Report No. 275
1. Tamil Nadu
1.26 Tamil Nadu was the first Indian State to enact its own right to information law in the form of Tamil Nadu Right to Information Act, 1997. Section 2(3) of the Act defines information as:
'Information' includes copy of any document relating to the affairs of the State or any local or other authorities constituted under any [A]ct for the time being in force or a statutory authority or a company, corporation or a co-operative society or any organisation owned or controlled by the Government.
1.27 It should be noted that this is an inclusive definition. The definition makes no mention of 'funding' provided by the Government, 'substantial' or otherwise. The Act does not provide for a judicial forum for hearing appeals and lays down that appeal can be made to the Government or such other authority as may be notified by the Government.18
It contains twenty-one categories of information that are excluded from the purview of the Act, seriously dampening its effect. There is no provision providing for offences or penalty. The State Act runs concurrently with the Central Act. The State Government has constituted a State Information Commission and prescribed Rules for accessing information under the RTI Act 2005.