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Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business Mcom Sem 2 Delhi University Notes

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business Mcom Sem 2 Delhi University Notes

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business Mcom Sem 2 Delhi University : The University has grown into one of the largest universities in India. At present, there are 16 faculties, 86 academic departments, 77 colleges and 5 other recognised institutes spread all over the city, with 132,435 regular students which includes 114,494 undergraduates & 17,941 postgraduates. There are also 261,169 students in non-formal education programme, of which UG students make up 258,831 where as PG students are 2,338 in number. Five departments namely Chemistry, Geology, Zoology, Sociology and History have been awarded the status of the Centres of Advanced Studies. These Centres of Advanced Studies have carved a niche for themselves as centres of excellence in teaching and research in their respective areas. In addition, a good number of university departments are also receiving grants under the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC in recognition of their outstanding academic work

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business Mcom Sem 2 Delhi University Notes

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : Here our team members provides youUnit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University Complete Notes in pdf format. Download here Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University Notes in pdf format and read well.

‘Information’ as a term has been derived from the Latin words ‘Formation’ and ‘Forma’ which means giving shape to something and forming a pattern, respectively.

Information adds something new to our awareness and removes the vagueness of our ideas.

Information is Power, and as the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee stated, the Government wants to share power with the humblest; it wants to empower the weakest. It is precisely because of this reason that the Right to Information has to be ensured for all.

The Freedom of Information Bill 2000 introduced in the Lok Sabha on 25th July 2000 says that :

    1. Information means any material in any form relating to the administration, operations or decisions of a public authority;

(b) the bill defines public authority as any authority or body established or constituted, ;

      1. by or under the Constitution,
      2. by any law made by the appropriate Government,
      3. and includes any other body owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government.

(c) Freedom of information means the right to obtain information from any public authority by means of-

      1. inspection, taking of extracts and notes,
      2. certified copies of any records of such public authority and
      3. diskettes, floppies or in any other electronic mode or through print-outs where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : It will be interesting to mention that Press Council of India prepared a draft Bill in 1996 to make a provision for securing right to information. This draft Bill was named Right to Information Bill, 1996. The Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad also prepared a bill in 1997. Both the bills initiated a national debate on the issue of Effective and Responsive Administration. The Govt. of India appointed a working group on January 2, 1997. The terms of reference of the Working Group included the examination of feasibility and need to introduce a full fledged Right to Information Bill. This group recommended that a legislation in this regard is not only feasible but is also vitally necessary. The Working Group recommended that the bill should be named as Freedom of Information Bill as the Right to Information has already been judicially recogonised as a part of the fundamental right to free speech and expression.

Download here Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business Mcom Semester 2 Delhi University Notes in pdf format 

CONSTITUTIONAL ASPECT OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights to free speech and expression. The prerequisite for enjoying this right is knowledge and information. The absence of authentic information on matters of public interest will only encourage wild rumours and speculations and avoidable allegations against individuals and institutions. Therefore, the Right to Information becomes a constitutional right, being an aspect of the right to free speech and expression which includes the right to receive and collect information. This will also help the citizens perform their fundamental duties as set out in Article 51A of the Constitution. A fully informed citizen will certainly be better equipped for the performance of these duties. Thus, access to information would assist citizens in fulfilling these obligations.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION IS NOT ABSOLUTE

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : As no right can be absolute, the Right to Information has to have its limitations. There will always be areas of information that should remain protected in public and national interest. Moreover, this unrestricted right can have an adverse effect of an overload of demand on administration. So the information has to be properly, clearly classified by an appropriate authority.

The usual exemption permitting Government to withhold access to information is generally in respect of the these matters: (1) International relations and national security; (2) Law enforcement and prevention of crime; (3) Internal deliberations of the government; (4) Information obtained in confidence from some source outside the Government; (5) Information which, if disclosed, would violate the privacy of an individual; (6) Information, particularly of an economic nature, when disclosed, would confer an unfair advantage on some person or subject or government; (7) Information which is covered by legal/professional privilege, like communication between a legal advisor and his client and (8) Information about scientific discoveries and inventions and improvements, essentially in the field of weapons.

These categories are broad and information of every kind in relation to these matters cannot always be treated as secret. There may be occasions when information may have to be disclosed in public interest, without compromising the national interest or public safety. For example, information about deployment and movement of armed forces and information about military operations, qualify for exemption. Information about the extent of defence expenditure and transactions for the purchase of guns and submarines and aircraft cannot be totally withheld at all stages.

NEED FOR RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : The Right to Information has already received judicial recognition as a part of the fundamental right to free speech and expression. An Act is needed to provide a statutory frame work for this right. This law will lay down the procedure for translating this right into reality.

Information is indispensable for the functioning of a true democracy. People have to be kept informed about current affairs and broad issues – political, social and economic. Free exchange of ideas and free debate are essentially desirable for the Government of a free country.

In this Age of Information, its value as a critical factor in socio-cultural, economic and political development is being increasingly felt. In a fast developing country like India, availability of information needs to be assured in the fastest and simplest form possible. This is important because every developmental process depends on the availability of information.

Right to know is also closely linked with other basic rights such as freedom of speech and expression and right to education. Its independent existence as an attribute of liberty cannot be disputed. Viewed from this angle, information or knowledge becomes an important resource. An equitable access to this resource must be guaranteed.

Soli Sorabjee stressing on the need of Right to Information aim at bringing transparency in administration and public life, says, “Lack of transparency was one of the main causes for all pervading corruption and Right to Information would lead to openness, accountability and integrity”.

According to Mr. P.B. Sawant, “the barrier to information is the single most cause responsible for corruption in society. It facilitates clandestine deals, arbitrary decisions, manipulations and embezzlements. Transparency in dealings, with their every detail exposed to the public view, should go a long way in curtailing corruption in public life.”

RIGHT TO INFORMATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : In recent years, many Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have passed laws providing for the right of access to administrative information. USA, France and Scandinavian countries have also passed similar laws. US Freedom of Information Act ensures openness in administration by enabling the public to demand information about issues as varied as deteriorating civic amenities, assets of senators and utilisation of public funds.

It is not only the developed countries that have enacted freedom of information legislation, similar trends are seen in the developing countries as well. The new South Africa Constitution specifically provides the Right to Information in its Bill of Rights–thus giving it an explicit constitutional status. Malaysia operates an on-line data base system known as Civil Services Link, through which a person can access information regarding functioning of public administration. There is thus a global sweep of change towards openness and transparency.

In USA, the first amendment to the Constitution provided for the freedom of speech and expression. The country had already passed the Freedom of Information Reform Act 1986, which seeks to amend and extend the provisions of previous legislation on the same subject. But this right is not absolute. Recently, the US Supreme Court struck down two provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), 1996, seeking to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet precisely because they abridge the freedom of speech protected by the first amendment. Moreover, the vagueness in the CDA’s language, the ambiguities regarding its scope and difficulties in adult-age verification, make CDA unfeasible in its application to a multifaceted and unlimited form of communications such as Internet.

Sweden has been enjoying the right to know since 1810. It was replaced in 1949 by a new Act which enjoyed the sanctity of being a part of the country’s Constitution itself. The principle is that every Swedish citizen should have access to virtually all documents kept by the State or municipal agencies.

In Australia, the Freedom of Information Act was enacted in December 1982. It gave citizens more access to the Federal Government’s documents. With this, manuals used for making decisions were also made available. But in Australia, the right is curtailed where an agency can establish that non-disclosure is necessary for protection of essential public interest and private and business affairs of a person about whom information is sought.

Even the Soviets, under Mikhail Gorbachev, have realised that “the State does not claim monopoly of truth any longer”. Glasnost has cast away the cloud of secrecy and stresses the priority of human values.

Even as steps are taken to ensure openness in matters affecting the public, there has to be a greater sense of responsibility on the part of users of information in the media and elsewhere. Journalists must ensure that they seek information in public interest and not as agents of interested parties.

India has so far followed the British style of administration. In Great Britain, Official Secrets Act, 1911 and 1989 are intended to defend national security by rendering inaccessible to the public certain categories of official information. However, the government recognises that access to information is an essential part of its accountability. A recent legislation governing access to public information includes Local Government (Access to Information) Act, 1985; the Environment and Safety Information Act, 1988, and the Access to Health Records Act 1990 are such laws. On the other hand, Data Protection Act, 1984; the Access to Personal File Act; the Access to Medical Reports Act, 1988, and the Consumer Credit Act, 1974, all provide some protection for different aspects of personal information.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University : The need for Right to Information has been widely felt in all sectors of the country and this has also received judicial recognition through some landmark judgements of Indian courts.

A Supreme Court judgement delivered by Mr. Justice Mathew is considered a landmark. In his judgement in the state of UP vs. Raj Narain (1975) case, Justice Mathew rules-In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be but few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. Their right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can at any rate have no repercussion on public security. But the legislative wing of the State did not respond to it by enacting suitable legislation for protecting the right of the people.

According to Attorney General Soli Sorabjee – It was in 1982 that the right to know matured to the status of a constitutional right in the celebrated case of S P Gupta vs. Union of India (AIR) 1982 SC (149), popularly known as Judges case. Here again the claim for privilege was laid before the court by the Government of India in respect of the disclosure of certain documents. The Supreme Court by a generous interpretation of the guarantee of freedom of speech and expression elevated the right to know and the right to information to the status of a fundamental right, on the principle that certain unarticulated rights are immanent and implicit in the enumerated guarantees.

The court declared – The concept of an open government is the direct emanation from the right to know which seems to be implicit in the right of free speech and expression guaranteed under article 19 (1) (a).

The Supreme court of India has emphasised in the SP Gupta case (1982) that open Government is the new democratic culture of an open society towards which every liberal democracy is moving and our country should be no exception. In a country like India which is committed to socialistic pattern of society, right to know becomes a necessity for the poor, ignorant and illiterate masses.

In 1986, the Bombay High Court followed the SP Gupta judgement in the well-known case Bombay Environmental Group and others vs. Pune Cantonment Board.

The Bombay High Court distinguished between the ordinary citizen looking for information and groups of social activists. This was considered a landmark judgement concerning access to information.

Unit V Law Relating To Information For Legal Aspects Of Business MCOM Sem 2 Delhi University Notes

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