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Arunachal Pradesh Information Commission

The Right to Information Act’2005 came into force in Arunachal Pradesh along with the rest of the country on 12th October 2005 after 120 days of its enactment. As per the provisions of this Act, State Public Information Officers (SPIO) and State Assistant Public Information Officers (SAPIO) were appointed by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh with separate notifications. In pursuance to the proviso of Clause 3, Section 15 of the Right to Information Act, a selection committee was constituted for the appointment of State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioners. On 13/10/2006, Arunachal Pradesh Information Commission (APIC) was constituted and appointed Shri Nyodek Yonggam as the State Chief Information Commissioner and Shri Bani Danggen, Habung Payeng and Nipo Nabam as State Information Commissioners. They were administered the oath of office by His Excellency the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh on 19/10/2006. Further a fresh selection committee was constituted in proviso of Clause (3) of Section 15 of the Right to Information Act 2005 in a separate notification dated 18th Oct’2007 and Shri Toko Anil was appointed as State Information Commissioner on 15/11/07. He was administered the oath of office by State Chief Information Commissioner, Arunachal Pradesh, on behalf of His Excellency the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh on 03/12/2007.

Power and Functions of Information Commissions
Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person
who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, either by reason that no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has refused to accept his or her application for information or appeal under this Act for forwarding the same to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer or senior officer specified in sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be;
who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;
who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limit specified under this Act;
who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers unreasonable;
who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information under this Act; and
in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Act.
Where the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.
The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters, namely:—
summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;
requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
receiving evidence on affidavit;
requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;
issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and
any other matter which may be prescribed.
Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of Parliament or State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may, during the inquiry of any complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds.

Procedure for Request of Information

What is the Application Procedure for requesting information?
1. Apply in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the PIO, specifying the particulars of the information sought for. 
2. Reason for seeking information are not required to be given; 
3. Pay fees as may be prescribed (if not belonging to the below poverty line category).

What is the time limit to get the information?
1. 30 days from the date of application 
2. 48 hours for information concerning the life and liberty of a person 
3. 5 days shall be added to the above response time, in case the application for information is given to Assistant Public Information Officer. 
4. If the interests of a third party are involved then time limit will be 40 days (maximum period + time given to the party to make representation). 
5. Failure to provide information within the specified period is a deemed refusal.

What is the fee?
1. Application fees to be prescribed which must be reasonable. 
2. If further fees are required, then the same must be intimated in writing with calculation details of how the figure was arrived at; 
3. Applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by the PIO by applying to the appropriate Appellate Authority;
4. No fees will be charged from people living below the poverty line 
5. Applicant must be provided information free of cost if the PIO fails to comply with the prescribed time limit.

What could be the ground for rejection?
1. If it is covered by exemption from disclosure. (S.8) 
2. If it infringes copyright of any person other than the State. (S.9)

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