The Right To Information Act, 2009

The Act makes provisions for ensuring free flow of information and people’s right to information. The freedom of thought, conscience and speech is recognised in the Constitution as a fundamental right and the right to information is an alienable part of it. Since all powers of the Republic belong to the people, it is necessary to ensure right to information for their empowerment.

 

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi
The Right To Information Act, 2009
Bangladesh
A Summary
Compiled by – Sohini Paul
The Act was notified in the Bangladesh Gazette on Monday, 6 April, 2009. It received the President’s assent on 5 April 2009.
Preamble: The Act makes provisions for ensuring free flow of information and people’s right to information. The freedom of thought, conscience and speech is recognised in the Constitution as a fundamental right and the right to information is an alienable part of it. Since all powers of the Republic belong to the people, it is necessary to ensure right to information for their empowerment.


The right to information shall ensure that transparency and accountability in all public,autonomous and statutory organisations and in private organisations run on government or foreign funding shall increase, corruption shall decrease and good governance shall be established. It is expedient and necessary to make provisions for ensuring transparency and accountability.

Comes into force: Section 1

All provisions of the Act have come into force since 20 October 2008 except for Sections 8, 24, 25 which shall come into effect from 1 July 2009. This includes the sections on request for obtaining information (Sec.8), appeals mechanism (Sec.24) and complaints mechanism (Sec. 25).

Authority and Information Providing Unit: Section 2

ƒ Any organization/institution constituted in accordance with the Constitution of People’s Republic of Bangladesh;
ƒ Any ministry, division or office constituted under the Rules of Business as given in Article 55(6) of the Constitution;
ƒ Any statutory body or institution established by or under any Act;
ƒ Any private organization or institution run on government funding or with help from the government exchequer;
ƒ Any private organization or institution run on foreign funding;
ƒ Any organizations or institution that undertakes public functions in accordance with any contract made on behalf of the Government or made with any public organization or institution;
ƒ Any other organization or institution as may be notified by the Government in the official gazette from time to time.

The Information Providing Units include:


ƒ The head office, divisional office, regional office, district office or sub-district (upazila) office of any department, directorate or office attached to or under any ministry, division or office of the government;
ƒ The head office, divisional office, regional office, district office or sub-district (upazila) office of an authority.

Third Party: Section 2


Third Party is any other party associated with the information sought, other than requester applying for information or the authority providing the information.

Information means: Section 2
According to the Act, information is in relation to an authority’s constitution, structure and
official activities and includes any: memo, book, design, map, contract, data, log book, order,
notification, document, sample, letter, report, accounts statement, project proposal, photograph,
audio, video, drawing, film, any instrument prepared through electronic process, machine
readable documents and any other documentary material regardless of its physical form or
characteristics.
Information does not include office note sheet or photocopies of note sheets.
Right to Information: Section 4
Every citizen has a right to information from the Authority and the Authority shall on demand
from a citizen be bound to provide information.
What is not open? – Section 7
Publication or providing certain types of information is not mandatory.
None of the authorities will be obliged to give the citizens the following information:
1) Information disclosure of which would be a threat to the security, integrity and
sovereignty of Bangladesh;
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2) Information related to any foreign policy, the disclosure of which would lead to
harming existing relationships with any foreign state, or international institution or any
regional bloc or organization;
3) Information received in confidence from a foreign government;
4) Information related to commercial or business confidence, copyright or intellectual
property right, the disclosure of which would harm the intellectual property rights of
any third party;
5) Information the disclosure of which would either benefit or harm an individual or
institution, such as :
a) any advance information regarding income tax, customs, VAT and law relating
to excise, budget or change in the tax rate;
b) any advance information regarding changes related to exchange rate and
interest rate ;
c) any advance information regarding the management and supervision of
financial institutions including banks;
6) Information the disclosure of which would obstruct the enforcement of law or incite any
offence;
7) Information the disclosure of which would endanger the security of the people or would
impede the due judicial process of a pending case;
8) Information the disclosure of which would harm the privacy of the personal life of an
individual;
9) Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any
person;
10) Information given in confidence by a person to help a law enforcement institution;
11) Information related to any matter pending in any court of law and 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;
12) Information related to any matter which is under investigation whose disclosure might
impede the investigation process;
13) Information, the disclosure of which would affect any criminal investigation process
and the arrest and prosecution of the offenders;
14) Information, which according to law is liable to be published only for a specified time
period;
15) Information obtained through technical or scientific experiments which is expedient to
be kept secret for strategic and commercial reasons;
16) Information related to any purchase processes before it is complete or before any
decision is taken regarding the purchase or the processes involved;
17) Information whose release may lead to breach of privileges of National Parliament
(Jatiya Sansad);
18) Information regarding any person which is to be kept in confidence by law;
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19) Advance information regarding question papers of an examination or the marks
obtained;
20) Documents including summaries to be placed before the Cabinet or as the case may be,
in the meetings of the Council of Advisors and information relating to deliberations and
decisions made, provided that the decisions of the Cabinet or the Council of Advisors,
the reasons and material basis upon which the decisions were taken shall be made
public,
Provided as per this section if information is not to be disclosed then the related authority
must take prior approval from the Information Commission.
Partial Disclosure: Section 9
Partial access to information contained in records covered by the clause where information is
not mandatory for publication, is allowed. A portion of the information requested can be
separated from the portion that is not mandatory for publication and be given to the applicant.
Who are excluded? – Section 32 and Schedule
The following organizations and institutions involved with national security and intelligence as
mentioned in the schedule shall not be covered by the RTI Act:

  1. National Security Intelligence (NSI)
  2. Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI)
  3. Defence Intelligence Units
  4. Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Bangladesh Police
  5. Special Security Force (SSF)
  6. Intelligence Cell of the National Board of Revenue
  7. Special Branch, Bangladesh Police
  8. Intelligence Cell of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)
    The number of institutions mentioned in the list above can be decreased or increased by the
    Government by amending the schedule in consultation with the Information Commission from
    time to time by notification published in the government gazette.
    Information relating to corruption and human rights must be given. If a request for such
    information is received, then the concerned organization or institution must give the
    information, subject to the approval of the Information Commission within 30 days from the
    date of receiving the request.
    Authority’s Duties: Section 5, 8
    1) To maintain information in a catalogued and indexed form and preserve it in an
    appropriate manner;
    2) Each authority shall computerize all information that can be computerized within a
    reasonable time limit and connect them through a country-wide network to facilitate
    access to information;
    3) Each authority shall follow the guidelines and directives as given by the Information
    Commission for the maintenance and management of information;
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    4) Each authority shall prepare, publish and publicise a list of information that will be
    given free of cost based on the directives of the Information Commission (s. 8(6)).
    Information Disclosure by Authorities: Section 6
    Each authority has to publish and publicise all information in an indexed manner which is
    easily accessible to the citizens regarding any decision taken, proceeding or activity executed
    or proposed. In disclosing this information, no authority shall conceal or limit access to any
    information;
    Each authority must publish a report each year which will contain the following information:
    1) The particulars of an authority’s organizational framework, functions and duties and
    responsibilities of its officers and employees and the description of decision-making
    processes;
    2) List of all laws, acts, ordinances, rules, regulations, notifications, directives, and
    manuals etc. of authorities and classification of all information available with the
    authorities.
    3) Description of the terms and conditions under which any person can obtain from an
    authority, license, permit, grant, allocation, consent, approval or the description of any
    other facilities and description of such terms and conditions, that require the authority to
    make transactions or enter into agreements with him;
    4) Description of all facilities in order to ensure the right to information of the citizens
    and the name, designation, address, and where applicable fax number and e-mail
    address of the Responsible Officer.
    If an authority frames any important policy or takes any important decisions, then it must
    disclose these and if necessary, explain the reasons and causes in support of these policies and
    decisions.
    Reports prepared by an Authority under this section shall be made available for public
    inspection free of charge and copies shall be kept for sale at a nominal price;
    All publications made by an authority shall be made easily available to the public at a
    reasonable price;
    The authorities shall publish and publicise matters of public interest through press releases or
    any other method;
    The Information Commission through regulations shall lay down guidelines and directives to
    be followed by the authorities to publish, publicise and obtain information.
    Responsible Officer: Section 10
    1) One Responsible Officer must be nominated within 60 days from the notification of the
    Act by each authority established before and after the enactment of this Act for each
    “information providing unit”. Also, all offices created by authorities after the
    notification of the Act must nominate one Responsible Officer in each office as well as
    in each of the newly created “information providing units”.
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    2) Each authority shall inform the Information Commission, the names, designations,
    addresses and where applicable the fax numbers and e-mail addresses of the
    Responsible Officers within 15 days from the date of appointment.
    3) Any other officer whose support is sought by the Responsible Officer while discharging
    his/her duty shall be bound to extend necessary help.
    4) Any other officer, whose assistance has been sought by the Responsible Officer, shall
    render all assistance, and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this
    Act, such other officer shall be treated as the Responsible Officer.
    Duties of Responsible Officer: Section 9
    1) The Responsible Officer should provide assistance to an applicant who is sensorily
    disabled to access records and also provide assistance in case of inspection;
    2) Must inform the applicant the reasons for failing to provide the requested information
    within 10 working days;
    3) In case the information sought is available with the Responsible Officer then he shall
    fix a reasonable price of that information and request the applicant to pay the amount
    within 5 working days;
    4) If information sought has been supplied by third party or is treated as confidential by
    the third party, then the Responsible Officer must give written notice to the latter within
    5 days of receiving the information request for written or oral opinion. The Responsible
    Officer shall take its representation into consideration and make a decision in respect of
    providing information to the applicant.
    Application Procedure: Section 8
    1) Apply in writing or electronically or by e-mail to the Responsible Officer;
    2) In the application, the following information must be given:
    ƒ Name, address, and where applicable fax number and e-mail address of the
    applicant;
    ƒ Correct and clear description of the information sought;
    ƒ Any other useful and related information that might help in locating the requested
    information;
    ƒ Description of the method by which information is sought, namely by inspecting,
    taking photo copies, taking notes or any other approved method.
    3) The information request can me made either in the form printed by the authority or in
    the prescribed format. However, if the forms are not printed or are not easily available
    or the format has not been prescribed, then the application can be written on a plain
    white paper by giving all the information mentioned above or can be sent through
    electronically or by e-mail;
    4) The applicant will have to pay reasonable fees as may be prescribed by the Responsible
    Officer;
    5) The government may in consultation with the Information Commission prescribe the
    application fees and if necessary the cost of information by notification in the official
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    gazette. The government may also exempt an individual or class of individuals or any
    other class from paying the fees.
    Procedure and Time Limits for providing information: Section 9
    1) Responsible Officer shall provide information within 20 working days from the date of
    receipt of application;
    2) In case more than one “information providing unit” or authority is involved with the
    information requested, then information shall be given in 30 working days from the date
    of application;
    3) In case the Responsible Officer rejects a request, then he must inform the applicant the
    decision and reasons for rejection within 10 working days from the date of application;
    4) In case basic information concerning any person’s life or death, arrest and release from
    jail is sought then it must be given within 24 hours from receiving the request;
    5) In case the requested information is available with the Responsible Officer then he must
    calculate the reasonable fee and inform the applicant to pay the fees within 5 working
    days. The fees for printed publications, information in electronic format or photocopies
    or print outs shall not be more than the actual costs;
    6) No action on application within the specified time limits of 20 and 30 working days and
    24 hours as mentioned above is a deemed refusal.
    Appellate Authority and Appeals Mechanism: Section 2, 24
    1) In case of the “information providing unit” the appellate authority is the administrative
    head of its immediate superior office. In case the unit does not have a superior office,
    then the appellate authority is the administrative head of that unit.
    2) If any person is not given information within the time period specified in Section 9 or is
    aggrieved by the decision of the Responsible Officer, then he/she can appeal before the
    appellate authority within the next 30 days from receiving the decision or after the
    expiry of the time period;
    3) If the appellate authority is satisfied that the appellant for justifiable reasons could not
    submit the appeal within the specified time period of 30 days then he may accept the
    appeal even after the expiry of that time;
    4) The Appellate Authority shall within 15 days from the date of receiving the appeal:
    ƒ Direct the concerned Responsible Officer to provide the requested information;
    or
    ƒ Reject the appeal if it not fit for acceptance.
    5) In case the Responsible Officer is directed to provide the information by the appellate
    authority, then he must provide the information within the time specified in Section 9 to the
    appellant.
    Complaints Mechanism: Sections 25, 26
    1) Any person for the following reasons may submit a complaint with the Information
    Commission:
    a) As given in Section 13 (1) i.e.:
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    ƒ Non-appointment of a Responsible Officer by an authority or refusal to accept
    applications for information;
    ƒ Refusal upon request for any information;
    ƒ Not being given either a response or the information requested within the specified time
    period as given in the Act;
    ƒ If the complainant is asked to pay a fee or is compelled to pay an amount of fee which
    he/she thinks are unreasonable;
    ƒ If the complainant feels that the information given is incomplete, false or misleading;
    and
    ƒ In respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining information under this
    Act.
    b) If the person is aggrieved by the decision on his appeal under Section 24;
    c) If the person does not get the information from the Responsible Officer within the time
    limits specified i.e. 20 days (if information is sought from one unit), 30 days (if information
    is sought from more than one unit or authority) and 24 hours (information related to life and
    death or arrest and release from jail).
    In case of point a) given above, a complaint can be filed with the Information Commission
    any time and in case of points b) and c) the complaint can be filed within 30 days from the
    date of getting a decision or as the case may be. If the Information Commission is satisfied
    that the complainant could not file the complaint due to reasonable causes within the
    specified time period, then the Commission can receive the complaint even after the expiry
    of the time period.
    2) On the basis of a complaint, or if the Information Commission is satisfied that any
    authority or Responsible Officer has failed to carry out any function then the Commission
    has been given the powers to take action against the authority or the Responsible Officer;
    3) The Chief Information Commissioner or if the responsibility is delegated to an
    Information Commissioner has the power to enquire into any complaints received. After
    the completion of the enquiry a decision-paper regarding the complaint shall be prepared
    within 30 days from receiving the complaint. This paper has to be presented before the
    Information Commission in the next meeting where the decision will be taken;
    4) During the enquiry, any authority or the Responsible Officer against whose decision, the
    complaint is being made will be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard;
    5) In case a third party is involved in the case of a complaint, then the third party will be
    given an opportunity to present his opinion;
    6) Ordinarily the Information Commission shall take 45 days to dispose off a complaint
    from the date on which the complaint is received. However, in certain cases, the time could
    be extended if required, to complete the enquiry and depositions of the witnesses. However,
    the time limit for disposing a complaint shall not exceed more than 75 days including the
    extended time;
    7) While taking a decision on a complaint, the Information Commission shall have the
    following powers:
    (i) To direct the authority or the Responsible Officer to take the following steps:
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    ƒ To provide the requested information in a specified particular manner;
    ƒ To appoint Responsible Officers;
    ƒ To publish any special information or special class of information;
    ƒ To bring necessary changes in the procedures followed by the authority with regard
    to preservation, management or publication of information;
    ƒ To impart better training on right to information for officers of Authorities;
    ƒ To provide compensation to the complainant for any loss or other detriment
    suffered;
    (ii) To impose Penalty as provided in the Act;
    (iii) To uphold decisions of the authorities;
    (iv) To reject complaints;
    (v) Re-classification of information by the authorities;
    (vi) To interpret any matters relating to nature, classification, preservation, publication and
    supply of information as per the Act.
    The decisions of the Information Commission in cases of complaints shall be binding on all
    concerned;
    The decisions of the Information shall be communicated to all parties in writing;
    The Information Commission shall through procedures prescribed in the regulations, take other
    steps in disposing complaints.
    Representation before the Information Commission -The parties to a complaint may present
    their statements before the Commission either personally or through a lawyer.
    Establishment and Composition of the Information Commission: Sections
    11, 12
    1) The Information Commission must be established within a maximum period of 90 days
    from the date on which the Act comes into force. It shall be an independent statutory
    body;
    2) The Information Commission includes 1 Chief Information Commissioner and 2 other
    Information Commissioners of whom one person shall be a woman. The Chief
    Information Commissioner is the Chief Executive of the Commission.
    3) The Headquarters of the Information Commission will be based in Dhaka. If needed,
    branch offices may be established in other parts of the country by the Commission.
    Appointment Process, Qualifications and Terms of Service: Sections 14, 15,
    17
    Selection Committee
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    1) In order to provide recommendations for the appointment of the Chief Information
    Commissioner and the Information Commissioners a Selection Committee shall be
    constituted which includes the following 5 members:
    ƒ A judge of the Appellate Division to be nominated by the Chief Justice, who shall
    be the Chairperson of the Committee;
    ƒ Cabinet Secretary to the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh;
    ƒ One member each from the ruling party and the opposition, nominated by the
    Speaker while the Parliament is in session;
    ƒ A representative nominated by the Government from amongst journalists who have
    the capabilities/ qualifications to be an editor or from amongst the prominent
    members of society.
    2) The Ministry of Information shall be responsible for constituting the Selection
    Committee and it shall also provide the necessary secretarial assistance. Presence of a
    minimum of 3 members will constitute the quorum for the Selection Committee
    meetings.
    3) In order to appoint the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information
    Commissioners, the Selection Committee shall on the basis of majority decision of the
    members present at the meeting, recommend 2 names against each vacant post to the
    President. In case of a tie in the Selection Committee while voting, the Chairperson has
    the right to cast the deciding vote. The Selection Committee will decide the procedure
    of its meetings.
    Appointment, tenure, salaries etc
    1) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be
    appointed from persons having vast knowledge and experience in law, justice, journalism,
    education, science, technology, information, social work, management or public
    administration.
    2) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be
    appointed by the President based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee.
    3) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall hold office
    for 5 years from date of appointment or till they attain the age of 67 years, whichever is
    earlier. Persons who are more than 67 years old are not eligible to be appointed as Chief
    Information Commissioner or Information Commissioners.
    4) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are not eligible
    for reappointment for the same post. However, Information Commissioners shall not be
    ineligible for appointment to the post of Chief Information Commissioner.
    5) In case of vacancy of the position of the Chief Information Commissioner or in case of
    his absence due to ill health or is unable to carry out his functions due to other reasons, or
    the newly appointed Chief Information Commissioner has not joined office, then the senior
    most Information Commissioner will take up the responsibilities of the Chief Information
    Commissioner.
    6) The designation/rank, remuneration, allowances and other facilities shall be determined
    by the Government.
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    Removal of Chief Information Commissioners and Information
    Commissioners: Section 16
    1) The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners can be removed
    due to the same reasons and procedures by which a Judge of the Supreme Court can be
    removed.
    2) The President may order removal of the Chief Information Commissioner and
    Information Commissioners if the person –
    a) Is adjudged insolvent by an appropriate court of law;
    b) Engages in any paid employment outside the duties of his office;
    c) Is adjudged a lunatic by an appropriate court of law;
    d) Is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude
    Information Commission – Powers and Functions: Sections 13
    Powers:
    1) The Information Commission has the power to receive complaints from any person,
    inquire into and dispose off complaints received on the following issues –
    a) Non-appointment of Responsible Officer by an authority or its refusal to accept
    requests for information;
    b) Refusal upon request for any information;
    c) Not being given either a response or the information requested for within the
    specified time period;
    d) If the applicant is asked to pay a fee or is compelled to pay an amount of fee
    which he/she thinks are unreasonable;
    e) If the applicant feels that the information given is incomplete, false or
    misleading;
    f) In respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining information
    under this ordinance.
    2) Information Commission may on its own accord or upon a complaint, conduct an
    inquiry regarding a complaint made under the Act;
    3) The Information Commission or the Chief Information Commissioner or Information
    Commissioners may exercise powers of Civil Court as per the Code of Civil Procedure
    1908 in respect of following matters, namely –
    a) summon and enforce attendance of persons, compel them to give oral or written
    evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;
    b) Examine and inspect information;
    c) Receive evidence on affidavit;
    d) Requisition information from any office;
    e) Issue summons for witnesses or documents; and
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    f) Any other matter which may be prescribed in the rules to fulfil the objectives of
    the Act.
    4) While inquiring into a complaint, the Information Commission or the Chief Information
    Commissioner or Information Commissioners have the power to examine on spot any
    information kept in custody with any authority.
    Functions:
    The functions of the Information Commission include the following:
    ƒ Issue directives to authorities for preservation, management, publication, publicity and
    access to information;
    ƒ Prescribe the application procedure for accessing information from an authority and fix
    the appropriate price of information;
    ƒ Formulate and publish guidelines and directives for preservation and implementation of
    citizens’ right to information;
    ƒ In order to preserve the right to information, consider the provisions recognised under
    the Constitution or any other law in force and provide recommendations to the
    Government for their effective implementation by indicating the impediments;
    ƒ Identify the impediments against the preservation and implementation of citizen’s right
    to information and recommend appropriate solutions to the Government;
    ƒ Conduct research on agreements related to the right to information and other
    international instruments and documents and recommend to the Government for their
    implementation;
    ƒ Examine the similarities of various international instruments and existing laws on right
    to information, and in case of dissimilarities and in order to harmonize with the
    international instruments make suitable recommendations to the Government or the
    appropriate authority;
    ƒ Advise Government to ratify or sign any international instrument on right to
    information;
    ƒ Conduct research on preservation and implementation of right to information and
    provide support to educational and professional institutions for their implementation;
    ƒ Generate and increase awareness about the right to information amongst different
    sections of society through dissemination and publication of information and other
    methods;
    ƒ Advise and provide support to the Government to make the necessary laws and
    administrative directives for preservation and implementation of the right to
    information;
    ƒ Provide necessary advice and support to organizations and institutions working on right
    to information and the civil society;
    ƒ Conduct research and organize seminars, symposium, workshops and similar other
    measures to increase people’s awareness on right to information and to disseminate the
    results obtained from the research ;
    ƒ Provide technical and other support to the authorities with the aim to ensure the right to
    information;
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    ƒ Establish a web-portal for Bangladesh to ensure the right to information;
    ƒ Oversee the systems set up under any other law on right to information.
    Information Commission Fund, Budget and Financial Independence of the
    Information Commission: Sections 19, 20, 21
    An Information Commission Fund shall be constituted, the management and administration of
    which shall be vested in the Commission.
    The salaries and allowances of the Chief Information Commissioner, Information
    Commissioners, the Secretary and the other officers and employees shall be borne from this
    fund in accordance with the terms and conditions of their service. Other expenses of the
    Commission shall also be borne from this fund.
    The following money shall be deposited in the Information Commission Fund:
    ƒ Annual grant given by the Government;
    ƒ Grant given by any institution with the approval of the Government.
    Every year the Information Commission shall within the time specified by the Government,
    submit an annual budget for the next financial year on the specified form for approval. It must
    specify the amount of money required by the Information Commission for that financial year.
    The government after considering the Information Commission’s requisition will allocate
    specified amount. The Commission, however, need not take government’s approval to spend
    the allocated money.
    Officers and Employees of the Information Commission: Section 23
    The Information Commission shall have a Secretary. In order to carry out its functions in an
    effective manner, the Commission shall also appoint as many officers and employees as may
    be necessary with approval from the government in respect of the organizational framework.
    The salaries, allowances and terms of employment of the Secretary and other officers and
    employees will be decided by the Government. Moreover, the Government on request from the
    Information Commission may depute its officers and employees with the Commission.
    Information Commission’s Annual Report: Section 30
    1) The Information Commission shall submit an annual report to the President on the
    previous year’s activities by 31 March each year.
    2) Each report shall contain the following details:
    ƒ Number of information requests received by each authority;
    ƒ Number of decisions refusing requests for information to the applicants and
    description of the provisions in the Act under which these decisions were made;
    ƒ The number of appeals filed against the decisions of the Responsible Officers
    and the results of these appeals;
    ƒ Particulars of any disciplinary actions taken by the authorities against their
    officers;
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    ƒ The amount of money collected by each authority;
    ƒ Description of the various activities undertaken by the authorities;
    ƒ Proposals for reform received from different authorities relating to ensuring
    right to information of citizens;
    ƒ Number of complaints received by the Information Commission;
    ƒ Description of the actions taken by the Information Commission in dealing with
    the complaints received;
    ƒ Number of officers penalized by the Information Commission and the
    descriptions of such punishments;
    ƒ The total amount of penalties imposed and the amount recovered by the
    Information Commission;
    ƒ The instructions and regulations issued by the Information Commission;
    ƒ The accounts of income and expenditure of the Information Commission;
    ƒ Any other related information which the Information Commission considers
    necessary to be included in the report;
    ƒ Recommendations made to the concerned authority to take measures in case it is
    noticed that a particular authority is not following the provisions of the Act.
    3) The President after receiving the report shall place it before the National Parliament;
    4) The Information Commission shall publish and publicise the annual report through the
    mass media and the website;
    5) Every authority shall provide the necessary documents and other related assistance to
    the Information Commission as needed in preparing this report.
    Penalty Provisions: Section 27
    While deciding on a complaint, or if the Information Commissioner believes that for any
    reason given below, any Responsible Officer will be liable for fine of 50 Taka per day up to a
    maximum of 5,000/- Taka for –
    i) Refusing to accept an application or appeal without any reasonable cause;
    ii) Not furnishing information or not taking a decision on this matter within the
    time specified;
    iii) Malafidely denying the request for information or appeal;
    iv) Instead of giving the information requested, giving incorrect, incomplete or
    misleading or distorted information and ;
    v) Obstructing furnishing of information in any manner.
    The Information Commission has the power to impose this penalty from the date of the
    abovementioned actions till the date the information is provided. However, the Information
    Commission shall give the Responsible Officer a reasonable opportunity of being heard before
    the penalty is imposed on him.
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    In addition to the penalty, if the Information Commission is satisfied that the Responsible
    Officer creates impediments in providing information, it may recommend the concerned
    authority to take departmental action against such misconduct and request the authority to keep
    the commission informed about the actions taken.
    In case of failure to recover the penalty or compensation from the Responsible Officer, then
    that amount can be recovered through such procedures as are applicable for recovery of land
    revenue in accordance with the provisions of the Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913.
    Application of Limitation Act of 1908: Section 28
    In case of appeals or complaints filed under this Act, the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1908
    will be as far as possible be applicable.
    Rules and Regulations Making Power: Section 33, 34
    The Government in consultation with the Information Commission will frame the rules and
    notify in the official gazette. In case of the regulations, the Information Commission with prior
    approval of the Government will frame them and notify in the official gazette.
    Power to Deal with removal of ambiguity: Section 35
    If any ambiguity arises in implementing any provisions in the Act, then the Government
    through a notification in the official gazette and subject to consistency with the provisions in
    the Act shall remove such ambiguity.
    Publication of a translated English version: Section 36
    A translated English version of the Act will be made and in case of any conflict between the
    Bengali and English versions, the former shall prevail.
    Repeal: Section 37
    The Right to Information Ordinance 2008 is repealed. However, in spite of it being repealed all
    proceedings and systems accepted under the Ordinance will continue under the Act.
    For further information please contact:
    Venkatesh Nayak (venkatesh@humanrightsinitiative.org) or
    Sohini Paul (sohini@humanrightsinitiative.org) at
    Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
    B-117 Sarvodaya Enclave, 1st Floor, New Delhi – 110017
    Tel: +91 11 26850523, 26528152, 26864678 Fax: +91 11 26864688]
    Website: http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/
    15

ibas2

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One thought on “The Right To Information Act, 2009

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