Elucitate the main features of Rights To Information of 2005?

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The Right to Information Act 2005 is comprehensive which includes provisions for independent appeal penalties for non-compliance, proactive disclosure and clarity and simplicity of the access process. Its main features include:

A Broad Definition of Information:

The Act confers a right to "information" rather than just "record! Or "documents". Information includes permitting the inspection of public works. It also covers "information relating to a private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any law".

Proactive Disclosure:

The list of information to be proactively published by public authorities broad. In addition to standard provisions commonly contained in access list, public authorities are publish: the budget allocated to each agency, including plans, proposed expenditure and respects t disbursements; the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated are beneficiaries; recipients of concessions, permits, licenses; and relevant facts while formulating policies

Appointment of Public Information Officers (PIOs):

The Act provides for the appointment PIOs in all administrative units/offices as may be necessary to provide information to persons requesting it - Assistant PIOs are also to be appointed at each sub-divisional or sub district level. These portions are designed to bring access closer to the people by ensuring that applicants can submit requests in their local area.

Time Limits:

The Act lays down the time limits as thirty days for normal applications and 40 where a third party submissions is to be called for. In a novel approach, these time limits are reduced; a mere 48 hours where the information sought "concerns the life and liberty of a person".

Fees:

The application fee is to be reasonable and no fee shall be charged for persons who 4 below the poverty line as determined by the government. Where a public authority fails to comply with time limits under the Act, the information shall be provided free of charge to them.

Information Commissions:

The Act provides for the establishment of new Information Commissions at the Centre and in all the states comprising Chief Information Commissioner and ten Information Commissioners. The Commissions can make any order required to bring about compliance with the la including release of documents, appointment of PIOs and publication of specified information.

Penalties : Every PIO can be penalised Rs. 250 per day upto a maximum of Rs. 25,000 for r accepting application, delaying information release without reasonable cause, and providing incomplete, incorrect, misleading information.

The Act exempts providing of certain categories of information. These include cabinet papers, intimation covering a wide range of central intelligence and security agencies and that, which is more the twenty years old etc.

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