[COLUMN] Is Right to Information a Limited Right?

At the very outside I want to acknowledge the observation of Lord Nolan “openness, objectivity and accountability are the fundamental standards in public life, these standards can be enforced only if information of public decisions and of the actions is available to the people”.  As light is a guarantee against theft similarly government openness is a guarantee against administrative misconduct.

Though, the  Constitution of India 1950 does not specifically provide for The Right to Information is fundamental right but justify the conclusion that Indian constitution draws up the idea of open government it is a truth fact that poverty to information depreciates life and stifles free speech in India while recognising the efficacy of the right to know which is sin qua non of a really effective participatory democracy- raised the simple right to know to the status of a fundamental right in SP Gupta versus Union of India AIR1982 SC 149, the Hon’ble apex court held the right to know is implicit in the article 19 (1) (a) it is implicit as corolley to Freedom of press.

The Legislative History 

With the judicial support Right to Information became a cause of public action and that brought a great demand of formal law of freedom of information. The state of Goa, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan has law since 1997 and still exist enacted to ensure public access to information but, the same was missing at central level. 

Hence  the Parliament passed Freedom of Information Act 2002. But after significant changes in law government decided to repeal 2002 act and it is replaced With The Right to Information Act 2005. 

Aims and Objective 

A) The Act aims to promote transparency accountability in working of public authorities.

B)  Converts freedom of information into Right to Information.

C) Defines information as information includes “any mode of information in any form of Record, document , email , circular,  press release contract, sample, electronic data. 

The Limits

Section 8 of the RTI act provides for restriction on information disclosure on the following matters:-

A) That prejudicially affect sovereignty and integrity of India.

B) security, strategy, economy of state 

C) Relations with foreign States

D) privilege of Parliament or state legislature

E) information prohibited under official secret act 1923


The Right to Information Act widely covers the inspection of work documentation and necessary information that could be provided and made accessible to public at large to ensure the effectiveness of the fundamental right the act has also provided a limitation period for 30 days the act provides that theory shell supply required information within 30 days from the date of request but if the request relates to life and liberty than the limitation period is only for 48 hours it also says that if the Public Information Officer fails to give decision within 30 days then it shell be Deemed to have been refused.

“Accountability is the necessity in democracy”

Written by –

Anirudh Tyagi

BA. LLB (4th Year)

Sharda University.

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