public information officers in dealing with the RTI applications, first appellate Right to lnformation Act, and thus gave a powerful tool to the citizens to get information .. English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the . Right to Information Act, was promulgated in to promote During the course of evolving of the RTI Act, , Department of Personnel and Training. The RTI Act Coverage. ▫ Came into effect from October 12, ▫ Covers Central, state and local governments, and. ❑ all bodies owned, controlled or.
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(1) This Act may be called the Right to Information Act, (2) It extends . a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official. The right to information act was passed in the year .. Hindi and English, no applications were seen by the interns in languages other. Important Section under Right to Information Act- RTI for whom . request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official.
Law Division: It deals with the matters relating to human rights violations either on its own or on a request by a party, provides hearing to the parties in appropriate cases depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Norms Set By NHRC for the Discharge of its functions: The complaints are prioritize and efforts are made to deal with the cases as expeditiously as possible in accordance with the rules, regulations and other instructions issued from time to time. And also as per the mandate given to it under the Protection of Human Rights Act, The documents held by the Commission include relevant files on subjects dealt with in the Commission and service documents of its officials. Particulars of any arrangement that exists for Consulation with, or representation by the Member of the public in relation to the formulation of NHRC's Policy or implementation thereof; and statement of the Boards, Council, Committees and Other Bodies Consisting of two or more persons Constituted as NHRC's part or for the purpose of its advice : The Commission holds public consultation with NGOs on important issues.
Short title, extent and commencement. Right to information. Obligations of public authorities.
Designation of Public Information Officers. Request for obtaining information. Disposal of request. Exemption from disclosure of information. Grounds for rejection to access in certain cases.
Third party information.
Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information from a "public authority" a body of Government or "instrumentality of State" which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June and came fully into force on 12 October Every day, over RTI applications are filed.
In the first ten years of the commencement of the act over 17,, applications have been filed.
Right to Information codifies a fundamental right of the citizens of India. RTI has proven to be very useful, but is counteracted by the Whistleblowers Act. It covers all the constitutional authorities, including executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or body established or constituted by an act of Parliament or a state legislature.
It is also defined in the Act that bodies or authorities established or constituted by order or notification of appropriate government including bodies "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by government, or non-Government organizations "substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds". Private bodies are not within the Act's ambit directly.
In a decision of Sarbjit roy vs Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission ,  the Central Information Commission also reaffirmed that privatised public utility companies fall within the purview of RTI.
Currently no parties are under the RTI Act and there has a case been filed for bringing all political parties under it. A citizen who desires to seek some information from a public authority is required to send, along with the application a Postal order or DD Demand draft or a bankers cheque payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority as fee prescribed for seeking information. The Right to information in India has been mired with controversies ranging from their use in political battles, asking for educational degrees of political rivals, or cases of blatant refusals to provide information on high-profile projects to allegations of misuse by civil society.
Though there are recent efforts on digital governance, Right to Information implementation has seen a digitalisation neglect even after 11 years of its enactment. A recent research on 'BallotBoxIndia' outlines that though central ministries are covered by a single Digital window to file Right to Information requests with integrated payment gateways and tracking mechanism none of the states have, as of yet, come forward to implement their versions or use the existing Right to Information Digital Infrastructure.
Researchers in the study focussed on the Digital implementation and asked about plans or timeline to provide such facility. The research also covers in details - the difficulty in filing manual Right to Information requests with the states with delays ranging many months of wait time and various follow ups and rejections. Every state in India has different rules and fee structures to file an application through registered post without any tracking mechanism as covered in details in the report.
Researchers and activists have been proposing changes to make the process easier, efficient and meaningful.
One of it demands state and central information systems under one Digital System to streamline information flow and provide proactive information backed by streamlined mandatory reporting. Moreover, when the PIO is a physician, he or she might be appropriately concerned that the RTI Act could require a breach of the professional duty of confidentiality.
Indeed, it might seem ethically appropriate for the Act to guarantee a patient or research subject the right to see his or her own medical or research record. But if other parties are entitled to have access to medical information concerning anyone so long as it is held in government documents, the confidentiality of medical and research records and of the doctor-patient relationship would be threatened.
The RTI Act was designed to promote transparency in government, not to permit the invasion of the privacy of individuals who use government hospitals or who altruistically participate in government-funded research.
The Act generally does not threaten the confidentiality of the doctor-patient or researcher-subject relationship. Under section 8 1 entitled "What is not open to disclosure", the Act says that " j information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individuals should not be disclosed.
Thus, the degree to which the RTI Act threatens patient or subject confidentiality depends greatly on what would count under the Act as a "public activity or interest" and as an "unwarranted invasion" of privacy.
Public interest, patient privacy, and the RTI Act Due to this need to interpret "public activity or interest", patients, subjects, clinicians, and PIOs have reason to be confused-and concerned-about the degree to which the RTI Act threatens the confidentiality of medical and research records.
In a judgement, the Central Information Commission CIC specifically upheld that information regarding the purpose and results of medical testing was exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act because it was, as the PIO had initially determined, "personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest and would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual 8 ".
Further, the CIC held the information had been made available within the doctor-patient fiduciary relationship, and was also exempt from disclosure on that ground. The party seeking the test results in this case did not allege a public interest in the information, but a "genuine right to seek" it as the estranged parent of the patient.
This CIC judgement therefore provides little guidance in deciding what would constitute a relevant and overriding public interest.
Traditionally, protection of the health and safety of specific individuals or the public from serious risks is the most justifiable interpretation of a public interest to permit breaching patient confidentiality 4. Even where other interests justify breach of privacy and confidentiality, the breach should be as limited as possible 4. While it might be impossible to prevent the unfit pilot from flying without reporting to the airline the name and specific condition of the pilot-patient, for some communicable conditions and work situations, it would be possible to warn a group of employees that they have been exposed to a communicable disease and should seek treatment.
Within a family, however, it may be impossible to issue a similar warning while protecting the identity of the person who is already ill. The "public interest" allegedly served in this case was not a forward-looking health-related interest typically invoked in such weighings against medical confidentiality.
Instead, it was suspected that the incarcerated individual used his political clout to falsify medical symptoms and serve the majority of his one-month sentence in a hospital rather than a prison. An independent commission, for example, could have been appointed to investigate allegations that prison and hospital officials collaborated to enable the prisoner to evade prison incarceration. In support of this view, we draw on an established principle from public health ethics-the principle of the least restrictive alternative-whereby "public health agents should seek to minimise the infringement of general moral considerations.
For instance, when a policy … infringes privacy, they should seek the least intrusive alternative; and when it infringes confidentiality, they should disclose only the amount and kind of information needed, and only to those necessary, to realise the goal. Moreover, ethically-speaking, prisoners constitute a vulnerable population because of their status as dependents of the State who are deprived of the usual resources of self-protection such as being able to walk away from circumstances contrary to their interests.
As such, they deserve equal, if not special protection of their rights as patients. Furthermore, as those using the RTI Act in this case would likely agree, all prisoners should be treated equally; being powerful or wealthy should not result in a prisoner being treated differently from other prisoners.
Therefore, the rights and duties of the fiduciary relationship between a doctor and a prisoner-patient, even a powerful former public official as in this case, should not be negated if other means of serving the public interest in investigating corruption could be pursued.
Poor patients who seek care in government hospitals similarly lack resources to go to other institutions that might better protect their interests, including their privacy interests in virtue of not being subject to the RTI Act.