What is RTI?

In 2005, the Right to Information or simply RTI Act was implemented to provide vital information to Indian citizens. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is to empower the citizens by giving them access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every Public Authority. According to Section 2 of the RTI Act, Right to information also includes inspection of work, documents, records, taking notes, samples of materials.

Information such as records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, reports, papers, models, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts or any data in electronic form can be accessed through RTI application.

The Public Authority is any authority established under the constitution owned, controlled or financed by the Central Government or State Government which also includes Non-Governmental Organizations.

How to file RTI Application Form?

Step 1: Under Section 6 of the RTI Act, any citizen of India can file a RTI application hence, once you’re a citizen of India then you’re qualified to file a RTI application. The first step that you need to take is to identify the Department or Public Authority from which you seek the Information from. For more info about the Public Authorities/Departments and the list of available Public Authorities, Click here.

Step 2: Once you have successfully identified the Department from which you seek information from. The next step is to write the application, there’s no prescribed format of application, you can write the application in plain paper but make sure the application should include your name and complete postal address. Note that, RTI application can be written in Hindi, English or in any regional language but in a situation whereby the applicant is unable to write, then he/ she can request for assistance from the Public Information Officer (PIO).

The Public Information Officers which are designated by the Public Authorities are responsible for giving information to a person/applicants who seeks information under the RTI. The application has to be addressed to the PIO of the Department. For more info on guidelines concerning RTI application, click here.

Step 3: On the Application make sure you mention the full name of the concerned Department along with complete address.

Step 4: The Application shall be accompanied with the prescribed fee. The fees can be paid in cash, by demand draft, bank cheque or Indian Postal order of Rs. 10. A Below Poverty Line (BPL)<> applicant is not required to pay any fee, however he/she has to submit a proof to support his/her claims.

Step 5: On the application mention your full name along with complete address and contact details.

Step 6: Send the RTI application by Post or hand over in person to the concerned Department. It is advisable to secure a photocopy of the application before sending it and also keep the acknowledgment receipt for future purposes.

Another method for filing RTI Application is online. RTI application can be filed online and payment can also be made online. For more information concerning RTI online application click here. Steps involved in RTI online application includes the following:

  1. Proceed to the website and register.
  2. Click on “submit request” and fill the form with the necessary details then submit.
  3. Proceed to make payments online which can be made through internet banking, debit/credit cards of Master/Visa and RuPay cards.

After submission of RTI application form either online or in person expect your reply within 30 days. If you do not get the reply to your application within the stipulated time or you’re not satisfied with the reply then you can file for an appeal to the 1st Appellate Authority within 30 days and the reply of your first appeal must come within 30days too.

A citizen who decides to obtain any information under the RTI Act should make an application and submit along with the payment of prescribed RTI application Form fee to the PIO of the concerned Public Authority. Application should be precise and specific.