Originally, the Right to Information Act, 2005 extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir but now after the special status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been repealed, the Law extends to whole of the country including Jammu and Kashmir. According to section 1(3), it came into force in two parts:

i) In first part, the provisions of section 4(1), sections 5(1) and 5(2), sections 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 27 and 28 shall come into force at once (came into force w.e.f. 15th June, 2005), and

ii) The remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on the 120th day of its enactment (came into force w.e.f. 12th October, 2005).

Earlier, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that section 1(2) of RTI Act provides that Act does not extend to State of Jammu and Kashmir. It means if there are public authorities under control of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and located exclusively within State of Jammu and Kashmir and they hold information, then such information cannot be accessed by filing application under this Act with such public authorities in State of Jammu and Kashmir. But, where the information is held by authority pertaining to Central Government and all other requisites of the Act have been fulfilled, then such authority cannot take protection of non-applicability of the Act. In such circumstances, they are bound to furnish information according to the provisions of the Act, Army personnel in the State of Jammu and Kashmir does not preclude such personnel or their relatives from seeking information concerning themselves through application made under the Act to Army. Petitioner proceeded on misinterpretation of section 1(2) of the Act. It was erroneous on part of the petitioner to contend that information pertaining to son and husband of two respondents respectively, cannot be provided. Therefore, dismissed petitions and directed that impugned order will be complied with by petitioner within a period of 15 days. This is because of the arrangements and understandings and also of the relevant provisions of the Constitution of India under Article 370 and the Constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir.


Also Read: RTI Act, 2005: All you need to know about the Right to Information Act, 2005


Article 12 of the Constitution of India and Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act

As far as the Right to Information is concerned, a body which is neither a ‘State’ for the purpose of Article 12 of the Constitution of India nor a body discharging public functions for the purpose of Articles 226 & 32 of the Constitution of India might still be a ‘public authority’ within the purview of section 2(h)(d)(i) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. To explain further that it will be noticed that in all the decisions concerning the interpretation of the word ‘State’ under Article 12 of the Constitution, the test evolved is that of ‘deep and pervasive’ control whereas in the context of the RTI Act, there are no such qualifying adjectives ‘deep and percasive’ vis-a-vis the word ‘controlled’. Just as the right to vote of the little citizen is of profound significance in a democracy, so is the right to information. It is another small but potent key in the hands of India’s little people that can unlock and lay bare the internal workings of public authorities whose decisions affect their daily lives in myriad unknown ways. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court finds no error having been committed by the CIC in its conclusion that Krishak Bharti Co-operative Ltd. (KRIBHCO) National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Ltd. (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) are “public authorities” within the meaning of section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The main purpose and objective behind the beneficial legislation is to make information available to citizens in respect of organizations, which take benefits by utilizing substantial public funds. This ensures that the citizens can ask for and get information and to know how public funds are being used and there is openness, transparency and accountability. Even though, those private organizations or institutions which are enjoying benefit of substantial funding directly or indirectly from the Governments fall within the definition of public authorities under RTI Act.

 

                                                     Time limit for disposing off applications

Situation  

     Time limit for disposing off applications

1.Supply of information in normal course.                    

30 days

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

48 hours

3. Supply of information if the application is received through APIO

5 days shall be added to the time period indicated at Sr. No. 1 and 2.

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

 i) In normal course

ii) In case the information concerns the life or liberty of a person

 

 

 

i)Within 30 days of the receipt of the application by the concerned public authority

ii) Within 48 hours of receipt of the application by the concerned public authority.

5. Supply of information of information by organizations specified in the Second Schedule:

 i) If information relates to allegations of human rights

ii) In case information relates to allegations of corruption.

 

 

i) 45 days from the receipt of application.

ii) Within 30 days of the receipt of application

6. Supply of information if it relates to third party and the third party has treated it as confidential.

 

Provided after following certain prescribed procedure given in the Act under Section 11

7. Supply of information where the applicant is asked to pay additional fee.

The period intervening between informing the applicant about additional fee and the payment of fee by the applicant shall be excluded for calculating the period of reply.

 

 Hierarchy of the RTI Organization Public Authorities under the RTI Act

Central Public Authorities

State Public Authorities

 

 

 Central Information Commission

(1 Chief + not exceeding 10 members)

 

 

State Information Commission (1 Chief + not exceeding 10 members)

 

 

First Appellate Authority

(Head or Senior Officer of the Department)

 

 

First Appellate Authority

 (Head or Senior Officer of the Department)

 

 

 

Central Public Information Officer

 

 

 

State Public Information Officer

 

 

 

Central Assistant Public Information Officer

 

 

 

State Assistant Public Information Officer