What is RTI?
The full form of RTI is the Right to Information, which is governed by a
revolutionary law namely, the Right to Information Act, 2005. The main objective
of RTI Act is to promote transparency in government institutions in India.
Until the RTI Act gave the common man the right to seek information from the
government, only members of Parliament had the privilege of accessing this
information. If you are concerned about your business or as a citizen who wants
to know anything about any activity of any government department then RTI is a
useful tool to get information from the government department. That information
can be used constructively for your purposes.
This law is very comprehensive and covers almost all matters of governance. The
law has a broad reach, applying to all levels of government - central, state and
local - as well as to recipients of significant government funding.
How to file an RTI application?
- Get the address of the Public Information Officer from the website of the organization.
- Write the RTI application form in English/Hindi/state official language addressed to Public Information Officer and ask your questions clearly.
- Write your full name, contact details, and the address where you want your RTI information/response to be sent.
- There is no prescribed format of application for obtaining information. The application can be made on plain paper.
- The recipient need not state the reasons for seeking the information.
Steps for RTI Application Online:
- Department of Personnel and Training has launched a web portal called RTI online
for all Union Ministries/Departments with URL www.rtionline.gov.in.
- It is a facility for Indian citizens to file RTI applications and first appeals
online to all Union Ministries/Departments.
- The prescribed RTI fee can be paid online as well.
- Reply to RTI applications and first appeals received online can also be filed
online by the concerned PIOs/FAAs.
What is fee and modes of payment of fee for RTI application?
A citizen who wants to get some information from a public authority can send a
demand draft or banker's check along with the application or Rs. 10/- (Rupees
Ten) Indian Postal Order, payable to the Accounts Officer is required. of a
public authority as a prescribed fee for obtaining information.
The fee can also
be paid by cash to the Public Authority or Assistant Public Information Officer,
against proper receipt. Payment of fees to Central 8 Ministries/Departments can
also be made online through State Bank of India Internet Banking or through
Master/Visa Debit/Credit Card.
The following are the modes of payment of fees for online applications:
- Internet banking by SBI and its affiliated banks.
- Using State Bank of India ATM-cum-Debit Card.
- MasterCard/Visa Credit/Debit Card.
It should be noted that as per the RTI Rules, 2012, the RTI fee is not
required to be paid by a citizen living below the poverty line. However, the BPL
applicant must attach a copy of the appropriate government issued certificate in
this regard with the application.
What is the period for information supply?
Generally, the information will be provided to the applicant within 30 days of
receipt of the application by the public authority. If the information sought
relates to the life or liberty of a person, it shall be provided within 48
What Government bodies that are covered under the RTI Act are RTI information?
- All government agencies, whether under the state government or the centre, come under the ambit of the Act.
- Municipal Corporations, PSUs (Public Sector Units), Government Departments, Ministries at State and Central Levels, Judiciary, Government Owned Companies, Government Universities, Government Schools, Construction Departments, Road Authorities, Provident Fund Department, etc.
- Not only governments and their departments, but even smaller units like your city corporation or village panchayat come under RTI.
- You can exercise the right to information to obtain information such as the status of any application made by you, e.g., GST Registration, Income Tax Return, GST Refund, Expenditure by Government, etc.
What Government organizations that are not covered under the RTI Act are RTI
- Organizations related to the country's defense and intelligence, such as
RAW, BSF, CRPF, CISF, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard etc.
- Additionally, there are certain instances in which RTI information cannot be
provided. These examples relate to things that:
- Would affect national security, sovereignty, strategic, economic and/or scientific interests.
- The court has refused to release those.
- Relates to trade secrets or intellectual property, information that may affect/harm the competitive position of a third party.
- Relates to information under a trust relationship.
- Will affect any person's life/physical safety.
- Relating to Foreign Government Information.
- Will affect the process of investigation.
- Belongs to Cabinet Papers.
- Relating to personal data without any public interest.
RTI- Right to information is a very effective and affordable tool to know where
your money is being used, where corruption is prevalent, what is the working
status of any government official etc. It opens up the government institutions
to scrutiny. Armed with knowledge about RTI, a common man can request any
government agency to provide information
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