Report No. 275
3. Madhya Pradesh
1.33 The State passed the Right to Information Bill in March 1998, but the Presidential assent was refused and so the Bill did not come into force. However, Executive Orders on the Right to Information are operational in nearly fifty departments.20
1.34 While the Executive Orders were operational, the State Assembly enacted the Madhya Pradesh Jankari Ki Swatantrata Adhiniyam, 2002 (The "MP Act"), on January 24, 2003,which received the assent of the Governor and on January 31, 2003 it was published in the Official Gazette. On passing of the Central Act, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 27,the State Government issued Madhya Pradesh Right to Information (Fees and Appeal) Rules, 2005..
1.35 Section 2(b) of the MP Act defines 'public body' to mean
"(i) all offices of the State Government,
(ii) all local authorities and statutory authorities constituted under any Act of the State Legislature for the time being in force and all Companies. Corporations and Cooperative Societies in which not less than fifty one percent of the paid-up share capital is held by the State Government." The definition enumerates eight exclusions as well.21It can be observed that the definition is exhaustive.
1.36 Section 4 of the MP Act lists seven categories of information, which are outside its scope. Section 6 provides that 13 the designated officer may also reject a request for supply of information on seven additional grounds (information sought is too general in nature, is already available publicly, relates to 'secret' or 'confidential matters', is vague etc.).
1.37 Section 7 provides for procedures for an appeal to the State Government or an appellate authority appointed by the State Government. Section 8 provides that if the designated officer fails to supply the desired information when the appellate authority has directed him to do so, a penalty maybe imposed on him.