Right to information
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 in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental there to. Information under Right to Information Act means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be assessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force. The record under this Act includes-
  • any document, manuscript and file;
  • any micro film, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;
  • any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and
  • any other material produced by a computer or any other device.
The Right to Information under this Act means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to-
  • inspection of work, documents, records;
  • taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
  • taking certified samples of material;
  • obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.
A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying the fee prescribed. Where such request cannot be made in writing, the State Public Information Officer shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing. The applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.

Where an application is made to a public authority requesting for an information.
  • which is held by another public authority; or
  • the subject matter of which is more closely connected with the functions of another public authority,
the public authority, to which such application is made, shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately about such transfer. The transfer of an application pursuant to this subsection shall be made as soon as practicable but in no case later than five days from the date of receipt of the application.
On receipt of an application, the State Public Information Officer, shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified below.
  • information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;
  • information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any Court of Law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of Court;
  • information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the Stage Legislature;
  • information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
  • information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
  • information received in confidence from foreign government;
  • information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
  • information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
  • Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other Officers. (But the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over)
  • information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted inversion of the privacy of the individual unless the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.
  • information relating to any occurrence, or event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made.
  • information where such a request for providing access would involve an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State.
Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information.
Except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party. Where a notice is served by the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, to a third party in respect of any information or record or part thereof, the third party shall, within ten days from the date of receipt of such notice, be given the opportunity to make representation against the proposed disclosure.
The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall within forty days after receipt of the request under section 6, if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representation make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the information or record or part thereof and give in writing the notice of his decision to the third party.
Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub section (1) or clause (a) of Sub-Section (3) of Section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority.
Such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.
Where an appeal is preferred against an order made by a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under section 11 to disclose third party information, the appeal by the concerned third party shall be made within thirty days from the date of the order. A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission. The Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.
If the decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be , against which an appeal is preferred relates to information of a third party, the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall give a reasonable opportunity of being heard to that third party. In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request. An appeal under sub section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing. The decision of the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall be binding.
Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees.
The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him. The burden of providing that the acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.
Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be has without any reasonable cause and persistently, failed to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall recommended for disciplinary action against the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under the service rules applicable to him.

(A) List of State Public Information Officers related to Revenue Department.