Rights and Duties of Public Information Officer




Public Information Officer

Following information is exempted to be disclosed under RTI Act, 2005

If an RTI application is rejected, the proper reason of rejection along with the time period, within which an appeal against such rejection has to be made, and residence of the appellant authority with other particulars are to be provided by the Public Information Officer (PIO).

 When can an RTI Application be rejected

  • When information affecting integrity, security, scientific, economic interest of India is concerned or regarding relation with a foreign country are asked for.
  • A person cannot question the government on its strategy which it has planned to adopt during a war.
  • One cannot ask for a blueprint of the information dealing with the technical aspects of Indian space programs. In various situations, the court specifically orders the trial to take place in camera. E.g. rape cases, where court restricts to give any information regarding the victim. One cannot question regarding such information as for his right granted under RTI Act. The information which has been expressly prohibited for publication by the court cannot be demanded as a right under RTI Act.
  • When some information demanded is capable of harming any third party, Public Information Officer might reject such application – about the disclosure of trade secrets or intellectual property.

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Such applications are only entertained when the information seeks results in larger public good and a notice to such affected third party is issued by the Public Information Officer (PIO).

  • Information concerning trust relationships are exempted from disclosure – If a person seeks for medical reports of patients being treated in a government hospital, Public Information Officer possesses all such rights to reject requests seeking such information. Also, one cannot ask for cabinet papers.
  • Institutions not covered under RTI –
  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
  • BSF
  • CRPF
  • ITBP
  • Central Economic Intelligence Bureau
  • Department of Enforcement
  • Intelligence Bureau
  • Research & Analysis Wing
  • Narcotics Control Bureau
  • Special Branch (CID) Andaman & Nicobar
  • Crime Branch (CID) Dadra And Nagar Haveli
  • Aviation Research Centre
  • Special Frontier Force
  • CISF
  • NSG
  • Special Service Bureau
  • Assam Rifles
  • Special Branch Lakshadweep Police

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Duties of Public Information Officer

  1. If someone asks regarding his life or liberty, such RTI is mandatory to be answered within a time period of 48 hours of the receipt of the request.
  2. If various information are sought, and only a few are being answered by PIO then, it is the duty of Public Information Officer (PIO) to give a reason for not providing with the complete information demanded.
  3. On access to information, the RTI Act empowers citizen with the rights equivalent to a Member of Parliament. The information which cannot be denied to any Member of Parliament or State legislature shall not be denied to any person seeking RTI.
  4. PIO is obligated to suo motu declare information such as mentioned in the exhaustive list of section 4 of RTI Act.





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