RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT | JAIIB LAW NOTES 2022
In this post, we will get insights on practical aspects of Right to Information Act for 2022 Exams of JAIIB.
JAIIB LEGAL & REGULATORY ASPECTS OF BANKING FREE NOTES: RTI
So, let’s get towards our rights that are available under Right to Information Act to all the Indians which will also help you cover the syllabus of LRAB paper for Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers 2022.
INTRODUCTION RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT
The Right to Information Act, which is simply known as RTI, is a revolutionary law aimed at promoting transparency in government institutions in India. The law was enacted in 2005 due to the persistent efforts of anti-corruption activists. It is taken as revolutionary in the sense that – it opens up the control towards government organizations.
A common man, equipped with RTI knowledge, can request any government agency to provide information & it will be obliged to provide the information within 30 days, otherwise a monetary fine is imposed on the official concerned.
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THE START OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION REVOLUTION
ENACTION: The RTI Act was enacted by the Parliament of India on – June 15, 2005.
EFFECT: The Act came into effect on October 12, 2005
Since its implementation, it’s been used to provide information to lakhs of Indian citizens. All constitutional bodies fall under this law, making it one of the most powerful laws of the land.
FILING APPLICATION UNDER RTI
The procedure for filing RTI is simple and hassle-free & Every Indian should know about filing RTI.
- Write the application (or get it typed, as per your choice) on paper in English or Hindi or official language of the state. However, some states have a prescribed format for RTI applications. Address it to the PIO (Public Information Officer) of the department concerned.
- You need to ask specific questions & make sure they are clear and complete and not confusing.
- Do write your full name, contact details and address where you wish to receive the information/response of your RTI Application.
- Make a photocopy of the application for your records.
- If you send the application by post, it is advisable to send it by registered mail, because then you will have a confirmation of the delivery of the application.
- If you are sending the application personally to the PIO, do not forget to take the acknowledgment from him/her.
SOME IMPORTANT & GOOD FACTS RELATED TO RTI:
- The law is so people friendly that if an illiterate person approaches the PIO and wants some information under RTI, he can convey his request to the PIO and the officer is required to write it down and read it to them.
- Until the RTI Act empowered the common man to request information from the government, only members of parliament had the privilege to seek such information.
- There is no need to write the application on a blank sheet of paper. Even a crumpled, old, torn piece of paper will do, as long as your written content is legible on it.
- If you are hesitant to post your application and cannot take a day off to reach the concerned PIO, you can go to your post office and submit your application to the Assistant PIO. The Post Office Department has appointed many APIOs across its many offices. Their job is to receive RTI applications and forward them to the concerned PIO or the concerned appellate authority.
ONLINE FILING OF RTI
At present, Central and several state ministries have facilities for online RTI filing. However, there are also several independent websites that allow you to apply online. They charge a nominal amount for which they will write an application and send it to the appropriate department (like outsourcing your RTI application, think about it). It is as good as submitting an RTI application without worrying about the details.
THE GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS WHERE ONE CAN WRITE RTI APPLICATION UNDER THE RTI ACT:
Like mentioned earlier, all government agencies, whether under the State Government or the Centre, come under the purview of the Act.
For example: (the list is quite exhaustive)
- Municipal Corporations,
- PSUs (Public Sector Units),
- Government Departments,
- State and Central Level Ministries,
- Passport office,
- Electricity/water supply company
- Government Owned Companies,
- Government Universities,
- Government Schools,
- Labor Unions,
- Road Authorities,
- Smaller units like municipal corporation or gram panchayat
- Provident Fund Departments etc.
INFORMATION THAT YOU CAN ASK: (this is just an example) like:
- How much money is being spent on refurbishing the bungalows of its ministers?
- What are their phone bills or fuel expenses?
- What amount was spent on foreign travel of MLAs/MPs?
- How much of the allocated money your elected representatives have used to improve their constituency?
- The distribution of the amount spent in terms of the project?
There are few departments and ministries also make RTI answers available online to the public. You can see them on their websites.
DATA UNDER RTI:
Through RTI we can get copies of government documents like:
- file records.
Even e-mail communication and data stored in electronic form is required to be made available to citizens on the basis of an RTI application.
We can even go to the department office and see their records and documents, if the RTI information is voluminous, you can get photocopies, get certified copies, take prints and what not.
THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES THAT ARE EXEMPT FROM THE LAW
Yeah, 20 organizations are exempted from RTI.
And all these entities are related to defense and intelligence services of the country like RAW, BSF, CRPF, CISF, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard etc. Further, there are some specific cases where RTI information cannot be provided. These cases concern matters which:
- They would affect national security, sovereignty, strategic, economic and/or scientific interests.
- The court refuses from release.
- It relates to trade secrets or intellectual property, information that could affect/damage the competitive position of a 3rd party.
- Relates to any information in regard to a fiduciary relationship.
- Relates to foreign government information.
- Affects the life/physical safety of any person.
- It could affect the investigation process.
- Relates to cabinet papers.
- It concerns personal data without any public interest.
However, as per the RTI Act – any information that cannot be denied to a member of Parliament or a state legislature cannot be denied to any citizen!
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