The Right to Information Act- Exempted Entities and Information from RTI and Conflict with Non-Disclosure Legislations_00.1
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The Right to Information Act- Exempted Entities and Information from RTI and Conflict with Non-Disclosure Legislations

The Right to Information Act- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Important aspects of governance– Citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

The Right to Information Act- Exempted Entities and Information from RTI and Conflict with Non-Disclosure Legislations_50.1

 

The Right to Information Act

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Exempted Departments and Information from RTI

  • Exempted Departments: Twenty-odd organizations are exempted from RTI.
    • All these entities are related to the country’s defence and intelligence, such as RAW, BSF, CRPF, CISF, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard, etc.
  • Exempted Information: there are some specific instances whereby RTI information cannot be furnished. For instance, Information that-
    • Would affect national security, sovereignty, strategic, economic and/or scientific interest.
    • Have been disallowed by the court to be released.
    • Have been disallowed by the court to be released.
    • Relates to trade secrets or intellectual property, information which might affect/harm the competitive position of a third party.
    • Relates to information under fiduciary relationship.
    • Relates to foreign government information.
    • Would affect the life/physical safety of any person.
    • Would affect the process of an investigation.
    • Relates to cabinet papers.
    • Relates to personal information without any public interest.
  • RTI Act also says that any information which cannot be denied to a Member of Parliament or state legislature cannot be denied to any citizen.

The Right to Information Act- Exempted Entities and Information from RTI and Conflict with Non-Disclosure Legislations_50.1

 

Conflict with Non-Disclosure of Information Legislations

  • Indian Evidence Act: Some of its provisions (sections 123, 124, and 162) provide power to the concerned authorities to not disclose any information.
    • Under these provisions, the head of the department may refuse to provide information on affairs of the state and only swearing that it is a state secret will entitle not to disclose the information.
    • In a similar manner, no public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official confidence.
  • Atomic Energy Act, 1912: It provides that it shall be an offence to disclose information restricted by the Central Government.
  • Central Civil Services Act: It provides a government servant not to communicate or part with any official documents except in accordance with a general or special order of government.
  • Official Secrets Act, 1923: It provides that any government official can mark a document as confidential so as to prevent its publication.

 

 

The Right to Information Act- Recent Amendments and Time Period for Providing Information

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