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Govt. of Kerala RTI Portal
Public Information Officers
State Information Commission
Central Information Commission
GOI Information Service Portal
National Portal of India
Government of Kerala
          

FAQ



FAQ -
Q.1 What is 'information' under the RTI Act?

A. Any material in any form is an information. Eg: Files including file notings, registers, records, equipments, vehicles, buildings etc. Information related to a private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law is also an information under the Act.


FAQ -
Q.2 Are opinions and advices 'information'?

A. Opinions and advices as recorded in the files are information. Asking to generate and provide opinion or advices is not envisaged under the Act.


FAQ -
Q.3 What is 'RTI'?

A. The right to information is the right for information which is held by or under the control of the public authority. The Act does not provide for generating new information and collection information by taking administrative actions. Eg: Issue of new certificates, taking action on complaints or other application for administrative actions do not come under the perview of the Act.


FAQ -
Q.4 Can an employee of an organization submit an application for information in his organization?

A. Yes, All citizens have the right to information. Whether the applicant is an insider or outsider is not a matter for consideration.


FAQ
Q.5 What is the statutory designation of PIOs?

A.
  1. State PIO for the PIOs in all public authorities under the control of the state Govt.
  2. Central PIO for the PIOs in all public authorities under the control of the central Govt.



FAQ -
Q.6 How many PIOs shall be designated in an office?

A.There is no limit. There shall be as many PIOs as may be necessary to provide the information.


FAQ -
Q.7 Is it necessary that PIOs shall be designated in all other?

A.Yes, PIOs shall be designated in all offices/administrative units.


FAQ -
Q.8 Can an application be rejected for the reasons that it is defective?

A.No, The PIO shall deal with the application and give reasonable assistance to rectify the defect (not signed, application fee not remitted etc.)


FAQ -
Q.9 Where shall an application be submitted?

A.The application shall be submitted before the PIO/APIO of the concerned public authority.


FAQ -
Q.10 What are the modes of remittance of application fee.

A.
  1. For Kerala State Govt. departments
    1. Court fee stamp
    2. By remittance in treasury
    3. By cash remittance in the office of the public authority
    4. By DD/bankers cheque
  2. For Central Govt. Offices state and Central PSUs and other public Authorities
    1. By cash remittance in the office of the public authority
    2. By DD/Bankers Cheque



FAQ -
Q.11 How is the fee demanded?

A.The exact amount together with the calculation shall be intimated by the PIO in the demand notice. The applicant has the right to appeal.


FAQ -
Q.12 How is the communication of denial of information made?

A.The communication shall include
  1. reasons for the rejection (provision under section 8(1) or 9
  2. particular of Appellate Authority
  3. Time limit for filing the appeal (30 days)



FAQ -
Q.13 What are the grounds under which information can be denied?

A.The information sought for in an application under the RTI Act can be denied only for any of the reasons given in section 8(1) or 9 of the RTI Act. The information can not be denied under the provisions of other laws.


FAQ -
Q.14 Which are the authorities authorized to issue BPL certificates?

A.Secretary of the Block Panchayats (BDO) for rural areas and Secretary, Municipal Corporation and Secretary, City Corporation.


FAQ -
Q.15 Whether any fee other than what is prescribed by Rules can be demanded?

A.Postal charges and fee prescribed under other laws/Govt. notifications can be demanded by the PIO.


FAQ -
Q.16 Whether BPL applicants are exempted from payment of postal charges and fee prescribed by other laws?

A.No. BPL applicants are exempted from payment of application fee and the fee prescribed by rules under the RTI Act only.


FAQ -
Q.17 Can the citizen ask for consolidation/codification of materials from various records and for a reply in the form of reports. ?

A. No. The right to information is for inspection of records and to get certified copies of records/documents. If the citizen is unable to submit application for information as above, the PIO shall give all reasonable assistance to access the information.


FAQ -
Q.18 Can the citizen submit a format and ask the PIO to fill up the same and return?

A. No. The records can be inspected by the citizen and he can take copies of the documents and take necessary notes. PIO need to give information only in the form available in the records.


FAQ-
Q.19 Is it mandatory that the information shall be given in the form in which it is sought?

A. The information shall ordinary be given in the form in which is sought (in the form under section 2 (j). However, the information can be given in another form if,
  1. it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or
  2. would be detrimental to the safety or
  3. preservation of records in question



FAQ-
Q.20 What are the consequences if the information is not given within the prescribed time limit?

A.
  1. It will be deemed that the request was rejected.
  2. The information shall be given free of cost.
  3. Will attract provisions of S.20.



FAQ -
Q.21 An the PIO ask for more time to give the information?

A.There is no provision for asking for more time.


FAQ -
Q.22 Can an information be denied on the ground that the information is related to a case pending in a court of law ?

A.The information can be denied only if,
  1. The disclosure would amount to be contempt of court.
  2. The disclosure is expressily forbidden to be published by a court.



FAQ -
Q.23 Can information related to disciplinary proceedings and domestic inquiries denied under section 8(1)(h).

A.No. Section 8(1) (h) is applicable only to investigation under Cr. P C and not disciplinary proceedings. Even in the case of investigation under the Cr. PC, the information can be denied only if the disclosure of this information would impede the process of investigation, or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.


FAQ-
Q.24 Can the personal information related to the applicant denied under section 8(1)(j).

A.Section 8(1)(j) is applicable for information related to a person other than the requestor.


FAQ -
Q.25 Can information related to events which happened more than 20 years before the date of request, denied under section 8(3)?

A.Section 8(3) is the provision to disclose the information pertaining to exemptions other than under section 8(1)(a), 8(1) (e) and 8(1) (i) after 20 years. Hence information except section 8(1)(a), 8(1) (e) and 8(1) (i) need not be disclosed.


FAQ -
Q.26 Can third party information be denied for the only reason that the third party has objected to the disclosure?

A.No. The information shall be disclosed if the public interest in disclosure (as claimed by the applicant) outweighs in importance the possible harm to the interest of the third party.


FAQ -
Q.27 Is the PIO or APIO under obligation to receive applications addressed to the PIO of other PAs and their transfer the application o the other PA?

A.No. The PIO is required to accept applications made to him only. The APIO is required to accept applications addressed to the PIOs of PA for which he is designated as APIO.


FAQ-
Q.28 What are the offences for which penalty maybe imposed on the PIO. Under section 20(1).

A.
  1. For not accepting the application and not providing the information within the time limit, without reasonable cause.
  2. For malafidely denying the information.
  3. For knowingly giving in correct, incomplete or misleading information
  4. For destroying the information
  5. For obstructing in any manner in furnishing the information.



FAQ -
Q.29 What are the circumstances under which the commission shall recommend disciplinary action against the PIO?

A.
  1. For not accepting the application and not providing the information within the time limit, without reasonable cause.
  2. For malafidely denying the information.
  3. For knowingly giving in correct, incomplete or misleading information
  4. For destroying the information
  5. For obstructing in any manner in furnishing the information.



FAQ -
Q.30 Can the decision of SPIO or AA challenged in a court of law?

A.No. The decision of the PIO can be challenged only by an appeal before the AA or a complainant before the IC. The decision of the AA can be challenged only by an appeal before the IC.


FAQ -
Q.31 Can a PIO or AA be instructed by their superiors in making decision under the RTI Act

A.The PIO and AA are statutorily designated offices. They shall perform their function as per the provisions of the Act and hence cannot be instructed on decision pertaining to RTI.


FAQ -
Q.32 If the law under which a Public Sector Unit (PSU) has been constituted does not allow access to information to the people such as agendas of board meetings etc. will such information have to be given under the RTI Act?

A.PSUs fall within the category of public authorities. But if an applicant seeks information about trade secrets or Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) the disclosure of which will affect the competitive position of that PSU, such information may not be given unless thee is a larger public interest involved. Even if the law constituting the PSU does not allow disclosure of certain categories of information, the RTI Act, 2005 overrides any such law in existence. Hence the designated PIO for the organisation under question, has to provide the information.


FAQ -
Q.33 Government Offices have been providing information to people on the basis of their verbal requests in the past. Does the RTI Act require that such informal practices be ended?

A.No, there is no need to discontinue the conventional and informal practice of giving information upon verbal request. The RTI Act does not put an end to such practices. If information can be given without delay upon verbal request it is better to give such information to the requestor rather than require him/her to put in a formal application. This helps reduce paper work for the public authority and increases confidence of citizens in the administration.


FAQ -
Q.34 Can students ask for copies or inspection of their answer scripts if they are unhappy with the marks awarded by the examiner in public examinations?

A.The Central Information Commission has rules on an appeal submitted to it that students cannot have access to answer scripts/supplements.But the Kerala SIC permits this.


FAQ -
Q.35 Every department performs different kinds of functions at different levels of operation from the Secretariat to the Taluk Level. Will disclosure under Section 4 have to be designed for everyone of these levels separately?

A.Yes. Section 4 is designed to ensure that public authorities give certain information which is important to the public voluntarily at every level of operation. If implemented properly, Section 4 will reduce the workload of officials and public authorities because it will mean that information which is regularly needed by the public can be accessed by them without the need for a specific request.


FAQ -
Q.36 The production of 17 manuals under Section 4 (I)- will it be very difficult and burdensome?

A.Section 4 deals with proactive disclosure, which is simply to publish and disseminate key information routinely in a manner and form which is easily accessible and understood by the public [Sections 4 (3) and 4 (4) of the RTI Act which specifically require this]; The 17 subsections of Section 4 are 17 categories of information that a public authority is required to prepare and disseminate proactively through books, notice boards, print and electronic media. Most of the information required to be published proactively under this section may already be available within the public authority albeit in a scatter manner. These will need to be collected and collated to fulfill the requirement of Section 4. Several officials are pleased within Section 4 as it will help them streamline their own housekeeping procedures. Furthermore not every public authority may be required to collate information under all categories of Section 4. For example, the Finance Department in a State may not be issuing any permits or concessions. As it does not perform such functions the Finance Department will not be held at fault for not including this category of information in its Public Information Directory.


FAQ-
Q.37 Is it enough to disseminate information under Section 4 on the Internet?

A.No. Proactive disclosure of information could be made possible through various print and electronic means. It may be disseminated in one or a series of documents in print. They could all be uploaded on the website of the concerned department. Certain categories of information such as the name and designation of the officers concerned in each office, broad norms of service etc, may be put up on notice boards. Information regarding beneficiaries of various development schemes, concessions and permits may be published from time to time in leading newspapers. As the proportion of people to have a regular access to the Internet is very small, it is better to print Public Information Directories or publish variable information like that of beneficiaries of schemes and recipients of concessions etc. through newspapers. Further, such documents should be made easily accessible to people through Media/Information Centres established at the taluk/tahsil or district level.


FAQ-
Q.38 Is it enough to publish information under Section 4 once at the time of the commencement of the RTI Act?

A. Updating of information is very important under Section 4 of the RTI Act. This is a statutory requirement. The State Government will have to come out with general instructions for time bound updating of all categories of information. Every public authority may in turn issue detailed instructions for updating information that is specific to its functions. For example, information on subsidy schemes (see Sec.4(xii)) needs to be published and updated regularly if it is to be useful in terms of enabling the public to check hat they are receiving proper subsidies and even as levels of corruption are being minimised. Whenever officers are transferred, the public authority will have to update its website and notice board for the benefit of public.


FAQ-
Q.39 What will be the penalty if a department is not able to meet the deadline for proactive disclosure (120 days)?

A. There is no penalty for not meeting this deadline. But it is advisable to publish as much information as possible within the deadline and give it wide media publicity so that people know that Government is earnest about implementing the law. It must be noted that the Information Commission has the power [Sec.19(8)(a)(vi)] to receive from a public authority an annual compliance report in relation to Sec.4. This reporting mechanism will technically make the public authority answerable to the Information Commission for all acts of commission and omission in relation to proactive disclosure.


FAQ -
Q.40 Can a request be denied if it is too big? If not, how can such requests be handled best? How much information can a citizen request in one application? If he/she asks 20-30 kinds of information in one application should it be given? Or should the citizen be asked to put in fresh applications for each point of information requested and also be asked to pay application fees every time?

A. The Act does not permit rejection of an application simply because it relates to a large number of documents. In any case, in practice officials should consider the processing of applications as a team work, such that the official should work with the applicant to assist them to get the information they need. If a large number of records are involved in relation to a request, the PIO can contact the requestor / summon him to the office to verify the records and to take photocopies of the required documents on payment of the prescibed fee. This recognizes that in some cases at least, a broad application may be submitted simply because the requestor was not sure what was available.


FAQ -
Q.41 If in a single application the applicant requests information that relates to the work of several departments, is the PIO responsible for giving all that information within the deadline? The PIO will not be able to do any other work in such cases.

A. No, the RTI Act makes it clear that the PIO has the power to transfer an application or parts of it if it relates to information held by another public authority or relates more closely to the activities of that other public authority [Section 6(3)]. The PIO is not responsible for collecting information from other public authorities especially if it is likely to take more than 30 days to secure such information, It is better to transfer the application to the concerned PIO and inform the applicant about the transfer in writing immediately. This amounts to action taken in good faith and will not attract any penalty to the PIO.


FAQ -
Q.42 Previous experience has shown that some elements may misuse this law and use information to blackmail honest officers. Should the PIO not be given the power to verify the intentions of the applicant?

A. While it is possible that some elements may misuse the RTI Act, there is very little opportunity for the PIO to verify the intentions of the applicant. While personal contact details of the applicant are amenable to verification it is near impossible to verify his/her intention in seeking information. Furthermore Section 6(2) makes it clear that the applicant will not be required to give reasons for seeking information. An honest and sincere officer need not fear blackmail. The best way to avoid blackmail is to make available as much information as possible proactively. As far as possible upload all information disclosed upon request on the website. When information is accessible by a large number of people the possibility of blackmail diminishes considerably.


FAQ -
Q.43 Some unscrupulous elements may tamper the copies of documents they access under the RTI Act and misuse them. How does one prevent such misuse of information released under the RTI Act?

A. The Government will have to devise a means of authenticating documents released under the RTI Act to ensure that they are not misused. One suggestion is to mark every page of a document accessed under the RTI Act with a rubber stamp impressions saying "Documents released under the RTI Act contains XX pages". If electronic files are requested the same may be provided in pdf or tif format on floppies or CDs. This will also obviate the need for certifying the documents separately if the requestor wishes to use the same in some litigation.


FAQ -
Q.44 If the same kind of information is sought by more than one person should it be made available to all such requestors?

A. Yes.Every public authority should assess the information needs of people who contact it from time to time and make available information to all requestors.


FAQ -
Q.45 If the information requested by a citizen has already been proactively disclosed can a PIO refuse to accept the request?

A. No.There is nothing in the RTI Act that states that information disclosed proactively should not be provided to a citizen on request. Section 4(4) requires that all materials disseminated under this Act should be available with the PIO and as far as possible in electronic format. The purpose behind this requirement is that the citizen need not wait for 30 days to get access to information that is already being proactively disseminated. If available in printed format the PIO may make copies of the same or provide photocopies of the relevant pages to the citizen. If such information is available only in electronic format the same may be provided on floppies, diskettes, CDs or in the form of printouts upon payment of fees at rates prescribed by the Government.


FAQ -
Q.46 Is the Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) as assistant to the Public Information Officer (PIO)?

A. No, the APIO is not an assistant to the PIO. An APIO may be appointed at the sub-district or sub-divisional level where a public authority may not have an office or administrative unit.


FAQ -
Q.47 What are responsibilities of the APIO?

A. The APIO has only two responsibilities under the RTI Act Receive applications for information from citizens and forward them to the concerned PIO immediately or within five days (if he is not in possession of the requested information); Receive appeals from citizens and forward them to the departmental Appellate Authority or the Information Commission (as indicated in the appeal letter) immediately or within five days. An APIO is liable for penalty if he/she refuses to receive applications or appeals. He/she is also liable for penalty if he/she does not forward them same to the appropriate authorities within the 5 day deadline.


FAQ -
Q.48 If the information requested by the applicant is in the possession of the APIO should he/she not give that information to the applicant?

A. The RTI Act is meant for giving citizens easy access to information held by public authorities. There is nothing in this law to stop the APIO from giving information under his/her possession to the information requestor. As PIO is the statutorily designated officer responsible for providing information under the Act ,it would be better for the APIO to forward the same to the PIO.


FAQ -
Q.49 What is the procedure to be followed for giving samples of materials?

A. The Government will have to issue detailed guidelines as regards the procedure to be followed for collecting samples. Witnesses may be required to be present for the purpose of certifying the samples collected.


FAQ -
Q.50 Should the PIO give information if the applicant does not submit proof of payment of application fees nor is proof of BPL identity attached to the application? Should the APIO forward such applications to the PIO?

A. The PIO is required to take a decision about giving or not giving information only if the application is complete in all respects. An application is complete only if it has all contact details about the applicant and the nature of information requested along with proof of payment of application fees or proof of BPL identity if claiming fee waiver. An APIO may forward only complete applications to the PIO. If the applicant has submitted an incomplete application it is the duty of the PIO or the APIO, as the case may be, to request the applicant to complete the application in all respects to facilitate the commencement of processing of the information request by the PIO.


FAQ -
Q.51 How will PIOs collect application fees and additional fees for providing information if the request if received by email?

A. The Government should specify the mode of fee payment for applications received by email. They could provide for online payment options. Or the applicant may be sent an email asking him/her to pay fees in cash or send proof of payment by any other means prescribed by Government in the rules.


FAQ -
Q.52 If the applicant does not pay the additional fees towards cost of providing information within the 30 day deadline will the PIO be penalized for failing to provide information to the applicant?

A. No. The PIO will not invite any penalty in such cases. The 30-day clock stops ticking from the date of dispatching the intimation order issued by the PIO and restarts on the date on which the applicant pays the additional fee. For example, if the PIO dispatches the intimation latter on the 5th day format he date of receipt for the complete application only 5 days would have elapsed form the 30 day limit. The clock will restart on the date on which the applicant pays the additional fees. The PIO will have to provide the information within 25 days form the date of payment of additional fees. If the applicant chooses to seek a review of the additional fee from the DAA or the SIC the period taken for giving a decision on this matter will not be included in the 30 day limit.


FAQ -
Q.53 If the applicant does not respond to the intimation letter of the PIO requesting payment of additional fee will the PIO be duty bound to provide information to the applicant? Is the PIO duty bound to provide information within 30 days even in such cases?

A. No. The PIO does not have a duty to provide information to the applicant in such cases. The RI Act states very clearly that the PIO will provide access to information only upon payment of additional fee as may be determined [Sec. 7(1)] by him/her (for non-BPL cases). However if the PIO does not receive a response to his/her intimation letter from the applicant he may send a reminder after 2-3 weeks. If the applicant does not deposit the additional fee within 2 months (allowing a grace period for filing a review of the additional fees and 30 days for the appellate authority to give its decision in such cases) then the PIO may issue a rejection order citing non-payment of additional fees as the reason. This action of the PIO will not amount to unreasonable denial of information and will therefore not invite any penalty. It is advisable for the Government to specify limitation on the time period for such cases in the rues or in the guidelines.


FAQ -
Q.54 How does a PIO decide whether the information requested relates to the life and liberty of the individual? If the requestor threatens suicide in the event of being denied access to information should it be given within 48 hours?

A. This category of information usually related to the work of law enforcement and security agencies, government hospitals, health sector officials and so on. Detailed guidelines are available in other jurisdictions in the world for dealing with such applications. The State Government will have to come up with guidelines for treating such information requests with due diligence and urgency. However information requests made under suicide threats must be dealt with due concern and the applicant must be reassured that action will be taken in good faith while dealing with his/her information request. Nothing reassures such a person as a few words of calm headed wisdom and treatment with due compassion.


FAQ -
Q.55 Officials are required to give information about themselves and their families under the law. Can the public request this kind of information? Should it be given?

A. Not necessarily so. This may be private or personal information which is exempted under Section 8(1)(j). Again, this must be decided on a case by case basis. If public interest is served by disclosing such information then it must be given.


FAQ -
Q.56 Some of the exemptions are difficult to interpret. How will ambiguities be clarified and what can be done to support officials to apply exemptions properly?

A. It is important for the Government to prepare detailed guidance notes for PIOs and DAAs explaining each of the exemptions in section 8 and giving practical examples to assist them to apply these exemptions property. Ideally, a master set of guidance notes should be produced by all public authorities concerned, to ensure consistent interpretation of the exemptions across the country. State Governments and Information Commissioners should also be involved in the process. Nevertheless it is not possible to provide for guidelines on exemptions applicable to all situations. It is important for Information Commissions and the Courts to publish their judgments to provide additional guidance to officials and the public which will become part of the developing case law on RTI. International experience supports the production of an 'annotated Act' incorporating the explanatory and interpretative portions of judgments explaining every provision. In Canada and Queensland, Australia for example, their information access case law is uploaded on-line and every provision then has links to relevant judgments.


FAQ -
Q.57 In cases where building plans and designs of bridges or other important public structures have been requested and if the PIO has reasonable suspicion that the applicant will use those plans for commercial purposes and make a profit out of it, should such information be given?

A. The Government should come out with detailed guidelines regarding the protection available for copyrighted materials and intellectual property rights held by public authorities. If disclosure of building plans and designs affects the economic or security interests of the State in a prejudicial manner then such information falls under Section 8(1)(a). But if the PIO is able to justify before the concerned appellate authority that he/she had provided reasons for denying access to such plans no penalty will be imposed. The appellate authority is appointed precisely to give quasi-judicial decisions on the finer points of the law. Therefore if the PIO has taken action in good faith the appellate authority may not impose a penalty even if it decides in favour of disclosing such plans and designs.


FAQ -
Q.58 If a case is still under consideration (ie., 'live' or 'current file) for final decision can that file be made available to the requestor before the decision has been taken?

A. Yes. Aspects of the file which are pending decision also need to be disclosed unless exempted under Section 8 or 9.


FAQ -
Q.59 What if existing departmental manuals prevent disclosure of information to the people?

A. As per Section 22 , RTI Act has an overriding effect over any law for the time being in force. Hence such information even if the Department manuals prevent the disclosure has to be disclosed if requested under RTI


FAQ -
Q.60 Periodic weeding of files results in destruction of many documents which are not important enough to maintain for as long as 20 years or more. Sop it will not be possible to give such information after they have been destroyed. Will the PIO be penalized for this?

A. If a record has been destroyed legally the question of penalisation does not arise. The PIO cannot create a record in order to meet a request. Hence the information cannot be given if it has been legally destroyed.


FAQ -
Q.61 What is the process for taking a decision on granting partial access to a record? Who is the authority to make this decision within a public authority?

A. Section 10(2)(b) of the RTI Act makes it clear that the PIO is not always the deciding authority for granting partial access to records that may contain exempt information. The PIO is required to give the name and designation of the person giving the decision of partial access while intimating the same to the applicant. With the exception of cases where information requested belongs to the category of personal information where the PIO has the authority to decide whether disclosure is in public interest [Section 8(1)(j)], it is the public authority or the competent authority which has the power to grant full access or partial access in public interest. The Government should specify in the rules the level at which the decision to grant complete or partial access to exempt records must be taken within the public authority. Care must be taken to ensure that decision in such cases must be taken within the time limit stipulated in the law as there is no grace period provided for this process.


FAQ -
Q.62 Will a PIO be penalized if the senior officer verbally orders him not to release information to the requestor?

A. No. All officers must help PIOs to process applications and provide information, if requested by the PIO. All such officers will be considered to be PIOs for the purpose of contravention of this Act. If a PIO is not given information by a senior when he requests their assistance, accordingly it is the senior, who will be penalized and not the PIO. To protect against a penalty, it is advisable that PIOs make this in writing.


FAQ -
Q.If a person demands to provide landed property statement of a third party via the RTI act, (and if the third party says "yes" or "no" to its disclosure) are we liable to provide the same?(Please note that these are stored in sealed covers and not opened unless in special cases.

A.The Kerala State Info Commission has ordered that the landed property statement submitted by govt employees is an information which has to be disclosed under RTI Act



FAQ -
Q.Is RTI a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution? If yes, then why cant one go directly to the Supreme Court or High Court under Art. 32 and Art. 226 for its enforcement? Why there is a special statute for this purpose?

A.Constitution is the mother of all laws. It remains as the heart but heart is useless if it does not have a body or limbs. Constitution enshrines the Right to know as a fundamental right of the citizen. The real blooming of this sacred right is in the Right to Information Act 2005 viz providing body to the heart. The RTI act begins an act to 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. In India the RTI was judicially recognized by the supreme Courts observation in the UP V. Rajnarain Case(1975) the the right to information is implied in the right to freedom of speech and expression given under Art.19(1) and right to life guaranteed by Art.21 Under these fundamental rights one can indeed approach the higher courts of the nation under 226 and 32 to avail a building plan of the neighbour from the Municipality or to know the procedural details of an application submitted for water connection. But it not advisable to spent the precious time of Higher courts for these matters while there are other simple and inexpensive alternative remedies available



FAQ -
Q.if the PIO has not responded to my question, who is responsible for giving the information on the same.

A.You can go for an appeal before the concerned Appellate Authority.



FAQ -
Q.with reference of my previous question (token 31). can i have the list of the list of appelete authorities inside kerala.

A.A consolidated list is not available with us.nor with the SIC or Kerala Govt as these officers change due to retirement and transfers.



FAQ -
Q.പൊതു മരാമത്ത് വകുപ് ഒരു Helpline Service തുടങ്ങിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഒരു സ്വകാര്യ കണ്‍സള്‍ട്ടന്‍സി സ്ഥാപനമാണ് പൊതു മരാമത്ത് വകുപ്പിനു വേണ്ടി ഈ സേവനം നടത്തികൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നത്. ഈ സ്വകാര്യ സ്ഥാപനത്തിനു വേണ്ടി ഇതുവരെ പൊതുമരാമത്ത് വകുപ് ചെലവാക്കിയ തുക എത്രയാണെന്ന് കാണിക്കുന്ന രേഖയുടെ പകര്‍പ്പ് ഞാന്‍ വിവരാവകാശനിയമ പ്രകാരം ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടു. 35 ദിവസം കഴിഞ്ഞപ്പോള്‍ ആ വിവരം എനിക്ക് ലഭ്യമാക്കി. എന്നാല്‍ ആ വിവരം അടങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്നത് ഒരു Excell Sheet ലാണ്. ആ എക്സല്‍ ഷീറ്റില്‍ കാണിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന തുക പാസ്സാക്കി പണം കൊടുത്തു എന്നതിനുള്ള ഒരു തെളിവും അതില്‍ കാണുന്നില്ല. ചുരുക്കത്തില്‍ കണ്‍സള്‍ട്ടന്‍സി സ്ഥാപനത്തില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള Excell Sheet ന്റെ ഒരു പ്രിന്‍റ് കൂടി എടുത്ത് എനിക്കയച്ചു തന്നിരിക്കുന്നു എന്നാണ് തോന്നുന്നത്. അതായത്, കണ്‍സള്‍ട്ടന്‍സി സ്ഥാപനത്തില്‍ നിന്നും വകുപ്പിനു ലഭിച്ചതും, നടപടികള്‍ എടുത്തതുമായ Excell Sheet ന്റെ ഫോട്ടോ കോപ്പിയല്ല എനിക്ക് അയച്ചു തന്നിരിക്കുന്നത്. എനിക്ക് കിട്ടിയ ഷീറ്റില്‍ കാണിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന തുകയാണോ കണ്‍സള്‍ട്ടന്‍സിക്ക് പാസാക്കി കൊടുത്തതെന്നറിയാന്‍ കഴിയുന്നില്ല. എന്‍റെ സംശയം: എടുത്ത നടപടികള്‍ എന്തെല്ലാമെന്ന് (passed for payment etc.,etc.) രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയ Excell Sheet ന്റെ പകര്‍പ്പ് തരുന്നതിനു പകരം പുതിയ ഒരു Excell Sheet പ്രിന്‍റ് ചെയ്ത് തന്നാല്‍ അതിനെ ഞാന്‍ ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ട, നിയമപ്രകാരമുള്ള രേഖയായി കണക്കാക്കാമോ?

A.First of all the PIO should have given a reply/information within 30days. It seems that you are not satisfied with the excel sheet sent to you by the Department. You are entitled to get a true certified copy of the original sheet and not a newly created one. You can file an appeal before the Appellate authority intimating this and ask for certified copies of the documents which involves all the action taken etc by the public authority. Or else you can ask for time and date for personally inspecting all these documents and take copies of relevant pages. Hope this answer would meet your purpose.



FAQ -
Q.What can we do if a citizen aplies for copies of notification already available on internet and contains 500 pages from anoffice where photo copy machine is not there.

A.The information as asked cannot be denied merely on a reason that it is available on internet The citizen is entitled to get the copies of information under the RTI Act. The amount spent by the Public Information Officer, for taking photocopies, can be refunded from the head of account "05-4" office expenses. For more information please go through the Circular No.61/2008/Fin. dt.15-10-2008



FAQ -
Q.Is it necessary to produce Original BPL Certificate along with each application or the copy / attested of the BPL Certificate once issued by the authority for is sufficient for submitting different applications in the same office or different offices.

A.In Rule 4 (4) of Kerela Right to information (Regulation of Fee and Cost )Rules,2006 it is stated that "........no fee shall be charged from the person who are below poverty line as may be determined by the competent authority and such person shall produce a valid certificate along with application proving that they belongs to the category of BPL" On the basis of this Rule the Government have issued GO No. 198/2007/GAD dtd 16-08-2007 and GO No.41/2008/GAD dtd 14-02-2008 authorising BDO concerned ( Rural areas) and Municipal/Corporation Secretary concerned respectively to issue BPL certificate for the purpose of RTI Act. Either in the Rule or in GOs above it is not specifically stated that it is necessary to produce Original BPL Certificate along with each application. It is also not there either in the Rule or GOs above referred that a copy / attested of the BPL Certificate once issued by the authority for is sufficient for submitting different applications in the same office or different offices. However, the certified copy/attested copy of an original document is equal to original document and as such the certified copy/attested copy can be used in same office or different offices for the purpose of RTI till the validity of the certificate expires. But the Kerala State Information Commission have taken different view on this aspect