Objective of the Right to Information Act:

         The Government of India has enacted ‘the Right to Information Act 2005’ 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. The basic vie of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Public Authorities, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense.

What is Information:

      Information is any material in any form. It includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form. It also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force

What is Right to Information:

          The right to information includes an access to the information which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents / records and certified samples of the materials and obtaining information which is also stored in electronic form.

Who can Seek information:

Section 3 of the Right to Information Act provides as under: “Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.” - Normally, an applicant is not required to submit any proof of citizenship. However, if the CPIO has any doubt about the identity of the applicant he can seek for his proof of identification. The Act gives the right to information only to the citizens of India. It does not make provision for giving information to Corporations, Associations, and Companies etc. which are legal entities / persons but not citizens. However, if an application is made by an employee or office bearer of any Corporation, Association, Company, NGO etc. indicating his name and such employee or office bearer is a citizen of India, information may be supplied to him / her. In such cases, it would be presumed that a citizen has sought information at the address of the Corporation.

What is a Public Authority:

          A “public authority” is any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the Central Government or a State Government. The bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government and non-Government organizations substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government also fall within the definition of public authority. State Bank of India is a Public Authority.

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