What Are The Restrictions Imposed Under The Right to Information Act 2005? Right to information Act 2005 is an important tool in the hands of the citizens, to keep a check on the government authorities. This power is not absolute, and is subject to certain restrictions. What is Right to Information? Right to Information Act 2005 is enacted for the citizens, who can rightfully claim...
Access the exclusive LEGAL ERAStories,Editorial and Expert Opinion
What Are The Restrictions Imposed Under The Right to Information Act 2005?
Right to information Act 2005 is an important tool in the hands of the citizens, to keep a check on the government authorities. This power is not absolute, and is subject to certain restrictions.
What is Right to Information?
Right to Information Act 2005 is enacted for the citizens, who can rightfully claim certain details from the government relevant to their logical interest.
However, the right to information is not an absolute right, not all the information is for public access. For example, after the Pulwama attack, many raised a voice to have access to the investigation report to that, but legally they cannot claim so, because that involves sensitive information regarding the security of the country and international harmony.
The basic object of the RTI Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. The Right to Information Act, 2005 empowers citizens to get information from any 'public authority'.
What is the information sought under the provision of the RTI Act?
The term information is defined under Sec. 2(f) of the Rights to Information Act, which says "any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and also include information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force".
As it has been already discussed that not all the information can be disclosed to the public, here are some information which can be obtained by the public, they are as follows:
• Two kinds of information can be provided- Information that is to be disclosed upon request, and information that are required to be disclosed to the public without any request made.
• For the information regarding a personal matter more than 20 years old, Sec. 8(3) of the Act specifies that it will not amount to a violation of privacy.
What are the restrictions imposed on the RTI Act?
The provision of the RTI Act is not absolute in nature. As discussed, certain information cannot be made available to the public for ensuring a successful administration.
As per Sec. 8 of the Act, these matters cannot be disclosed under RTI application:
• International relations
• National Security
• Law enforcing and prevention of crime.
• Internal discussions of the Government
• Information forbade to be published by a Court or tribunal or if such disclosure of information leads to contempt of Court.
• Information which will be an infringement to the privacy of the individuals if disclosed.
• Information that is particularly of financial nature, if disclosed that may open an easy way to an unfair advantage on some person or object or organization.
• Information regarding fiduciary relationship.
• Information regarding scientific discoveries and improvement in the same field.
According to the provision of Sec. 9 of the Act, if the copyright of any work is not owned by the state, then it cannot be disclosed on an RTI application.
Moreover, the details regarding the intelligence and security organizations established by the Government, cannot be disclosed as per Sec. 24 of the Act. This does not include the matter of allegation of corruption and human rights violation matters.
What is the purpose of the RTI Act?
The RTI ACT is the mechanism or an information tool that can be used by citizen to know about the public welfare work being conducted by the Central and State Government. As well as it works as the check on the government authorities.
However, it is an accepted fact that the citizen cannot be given an absolute power, therefore, the information seeking procedure is subject to certain conditions.