Maharashtra Right to Information
(MRTI) Act, 2002
was notified on
August 11, 2003
 with retrospective effect
from September 23, 2002 to
save actions initiated under
the erstwhile short-lived
Maharashtra Right to
Information Ordinance, 2002
The use has been encouraging
There have been
Information hasn’t
been easily
Yet, MRTI has been
used by a large
number of citizens in
just one year
Are we in Maharashtra alone to
have this privilege?
Nine states, including
J&K and Assam
already have their
Acts on RTI
Central Government
will enforce one soon
More than 50
countries have
enacted by now.
Are we the pioneers in India?
enacted their laws on
right to information
before we did
Yet, Maharashtra stands out
Maharashtra’s Act has
been used widely by
all sections of the
society in all regions
Thanks to
Shri Anna Hazare’s
anchorage and
civil society’s
But there hasn’t been free flow of
It will take some time
for the conditioned
mindset of the
bureaucracy to
Let us keep trying
How do I ensure, I am the lucky
one to get the information?
Strictly follow the
provisions of the Act
Be precise in your
Can you elaborate?
Demand information
in the prescribed
Do not be vague in
your requisition
Do not ask
Where do I get a copy of the Act
and the Rules?
Check with the
Government Book
Download from the
web site
Whom can the information be
demanded from?
Offices of the
Public Bodies like corporations, boards,
Registered cooperative societies, public
trusts and some private bodies [Sec 2(6)]
 Section 2 (6):
 " public authority " means any authority or body established
or constituted by any Central or State law and includes any
other body owned and controlled by the State or which
receives any aid directly or indirectly by the Government and
shall include the bodies whose composition and
administration are predominantly controlled by the
Government or the functions of such body are of public nature
or interest or on which office bearers are appointed by the
 Explanation - For the purposes of this clause the expression
"aid" shall include Government aid in the form of Government
land at concessional rates or any other monetary concessions
like exemption from tax, etc., by Government as specified by
Government, from time to time;
Which information can be
You can demand information like...
Copy of a document, including a copy of a
contract awarded
Compilation of information from various
Status of a matter
Which information can be
For example,
You can ask for the status of your case
pending with an office
You can also demand to know the name
and designation of the officer responsible
for delay and what action is initiated
against him/her
Which information can be
Remember that an officer holds a public
office and
functions under a law framed by your
elected representatives
you have a fundamental right to know
what action the official has taken on your
Which information can be
For example, you can demand a copy of a
building permission granted to any third
party by the civic body
This has been affirmed by the Hon
Lokayukta, in his rulings given in the
additional capacity as the second
appellate authority under this Act
Which information can be
The Supreme Court has upheld your right
to demand information from the
government and public bodies as your
fundamental right
 You can demand any information,
subject, of course, to some exclusions
Then, which information cannot
be demanded?
Broadly speaking,
that affecting the Nation’s sovereignty,
integrity, security;
which has been forbidden to be published
by any court of law or tribunal;
Information held in commercial
confidence, trade secrets or intellectual
Then, which information cannot
be demanded?
confidential report of in the service record
information, 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 (protecting a whistle blower);
information that would impede the process
Then, which information cannot
be demanded?
information which relates to personal
information the disclosure of which has no
relationship to any public activity or
interest, or which would cause
unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the
individual unless the Competent Authority
is satisfied that the larger public interest
justifies the disclosure of such information;
Please note that ...
The last provision: ``information which
relates to personal information…etc’’ is
being misinterpreted by the bureaucracy
in denying information
The Hon Lokayukta has ruled that a
permission/exemption etc granted by an
official under a statute in force is not
`personal information’. You can demand a
copy of any such document
Please note that ...
The exclusion that ``service record’’ of a
person cannot be disclosed, means that
only confidential report (CR) cannot be
disclosed. You can of course demand
compilation of an officer’s transfers during
a certain period, or information on
inquiries/prosecutions against him/her
under the law of the land
You may also be denied
if it is voluminous…
involves ``disproportionate diversion of
the resources of a public authority ‘’
Do not, therefore, ask for bulk
information. Preferably confine to a
specific issue and a limited period.
How to requisition information
Apply on a plain paper in a prescribed
Format given in the Rules (Annexture A)
Affix adhesive court fee stamp of Rs 10
Post the application or submit in person
Application format
The Public Information Officer,
(Name of the office with address)
(1) Full name of the applicant
(2) Address
 (more on next slide)
Application format (cont)
(3) Particulars of information required, (i) Subject matter of information:
(ii) The period to which the information
(iii) Description of the information
 (more on next slide)
Application format (cont)
(iv) Whether information is required by
post or in person:
(The actual postal charges shall be
included in additional fees):
(v) In case by post (Ordinary,
Registered or Speed):
(vi) Purpose for which the information
is required:
Please remember that
The purpose cannot
be legally asked for. It
is, after all, your
fundamental right
Say that you are
exercising your
fundamental right in
demanding the
What if the PIO has not been
This is a common malady even after one
year of enactment
Address the application to ``The PIO’’
and give his office address
Put the application in a cover and address
the cover to the head of the
administrative unit
What if the PIO has not been
This will ensure that your cover is
received by the head of the establishment
and the application is forwarded to the
If the head of the establishment says that
a PIO has not been designated in the
office, he/she is guilty of having violated
the Act
What if the PIO has not been
Send a complaint to the
Chairman, Divisional Monitoring Council of
the Maharashtra Right to Information
(MRTI) Act
in the office of
the Divisional Commissioner
What if the PIO has not been
You may also send a copy to
the Secretary,
State Monitoring Council on Maharashtra
Right to Information Act
General Administration Department
Mumbai 400 032
What if the PIO has not been
Also inform any member of the
divisional/state monitoring council
a Right to Information activist
you may be aware of
What next after the requisition
has been submitted?
In 15 working days from the receipt
The Public Information Officer has to
either furnish the information or write
back denying you the information
The PIO may in ``suitable cases’’ within
these 15 working days, seek an extension
of additional 15 working days and explain
why is the extension being sought
What next after the requisition
has been submitted?
Before furnishing you the information the
PIO has to tell you the cost of information
strictly as per the prescribed rules
and the postal charges, if you have opted
to receive the information by post
What next after the requisition
has been submitted?
Once you have remitted the amount by
money order or
deposited it in cash with the PIO,
the latter will pass on the desired
documents to you
What is the prescribed cost?
 When the concerned department has already fixed the
price of some documents, map, etc.: the price so
fixed+Postage charges (unless collected personally).
 When the information is readily available either by
xeroxing, copying or by other way (copy): 0.50 Paisa per
page + Postage charges (unless collected personally).
 If the information is not readily available and needs to
be collected: Rs. 2 Per page + Postage charges (unless
collected personally).
A terse dismissal is no longer on
While denying the information demanded
the PIO has to quote the reason with the
relevant section
and give the name and address of the
appellate authority with whom you can file
your first appeal
Snap decision to protect your life
and liberty
Whenever and wherever the information
applied for, involves the life and liberty of
a person, such information has to be,
subject to the exclusions, supplied within
twenty-four hours of the receipt of the
Which languages to use?
Formats are in Marathi and English
You may prefer any
You will, however, get the information `in
the language and in the form in which it is
What is the guarantee that the
PIO will respond?
Valid question.
Many PIOs have not been responding
or have been giving incomplete or
misleading information
What is the guarantee that the
PIO will respond?
The Act provides that the PIO will be
liable to pay a fine at a rate of Rs 250 for
each day’s delay in furnishing the
or pay a fine up to Rs 2,000 and also face
disciplinary action if the information given
is incomplete, misleading or false
What is the guarantee that the
PIO will respond?
For this, you have to file an appeal with
the officer designated as the Appellate
within 30 days of receiving incomplete or
misleading information or
within 30 days from the period during
which the PIO was supposed to have
given you the information
The process of appealing
The prescribed format for filing an appeal
is available in the Rules
File the appeal in the format on a plain
Affix an adhesive court fee stamp of Rs 20
The process of appealing
The problem is,
you may not know who is the appellate
authority and the PIO may have failed to
give you the details
The process of appealing
Find out from the head of the
establishment, who has been designated
as the appellate authority
Complain to the Divisional and State
Monitoring Councils
Alert any Right to Information activist you
may be aware of
The process of appealing
The appellate authority (AA) has to
dispose off the appeal within 30 days
It is mandatory for the AA to impose
penalty on a defaulting PIO
The period can be extended by additional
30 days in exceptional cases, but the AA
has to inform you the reason with the first
spell of 30 days
The process of appealing
The experience, however, has been that
most AA’s have not been penalising
defaulting PIOs & not even disposing off
appeals within the prescribed period
The process of appealing
On July 6, 2004, the state Chief Secretary
issued a stern warning to the appellate
authorities that action would be taken
against them if they do not dispose off
the appeals within the stipulated time and
penalise defaulting PIOs
The process of appealing
If you feel aggrieved by the decision of
the appellate authority, or if
the AA does not decide your appeal within
the period prescribed for disposal
you can file a second appeal within 30
days with the Hon Lokayukta
The process of appealing
The Hon Lokayukta has been prompt in
deciding second appeals
Please note that the Lokayukta functions
here under the MRTI Act and therefore
has the powers to direct mandatory
compliance of his orders
The process of appealing
The Secretary to the Government of
Maharashtra in the General Administration
Department, in-charge of MRTI,
on June 22, 2004 directed all AAs and
PIOs to strictly abide by the Hon
Lokayukta’s orders
Not a smooth ride
Despite all these
provisions, frankly,
it may not be a
smooth ride when
you demand
information under
this act
You may face
many hurdles
Why not a smooth ride?
Other laws empower
the bureaucracy to
watch your acts of
commission and
This one empowers
you to watch the acts
of commissions and
omissions of the
Why not a smooth ride?
Enforcement of this
legislation is vested in
the same bureaucracy
whose acts are being
watched and
which has not used to
respect transparency
and accountability
Yet, it is not hopeless either
Despite this, as stated
at the outset, many
citizens have been
able to overcome
hurdles and reach
their goal
Yet. it is not hopeless either
Thanks to the tireless
efforts of Shri Anna
Hazare and
the support he is
getting from the civil
things appear to be
changing for the
Yet, it is not hopeless either
Yeshwantrao Chavan
Academy of
(YASHADA) has been
training and
sensitising officers
throughout the state
Yet, it is not hopeless either
The mindset is
gradually changing
as a result of these
The bureaucracy is
getting receptive
We must carry on
Whatever the case,
we must insist on
transparency and
accountability in
public administration
We must know if the
bureaucracy itself has
been abiding by the
rule of law
We must carry on
This will ensure
good governance
and curb corruption
We owe this to the
next generation
We shall carry on
you all
the best
 Prakash Kardaley
[email protected]

Maharashtra Right to Information Act