Frequently Asked Questions

1. 

When the Right to information came into force?

2. 

Who can claim the Right of Information?

3. 

What does information mean?

4. 

What does Right to Information mean?

5. 

What are the obligations of public Authority?

6. 

What information is excluded from disclosure?

7. 

Is the partial disclosure allowed?

8. 

What does a “Public Authority” means?

9. 

Who are third parties?

10. 

Who are Public Information Officers?

11. 

What are the duties of PIO’s?

12. 

What is the application procedure for requesting information?

13. 

What is the time limit to get information?

14. 

What is the fee?

15. 

What could be the ground for rejection?

16. 

Who are the Appellate Authorities?

17. 

How is the State Information Commission constituted?

18. 

What is the eligibility criterion and what is the process of appointment of State Chief Information commissioner?

19.

What are the powers and functions of Information Commission?

20.

What is the procedure of reporting?

21.

What are the penalty provisions?

22.

What is the jurisdiction of courts?

23.

What is the role of Central/ State Governments?

24.

Who has the Rule making Power?

25.

Who has the power to deal with difficulties while implementing the  RTI Act?

 

 

1

When the Right to information came into force?

The Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 came into force with effect from 20th of March 2009. The Rules under the Act were framed vide SRO 196 which was issued on 20th of July 2009 and these rules were amended vide SRO No-279 dated 3oth of August, 2012 .

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2. 

Who can claim the Right of Information?

Every person who is residing within the state of J&K has a right to seek information under Section 3 of J & K Right to Information Act, 2009.
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3.

What does information mean?

The information means any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority.

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4.

What does Right to Information mean?

 

The right to information is the right to seek the information under J and K Right to Information Act, 2009.
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5.

What are the obligations of public Authority?

 

The obligations of the public authorities is to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information, publish rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, details of subsidiary programmes run by it and list of beneficiaries of such programmes, names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers and disseminate all information that pertains to general public good.

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6.

What information is excluded from disclosure?

 

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The information which falls within the exemptions provided under Section 8 and Section 9 is not open to disclosure.  The exempted information is broadly the one that relates to sovereignty, integrity and security of State, disclosure of which may violate any court order, disclosure of which may cause breach of privilege of the Parliament or State Legislature or Cause violation of intellectual property rights etc.

 

 

 

7.

Is the partial disclosure allowed?

If the information claimed contains some part which is exempted from disclosure under section 8.  In such a situation the exempted part of information is to be separated from the rest of the information.  Thereafter, the non exempted part is disclosed.

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8.

What does a “Public Authority” means?

 

The public authority means any authority or body or institution of self government established under law or financed directly or indirectly by the government.

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9.

Who are third parties?

The Third Party as defined under Section 2 Clause (L) means a person other than the Citizen making a request for information and includes a Public Authority.

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10.

Who are Public Information Officers?

PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO. 

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11.

What are the duties of PIO’s?

The request for information has to be made to the Public Information Officer (PIO) or Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO). Where a decision is made to provide information then PIO or APIO has to inform the applicant to deposit further fee representing the cost of providing information.

 

            In case the decision is made to withhold the information requested for, then , PIO is required to inform the applicant about the same with the particulars of 1st Appellate authority and the time limit for making  such appeal if , he chooses so, to such authority.

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12.

What is the application procedure for requesting information?

The request for information has to be made to the Public Information Officer or Assistant in writing or through electronic means in English, Urdu or Hindi. A request for information should be accompanied by an application  fee of Rupees Ten by way of cash receipt  or Indian Postal Order or  or bankers cheque  payable to the Accounts Officer of the Public Authority.

 

However, no such fee is to be charged from persons belonging to Below the Poverty Line (BPL).

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13.

What is the time limit to get information?

The Public Information is required to provide the information requested as expeditiously as possible and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request.

Where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall br provided within forty-eight hours of receipt of the request.

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14.

What is the fee?

The fee has to be charged at the following rate:

 

 (a)  Rupees two for each page (A-4 or A-3) created or copied.

 (b)  Actual charge or cost price of a copy in large size paper.

 (c)  Actual cost or price for samples or models; and

 (d)  For inspection of records, no fee for the first hour; and a  fee of Rupees Fifteen for each subsequent  hour (or a    fraction      thereof)..

  

However, no fee has to be charged from persons who are below the poverty line.

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15.

What could be the ground for rejection?

The rejection of the application seeking information can be made on the grounds as stated in Section 8 and 9. The grounds on which the information can be denied are broadly like information which relates to sovereignty, integrity and security of State, disclosure of which may violate any court order, disclosure of which may cause breach of privilege of the Parliament or State Legislature or disclosure of which may cause violation of intellectual property rights etc.

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16.

Who are the Appellate Authorities?

The First appeal can be made within a period of thirty days of expiry of period within which information is to be provided or within thirty days of receipt of such decision before First Appellate Authority or Head of the Institution.

           

The second appeal against the decision of the Ist Appellate Authority can be filed before the State Information Commission within a period of Ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by Ist Appellate Authority or within a period of Ninety days from the day on which the decision of the Ist. Appellate Authority was received.

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17.

How is the State Information Commission constituted?

The Section 12 of J&K Right to Information Act provides that J&K State Information Commission shall be constituted by issuing notification in the Government Gazette. 

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18.

What is the eligibility criterion and what is the process of appointment of State Chief Information commissioner?

Section 12 (5) of J&K Right to Information Act, 2009 requires that the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioner shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law , Science  and Technology, Social Science, Management, Journalism , Mass Media or Administration and Governance.

 

The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners can be appointed by the Governor on the recommendations of committee consisting of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Chief Minister.

 

However, where the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly has not been recognized, then, the leader of single largest group in opposition to Government shall be deemed to be the leader of opposition for the purpose of committee of appointment of Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioners.

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19.

What are the powers and functions of Information Commission?

The State Information Commission is the Appellate Authority. The second appeal against the decision of the Ist Appellate Authority can be filed before the State Information Commission within a period of Ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by Ist Appellate Authority or within a period of Ninety days from the day on which the decision of the Ist. Appellate Authority was received. The Commission has also a duty to receive and enquire into a compliant from any peson relating to matters of Right to information. 

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20.

What is the procedure of reporting?

The State Information Commission is required to prepare a report at the end of each year. The report is them to be tabled before each house of the Legislature by the Government.

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21.

What are the penalty provisions?

The powers of the State Information Commission are as under:-

 

(a)  Where PIO is held guilty of not providing  the information without             reasonable  cause or malafidely, a penalty of  Rs. 250 for each day of delay subject to the condition that  amount of penalty shall not exceed Rs. 25000. Section 17(1)

 

(b)  J&K    State Information Commission can if the PIO is held guilty of not providing information, recommend for disciplinary action against the  Public Information Officer under Service Rules applicable to him. Section 17(2

 

(c)  State Information Commission can if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into a matter and initiate an inquiry in respect thereof. Section 15 (2)

 

(d)  The State Information Commission shall inquire into a matter have all the powers as are vested in a civil court under civil procedure code. It includes summoning, enforcing attendance of person receiving evidence and requisitioning any record and documents. Section 16 (9)

 

(e)   State Information Commission can if it appears that practice of a Public authority do not conform to the provisions or spirit of the Act then it can make recommendation specifying the steps which ought to be taken for promoting such conformity. Section 22 (5)

 

(f)   The State Information Commission can make a rating of public authorities in respect of their meeting the standards provided under J&K Right to Information Act, 2009 and the rules there-under. Rule 36 (i)

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22.

What is the jurisdiction of courts?

The Section 20 puts a bar on initiation of proceedings before any court in respect of any order made under the Act.

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23.

What is the role of Central/ State Governments?

The role of  Government under J&K Right to Information Act 2009 is laid down  under Section 23 they are;-

 

(a)  The Government is required to develop and organize educational programmes as to how the rights contemplated under the Act.

(b)  Encourage public authorities to participate in educational programmes.

(c) Promote timely and effective dissemination of accurate information by public authority.

(d) Train public information officers and produces relevant training material.

(e) Publish a guide in official language of State in easy and comprehensible form for person/s who wishes to exercise the rights specified in the Act.

(f)  Publish  objects of the Act.

(g) Publish postal, street addresses, phone, fax and e-mail address of Public Information Officer.

(h) Publish fee to pay in applications under Right to Information Act.

 

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24.

Who has the Rule making Power?

The Rule making power as per the Section 24 of J & K Right to Information Act 2009 is vested in the government of Jammu and Kashmir. The rules have been framed under SRO 196 and notified on 20th of July 2009.

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25.

Who has the power to deal with difficulties while implementing the RTI Act?

The power to remove the difficulties is vested in government under Section 27. However the order to remove difficulties can only be made within two years from the date of commencement i.e. 20th March 2009. Any order made for the removal of difficulties has to be laid before each house of State Legislature

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