SUN LEGAL CONFIDENTIAL
PROCEDURE TO FILE RTI

PROCEDURE TO FILE RTI

Introduction

RTI is the abbreviation for the "Right to Information." Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution, and it includes the right to information. Through the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2005, by the Parliament, the Right to Information has become a statutory right. This Act is frequently referred to as revolutionary because it grants the common man the right to ask any government agency for information. This Act also requires prompt responses to citizen requests for government information.

The following are the rights granted by the RTI Act:

a)      Seek any information held by a public authority.

b)      Obtain copies of official documents.

c)      Examine government works, documents, and records.

d)      Notes, extracts, or certified copies of government documents or records should be made.

e)      Take official government work samples.

f)       Obtain information on diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes, or any other electronic medium, or through printouts of information stored in a computer or other device.

RTI's Aim

The aim of making the Right to Information a statutory right is to ensure citizens' access to information under the control of public authorities. The primary aim of the Right to Information Act is to empower citizens, promote transparency and accountability in government operations, combat corruption, and ensure that our democracy functions properly. An informed citizen is best prepared to keep a required vigil on the instruments of governance and hold them accountable to the governed. The Act is an initiative aimed at informing citizens about the activities of the state and all public authorities under it.

 

 

What types of information can be obtained through RTI?

According to Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005, "information" refers to material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form, and information relating to any private body that a public authority can access under any other law in force at the time.

How to Submit an RTI Offline?

The Act proposes a simple and direct method for gathering information. Some public establishments, however, have their distinct formats; there is no requirement to adhere to the prescribed setup.

a)      Categorize the constituent part from which applicants want information because some issues are handled by state governments, others by local authorities such as municipal administrations/panchayats, and others by the Central government.

b)      The application can be submitted by hand or typed in English, Hindi, or the area's official language. One can also seek the assistance of a public information officer to write the application.

c)      Address the application to the State/Central Public Information Officer. Give the name of the office where applicants want to get information, as well as the complete, exact address.

d)      Mention the request in the appropriate form and specify the period/year in which the application falls. The applicant must pay Rs. 2 per page to obtain the documents.

e)      Cash, demand drafts, money order, or court fee stamp of Rs 10 is required to plead the request. The application must be stamped. Applicants living below the poverty line (BPL) are exempt from making any payment if they include a copy of their BPL certificate with their application.

f)       Applicants must sign the application properly and include their full name, address, phone number, and email address.

g)      Send the application to the appropriate department via postal mail or deliver it personally.

h)      The information must be provided within 30 days, according to the law. One may submit an appeal if this does not take place. The department's name and address should be mentioned in the first appeal, which should be addressed to "The Appellate Authority." As soon as the appeal is received, the appellate authority has 30 days to respond. If the appellate authority is unable to do so, the Information Commission, the Chief Information Commissioner, and State/Central Information Commission are the appropriate parties to appeal to.

How to submit an RTI online?

The Central Government and a few State Governments each have their websites where RTI requests can be submitted. The applicant has the choice of submitting the RTI in one of the States that offers the online facility. However, there are some problems with the online RTI filing services provided by the State Governments as some of the websites are not functioning properly. As a result, until the State governments' websites or portals operate as efficiently as those managed by the Central Government, an applicant's only choice is to submit an RTI offline when dealing with their departments.

Visit the website www.rtionline.gov.in to submit an RTI request online to any Central Government department.

a)      According to the website, Indian citizens can use it to submit RTI applications online and make RTI application payments online.

b)      Click "Submit Request" when the website opens to bring up a page where the applicant must enter the necessary information.

c)      The fields with an asterisk (*) are required; all other fields are optional.

d)      The application's text should be written in the designated column, and you should read the note that is located immediately above that column. Applicants might not be able to submit the application if the characters are not used in accordance with the guidelines.

e)      There is a 3000-character limit on the text of an application submitted in the designated column.

f)       If an application has more than 3000 characters, it can be uploaded as an attachment using the provided column.

g)      Decide which department or ministry you want to submit the RTI application to.

h)      Then enter the other contact information that is required.

i)       The applicant must click "Make Payment" to pay the required fee after completing the first page.

j)       The following methods of payment are available online: SBI Internet banking; Master/Visa or Master/Debit card use; Rupay Card use.

·         The fee for filing an application is set by the RTI Rules, 2012.

·         The application is submitted after the required fee is paid.

·         An applicant who is below the poverty line must attach a copy of their "BPL" certificate and pay no fee.

·         After submitting the application, a unique registration number will be assigned to the applicant for future reference.

·         The application filed through the Web Portal would be electronically transmitted to the "Nodal Officer" of the concerned Ministry/Department, who would then electronically transmit the RTI application to the concerned CPIO, or Central Public Information Officer.

·         If an additional fee is required to provide the requested information, the CPIO will notify the applicant via this portal. The applicant can view this notification via the Status Report or his/her e-mail alert.

Appeals

In the event that the applicant does not receive the requested information or is dissatisfied with the information received, he or she may file an appeal with the First Appellate Authority, as provided for in Section 19(1) of the RTI Act. If no information is provided within the prescribed time limit, the first appeal must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the information or within 60 days of filing the RTI application. Furthermore, suppose applicants do not receive information despite filing the first appeal or being dissatisfied with the First Appellate Authority's order. In that case, applicants may file a second appeal.

 

 

Conclusion

The Right to Information Act of 2005 is an effective initiative for increasing transparency and accountability in government offices. These public authorities are scrutinized by the public through RTI, and citizens learn more about the government's system by having access to information under the RTI Act. It holds the government accountable and aids in the containment of rampant corruption in public officials' offices. Corruption is a threat to society's well-being; it must be eliminated. Thus, RTI is a powerful tool for citizens to obtain information about how government departments work, where funds are spent, and how taxes are paid, among other things. However, there is still a long way to go because state online portals must function properly to facilitate this service.

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