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Taxmann PIO’s Guide to RTI by R K Verma and Anuradha Verma Edition 2023


Taxmann PIO’s Guide to RTI by R K Verma and Anuradha Verma Edition 2023

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Taxmann PIO’s Guide to RTI by R K Verma and Anuradha Verma Edition 2023

Taxmann PIO’s Guide to RTI by R K Verma and Anuradha Verma Edition 2023

This book is a definitive guide to the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). Drawn from an in-depth study of over 1,00,000 orders from the Central Information Commission and landmark court judgments, this book categorises a wide array of case laws topic-wise, allowing readers to swiftly pinpoint the relevant case law for their RTI application or appeal. Additionally, it provides a section-wise breakdown for ease of reference.

This book is tailored to guide government officials responsible for the RTI Act’s implementation, including the PIO, deemed PIO, FAA, and nodal officer. It is also equally invaluable for lawyers, information commissioners, and curious citizens eager to familiarise themselves with authoritative case laws on the Act.

The Present Publication is the 2nd Edition, authored by Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma & Dr. Anuradha Verma, with the following noteworthy features:

  • [Real-life Cases] to gain a deeper understanding of the RTI Act’s intricacies
  • [Guidelines for PIOs and FAAs] to efficiently address issues and avoid potential penalties or compensations
  • [Evolving Role of the RTI Act and Strategies] to counteract its misuse
  • [Latest Amendments and Diverse Interpretations] of the RTI Act for a lucid perspective
  • Comprehensive and detailed information

The structure of the book is as follows:
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the RTI Act, beginning with its background, objectives, primary provisions, and significance of the Preamble. It delves into various pertinent topics, including:

  • Interpretation of terms and concepts in the RTI Act
  • Definitions of ‘Information’ and ‘Public Authority’ from which one can procure details
  • The pathway of an RTI application, response timelines, fee structures, and regulations related to third-party information
  • Obligatory proactive disclosure criteria, its methods, and third-party audit compliance
  • Duties of the PIO, deemed PIO, and FAA
  • Exceptions under sections 8 and 9 for denying information access and their application
  • Management of records, especially regarding information over two decades old
  • Entities outside the RTI Act’s scope and scenarios where they must disclose information
  • Mechanisms for the first and second appeal processes
  • Various case laws related to grievances addressed to the Information Commission, be it for penalty imposition or compensation claims
  • Chapters dedicated to recurring topics like APAR, exams, service matters, vigilance and medical cases, banks, financial institutions, Income Tax, etc., where multiple Act sections come into play
  • The conclusion emphasises the growing role of the RTI Act in fostering transparency and accountability. It also addresses instances of the Act’s misuse

The detailed contents of the book are as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Which Organisations Are Covered?
  • Designation of Officers – PIO, APIO, FAA
  • Pro-active Disclosures
  • Who Can File an Application?
  • What Can be Sought under the RTI Act?
  • Has the Application Been Filed Properly?
  • Is the Payment of Fee as per Law?
  • Has the ‘Life or Liberty’ been Claimed?
  • Accessing Information from the Records
  • Role of the PIO/APIO/Deemed PIO
  • Dealing with an Application
  • Disposal of First Appeal
  • Third-Party Information
  • Application Seeking Voluminous Information
  • Overriding Powers under the Act
  • Organisations Beyond the Purview of the Act
  • Considerations for Passing an Order
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(a)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(b)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(c)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(d)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(e)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(f)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(g)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(h)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(i)
  • Invoking Exemptions under Section 8(1)(j)
  • Public Interest
  • Information Older than 20 Years
  • Infringement of Copyright
  • Working of the Information Commission
  • Filing of Appeal and Complaint
  • Penalty under the Act
  • Claim for Compensation
  • Recommendations by the CIC
  • Medical Cases
  • Examination
  • Banks and other Financial Institutions
  • Income Tax
  • Service Matters
  • Vigilance Cases
  • Expanding Scope of the Act
  • Conduct of an Applicant
  • Misuse of the Act

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About the author

R.K. Verma

Dr Verma did his MBBS from GSVM Medical College, Kanpur and completed his MD (Medicine) from SN Medical College Agra in 1997. The same year, he cleared the Civil Services examination and joined the Indian Revenue Service.

He has worked in different capacities in Customs and Central Excise at Barmer, Udaipur, Jaipur, Bhopal and Indore. He also held the charge of the Public Information Officer and First Appellate Authority, which triggered his quest for finding solutions to the queries posed in the RTI applications. He did his LL.B. during his stint in Mumbai, where he was posted as the Commissioner of Central GST and Central Excise in the Mumbai Zone.

Many organisations have invited him to deliver lectures and conduct training programmes on varied subjects, including RTI, which remains his favourite. He has published many articles and has aired his interviews on different media platforms. His primary focus is a non-adversarial approach to dealing with RTI issues while dealing with the stakeholders.

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Anuradha Verma

Dr. Verma is a known expert in the field of right to information with an experience of more than sixteen years. She has worked as an RTI Consultant for IIM, Indore, for over four years and as an RTI Consultant for IIM Vishakhapatnam since 2021. She also worked for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) apart from doing freelance work offering legal and consultancy services in the field of right to information involving third-party RTI Audit, handling of RTI applications and appeals, implementing transparency as per section 4 of RTI Act, designing specific RTI training programme based on the needs of the organisations etc.

She has conducted several workshops/trainings for Central and State Government departments. This includes training for the Madhya Pradesh Police (Indore), Indian Audit and Account Department, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), SEZ Noida, NACIN – CBIC, Power Finance Corporation, ICAI, MDP programs of IIM etc. At RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration (Bhopal), she has conducted many training programs which involved training the master trainers.

She has been contributing articles on legal issues relating to RTI on various forums, including her weekly column’ DATE with RTI’ at whispersinthecorridors.com since 2008. As the President of the NGO RTI Foundation, she also runs a website by the name www.rtifoundationofindia.com. The website provides the latest legal information free of cost to the readers and has been included by DoPT among the best practices in RTI.

The earlier book by the authors, titled ‘Right to Information – Law and Practice’, was well received by the readers, and the second edition has been released.