1. What does information mean?

Information 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 accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.

2. What does Right to Information mean?

It means the right to information accessible under the RTI Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority includes the right to –

  1. inspect works, documents, records.
  2. Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
  3. Take certified samples of material.
  4. Obtain information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode through printouts.

3. What does a “Public Authority” mean?

It means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted:

  1. by or under the Constitution;
  2. by any other law made by Parliament
  3. by any other law made by State Legislature;
  4. by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes any –
    1. body owned, controlled or substantially financed,
    2. Non-Government organization substantially financed directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government.

4. What are the obligations of public authority?

It shall publish within one hundred and twenty days of the enactment:

  1. the particulars of its organization, functions and duties;
  2. the powers and duties of its officers and employees;
  3. the procedure followed in its decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;
  4. the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;
  5. the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records used by its employees for discharging its functions;
  6. a statement of the categories of the documents held by it or under its control;
  7. the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by the members of the public, in relation to the formulation of policy or implementation thereof;
  8. a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted by it. Additionally, information as to whether the meetings of these are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible to the public;
  9. a directory of its officers and employees;
  10. the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;
  11. the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;
  12. the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details and beneficiaries of such programmes;
  13. particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it;
  14. details of the information available to, or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;
  15. the particulars of the facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;
  16. the names, designation and other particulars of the Public Information Officers. (S.4(1)(b)).

5. What are Public Information Officers (PIOs)?

PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.

6. What information have been exempted from disclosure?

The following is exempted from disclosure. (S.8)

  1. 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,;
  2. 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;
  3. information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
  4. 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 interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
  5. 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;
  6. information received in confidence from foreign Government;
  7. 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;
  8. information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
  9. cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers;
  10. 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;
  11. Notwithstanding any of the exemptions listed above, a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

7. How to make a request for information?

  1. The request shall be made in writing or in electronic means in English or in the official language of the area in which the application is made.
  2. The application shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee. The Govt. of Meghalaya has notified the Right to Information (Regulations of Fees and Cost) Rules, 2006. The application fee is Rs.10/- and other cost /fees are as prescribed in the above notification.
  3. The application shall be made to the State Public Information Officer of the concerned public authority or State Assistant Public Information Officer working under the State Public Information Officer, specifying the particulars of information requested for.
  4. Where the applicant cannot made the request in writing, the State Public Information Officer shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request to be reduced the oral request into writing request.
  5. Persons below poverty line are not required to remit the application fee. However, they are required to produce BPL certificate from the Deputy Commissioner of the respective district.
  6. The applicant is not required to give any reason for the information requested or any personal data except those that may be necessary to contact him.

8. How are the information requests disposed of?

  1. On receipt of a request for information, the State Public Information Officer shall either give the information on payment of the prescribed fee or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request.
  2. Where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be given within 48 hours of the receipt of the request.
  3. If the decision on the request for information is not given within the prescribed time limit, the request shall be deemed to have been refused.
  4. Where a decision is taken to provide the information on payment of the cost of providing the information, the Public Information Officer shall send intimation to the person making the request giving details of the fee representing the cost of providing the information and the calculation made to arrive at the amount, requesting him to deposit the fees. The period intervening between the dispatch of the above intimation and payment of fees shall be excluded for the purpose of maximum period in determining the time limit for providing the information.

No fees shall be charged from person Below Poverty Line:
Persons below poverty line are exempted from payment of application fee and also the fee for providing the information.

Information is free if the time limit is exceeded:
The information shall be provided free of cost where a Public Authority fails to comply with the prescribed time limit.

Rejection of a request:
Where a request is rejected, the State Public Information Officer shall inform the person making the request -

  1. the reason for such rejection
  2. period within which the appeal may be preferred; and
  3. the particulars of Appellate Authority.

9. Who is a “Third Party”?

A third party means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Third parties have to be heard in respect of applications and appeals dealing with information submitted by them to the Public Authority in confidence.

10. What Organizations have been exempted under the RTI Act, 2005?

By virtue of the powers vested under section 24 of the RTI Act, the Govt. of       India have exempted the following organizations from the purview of the Act.

  1. Intelligence Bureau
  2. Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat
  3. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
  4. Central Economic Intelligence Bureau
  5. Directorate of Enforcement
  6. Narcotics Control Bureau
  7. Aviation Research Centre
  8. Special Frontier Force
  9. Border Security Force
  10. Central Reserve Police Force
  11. Indo-Tibetan Border Police
  12. Central Industrial Security Force
  13. National Security Guards
  14. Assam Rifles
  15. Special Service Bureau
  16. Special Branch (CID), Andaman & Nicobar
  17. The Crime Branch-CID-CB, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  18. Special Branch, Lakshadweep Police.

The Govt. of Meghalaya, in pursuance of Section 24(4)  of the RTI Act, 2005  have exempted the following Organizations from the purview of the RTI Act,  vide Notification No. POL.155/2005/PT/16 dated 26-9-2005.

  1. The State Police (Special Branch), Meghalaya, Shillong
  2. The District Special Branch of seven districts of Meghalaya.

The information pertaining to allegations of corruption and human rights violation are not however exempted from disclosure however in the case of above exempted Organizations.

Govt Notification

Download Forms

List of Hearings

Decisions of SIC

List of DAAs/ PIOs/ APIOs

Information Handbook

Receipt & Disposal