

6

Supply of information where the applicant is

The period intervening between informing

 

asked to pay additional fee.

The applicant about additional fee and the receipt of such fee by the public authority shall be excluded for Calculating the period of reply.

 

If the Public Information Officer fails to give decision on the request for information within the prescribed period, he shall be deemed to have refused the request. It is pertinent to note that if a public authority fails to comply with the specified time limit, the information to the concerned applicant would have to be provided free of charge.

 

Appeals:   The appeal should be disposed off within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.

 

To whom to send / submit the request?

The requests/ applications are to be submitted to the CPIO concerned, within whose jurisdiction the information pertains would be available, if submitted otherwise there could be delay. Hence, to avoid delay, it is advised that the applicant submits the application to the PIO concerned, after ascertaining the details from the link. Click here for the details of the CPIOs

 

 

To whom to send / submit the appeal?

If the applicant decides to make an appeal against the non-response / information provided by the PIO, the appeal has to be sent / submitted to the concerned First Appellate Authority. Click Here for details of the First Appellate Authorities

 

Making appeal with CIC

If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the First Appellate Authority of Vijaya Bank, he/she can appeal to the Central Information Commission (CIC) as per the rules of the RTI Act 2005.

Click Here for Particular/Details about the Bank in compliance with Section 4(1)(b) of RTI Act 2005

 

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