Monday, 25 July 2016

Procedure of filing a Right to Information application (RTI) Offline and Online

The basic object of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government.

Essential requirements of an application filed under the RTI Act are:
(a) The applicant should be a citizen of India.
(b) The application should contain the particulars of information sought.
(c) The evidence of payment of application fee should be enclosed.
(d) The address of the applicant should be available for sending a reply.

Procedure of applying RTI application Offline
Firstly, you have to identify the department from which you want the information. After that you have to write the application by hand, or type it, in English, Hindi or the official language of the area.
Secondly, address the application to the State/Central Public Information Officer. Write the name of the office from which applicant seeks information, and the complete, correct address. Clearly mention ‘Seeking information under the RTI Act, 2005’ in the subject line.
Thirdly, state the request in the form of specific, detailed questions, and mention the period/year your request falls into. Ask for documents or extracts of documents, if required.
Fourthly, provide your full name and address, contact details, email address and sign the application clearly.
Fifthly, take a photocopy of the application and keep one with you for future reference. Send your application by post or hand it in personally to the department concerned.

Procedure of applying RTI application Online
The RTI application can also be made online. The link of the portal to file RTI applications/first appeals online along with payment gateway is:
Any citizen can make a request through the RTI Online Portal to the Central Ministries/Departments and other Central Public Authorities mentioned in ONLINE RTI request form. RTI application for state public authorities cannot be filed through the online portal. It is not mandatory for the Applicant to create a user account and he can directly file the RTI on 'Submit Request' tab. On submission of an application, a unique registration number will be issued, which may be referred by the applicant for any future reference.

Cost of RTI application
The applicant has to pay Rs. 10 to file a RTI plea. To obtain documents, the applicant has to make a payment of Rs. 2 per page

Exemption of payment for BPL applicant
Applicants below the poverty line (BPL) are exempted from making the payment. However, they have to attach a copy of the BPL certificate along with the application.

Reason for seeking information
The information seeker is not required to give reasons for seeking information.

Requirement of a lawyer in filing RTI
A person in not required to engage a lawyer to file a RTI as he can himself file a RTI, appeal and second appeal.

Exemption from Disclosure of Information
Section 8(1) and 9 of the RTI Act enumerate the types of information which are exempted from disclosure. Section 8(2), however, provides that information exempted under section 8(1) or exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 can be disclosed if public interest in disclosure overweighs the harm to the protected interest.

Time Period for Supply of Information
In normal course, information to an applicant shall be supplied within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority. If information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be supplied within 48 hours. In case the application is sent through the Assistant Public Information Officer or it is sent to a wrong public authority, 5 days shall be added to the period of 30 days or 48 hours, as the case may be.

Appeal under the RTI Act
If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time of 30 days or 48 hours, as the
case may be, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first appellate authority who is an officer senior in rank to the Public Information Officer. Such an appeal should be filed within a period of 30 days from the date on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the date on which the information or decision of the Public Information Officer is received. The appellate authority of the public authority shall dispose of the appeal within a period of 30 days or in exceptional cases within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal.

Second appeal under the RTI Act

If the first appellate authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the first appellate authority, he may prefer a second appeal with the Central Information Commission within 90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was actually received by the appellant.

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