The Right to Information Act, often known as the RTI Act, was enacted by the Indian government to provide all information on the government’s activities to its citizens. It was established on 12th October 2005, after India gained independence 58 years ago, and the world’s first RTI Act was passed in Sweden 239 years ago (Freedom of Press Act,1766). Residents of India have been on an incredible journey with the RTI Act since 2005, from media asking investigations to attorneys representing the masses for the welfare of society to people making information requests with the RTI in hand. “Prior to the RTI Act of 2005, the Freedom of Information Bill of 2000 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the previous Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee which was approved but without regulations, and his administration was defeated in 2004”. Following that, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s new government enacted the RTI Act in 2005.
The primary objective of the RTI Law 2005 is for it not harms other public interests and empowers the people of the country including the efficient functioning of government and optimal use of limited information, but to ensure that the public is harmonised, i.e. that transparency provides for accountability and corruption on the one hand. In accordance with Article “19(1) of the Indian Constitution, RTI ACT 2005” is part of fundamental rights. It enables individuals to know the right to a certain public service and, when applicable, to remedy the complaint. It also involves the right to be heard and consumer education, I e his rights education.
Some of the features of RTI are as follow:
- Section 1(2): Except the State of Jammu and Kashmir it stretches throughout India.
- Section 2(f): Any kind of Record and information relating to any private body that a Public Authority can access under any other law currently in force are all examples of “Information.”
- Section 2(j): “Right to Information” refers to any public entity’s right to access information stored or managed under this Act, including the right to review labour, documents, and records. Creating certified copies of documents or records, taking notes, extracting data, and so forth. Obtaining materials that have been approved for testing.
- Section 4: Each public authority is required by the RTI Act to provide information on its own initiative. Such revelations, however, have remained unsatisfactory.
- Section 8(1): lists exemptions from providing information under the RTI Act.
- Section 8(2): permits for the revelation of material exempt from disclosure under the Official Secrets Act of 1923 if the greater public interest is served.
- The Act also allows for the appointment of Information Commissioners at both the federal and state levels. Some of its officers were appointed as public information officers by public authorities. It is the responsibility of the Act to provide information to anybody seeking information under the RTI Act.
- there are two authorities under which right to information act is taken care of:
First “CIC” or “central information of commission”: All central departments and ministries are overseen by the chief information commission.
Secondly there is State information commission: All state departments and ministries are overseen by State Public Information Officers, or SPIOs.
- A citizen who wishes to obtain information from an official authority must send a Postal Order or a banker’s check to the Public Authority as payment for the service. The application must be sent to the public authority. And if the person is from the disadvantage or backward society the person need not to pay any amount.
- There is also a digital portal the RTI portal for the people of the country to easily reach to the authorities without any problems.
- The information related to someone life and liberty is entertained within the 48 hours.
Right to information was viewed as a way to enhancing participatory democracy and promoting the governance of people. Access to information can enable disadvantaged and weaker parts of society to request and obtain information concerning governmental policies and activities that contribute to their welfare. It made an early promise by highlighting the misdeeds of the organisation and distribution of 2G spectrum and coal blocks, for example in the organisation of Commonwealth Games. The right to information exposes government documents for public examination and therefore enables individuals to be informed by a crucial instrument of what the government does and how successfully, thereby enhancing the accountability of the government. It also enhances public authorities’ decision-making by reducing needless secrecy.
But there are many problems and issues faced by the act as people of India are still not aware about their rights. As previously said, “The right to information is specified as one of the fundamental rights in article 19(1) of the Indian constitution”, which states that every person of this nation has the freedom to speech and expression.
In Raj Narain v. State of Uttar Pradesh The Supreme Court ruled that persons cannot use their right to speech unless they are aware. As a result, the Right to Information is enshrined in Art. 19. It was also said in the same case that under Indian democracy, the people are the masters, which provides them the right to know how the government works. RTI offers the means to exercise this right.
Surprisingly, the Act, while aimed at improving the execution of major government goals, is stuck in the middle of the process. When the demonstration was delivered in 2005, there was a lot of excitement among the general population. The notion that this Act alone might be the remedy to India’s bureaucratic filth and inactivity is progressively displaced by criticism. When the number of incidents of data loss and misuse were examined by information searchers outnumbers the Act’s stories of triumph, this position gains support. Because of challenges, the article highlights the faults and difficulties encountered in the reasonable execution of the RTI Act. The article highlights the errors and difficulties encountered in the reasonable implementation of the RTI Act, as a result of issues such as pending cases at the national and state levels, non-inconvenient punishments, laxity by open experts in data distribution, a lack of sufficient Public Information Officers, and low awareness among the demonstration’s masses.
- RTI act faces issues like low public awareness about the act and about how the government is working to solve their problems.
- The quality of information provided is of very poor quality, it is either incomplete or irrelevant because of the poor infrastructure established by the government.
- Once a complaint is submitted, the Information Commission learns about the Public Authority’s failure to provide information within 30-45 days owing to inadequate procedures and processes for an Information Commission to assess the level of adherence to essential sections of the Act.
- According to the Act, central/state information commissions are responsible for take efforts to ensure that the terms of the Act are complied with. The Information Commissions have, however, provided insufficient processes and records to monitor and examine the operation of the several Public Authorities and to take actions to enact the Act.
However many governments are still unwilling to supply this information. Various courts have ordered the petitioners on many instances.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION
In particular, the Right to Information Act has a far larger impact on the personal happiness of the impoverished and the undervalued public sector. In order to fulfill the anticipated goal of the law and handle various difficulties and needs in the information received under the Act, nationalities, governments, media and associations of ordinary people have to do much.
- Therefore need of an hour is that the RTI report should be taken care of within the set time limit with the proper information.
- There should be proper guides and educational programs set up by the government for the citizen to know about their right to file the report.
- The function of information commissions must also be a monitor of the public authority and not only the hearing of appeals.
- In order to promote social justice, openness and responsible governance, the Right to Information Act has not reached its full goals because of certain barriers caused by persistent defaults.
Author’s Name: Shreya Agarwal (NMIMS Bangalore)
 “Rajat Bafna.D., Right to Information Act (RTI ACT 2005) a perspective study on government employees of India (2019), < https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343263689> accessed 29 June 2021.”
 1975 AIR 865