RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT AS APPLICABLE TO DELHI STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
Delhi Legal Services Authority [Authority] is providing free Legal Aid and Services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system dispenses with the justice expeditiously and in a false manner.
The Right to Information Act, 2005 [Act] has been enacted to provide for right to every citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, consistent with public interest, in order to promote openness, transparency and accountability in administration and in relation to matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The authority on account of its concerted efforts has implemented the Act in letter and spirit and has been providing information to the citizens. Sub- sections (2) to (4) of Section 4 obligates a public authority to provide as much information to the public at regular intervals so that public have minimum resort to the use of the Act. Dissemination of information shall be wide and easily accessible to public.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Section 2(j) of the Act provides for right to information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to-
- i) inspection of work, documents, records;
- ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
iii) taking certified samples of material;
- iv) 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.
Any person, under Section 2(f) of the Act, can seek information from the Authority of 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 accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.
APPOINTMENT OF ASSISTANT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER AND FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY
The Authority has appointed Public Information Officer [P.I.O.] under Section 5(1) of the Act to deal with applications filed under Section 6 of the Act; Assistant Public Information Officer [A.P.I.O.] under Section 5(2) of the Act, who will receive applications and forward the same to the P.I.O.; and First Appellate Authority [F.A.A.] to deal with appeals filed against the orders of the P.I.O. under Section 19(1) of the Act.
APPLICATION AND ITS PROCESS UNDER SECTION 6 OF THE ACT
Any person, who desires to obtain information under this Act, can make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi, or orally accompanied by requisite fee to P.I.O. specifying the particulars of the information sought by him. An applicant is not required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.
P.I.O. will respond to the application within thirty days of receipt thereof or within thirty five days if it is received and forwarded by A.P.I.O. If the information sought concerns the life and liberty of a person, it will be provided within forty eight hours of the receipt of the request. If P.I.O. fails to give decision on the requested information within the stipulated period, the request shall be deemed to have been rejected or if the information is provided beyond the stipulated period, it will be provided free of charge.
If any further fee is required to be taken to provide the information, the applicant will be communicated the details along with the calculations made to arrive at the said amount and the intervening period shall be excluded from the stipulated period of thirty days or thirty five days, as the case may be.
THIRD PARTY INFORMATION
An applicant can make an application for third party information under Section 11 of the Act. In such cases, P.I.O. will, within five days of the receipt of the application, give a written notice to such third party of the request and invite submission in writing or orally whether or not to disclose the information, record or part thereof, subject to the provision to the Section. The third party will be given ten days’ time to make presentation against the proposed disclosure. If the third party has been given opportunity to make representation, a decision will be taken within forty days with a notice in writing of the decision to the third party. While taking a decision, P.I.O. will keep in view the submission made by the third party about disclosure of information.
Any information to be provided under Section 6 of the Act will be subject to the exemption provisions under Section 8 and 9 of the Act.
APPEAL UNDER SECTION 19 OF THE ACT
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 Public Information Officer may, within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision, prefer an appeal to the Member Secretary/ First Appellate Authority. The First Appellate Authority may admit the appeal even after the expiry of the period of thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.
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 amount of fee charged under the Act shall be by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or banker’s cheque or Indian Postal Order payable in the name of Accounts Officer, Delhi Legal Services Authority, details of which are as under:
No fee will be charged from the persons who are of below poverty line as may be determined by the appropriate Government.
If the P.I.O, without any reasonable cause, refuses to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under Section 7(1) of the Act 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, the Central Information Commission can impose a penalty of Rs.250/- each day till application is received or information is furnished but the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs.25,000/-.
Any person who desires to obtain information can make an application between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on any working day in the Authority at Central Office, Delhi State Legal Services Auhtority, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi.
Any person can log on to the official website www.dslsa.org for detailed information.