[One can seek information under RTI Act- 2005 from any Public Authority (government organization or government aided organization). Application can be made through online platform or on a plain sheet of paper (handwritten or typed)].
Right to Information (RTI) Acts 2005, popularly known as RTI Act under which any citizen of India may request information from public authority as defined u/s. 2(f) of the act. Under the provisions of RTI Act, any citizen of India may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government) or “instrumentality of State” which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. Public sector banks also come under the purview of RTI act but private sector banks are not included under the act. In case of matter involving a petitioner’s life and liberty, the information has to be provided within 48 hours.
What kind of information can be called for under RTI act?
The information sought may be any material in any form such as records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form. It also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force. However, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, is exempt from disclosure. Sub-section (1) of section 8 and section 9 of the Act provides the types of information which is exempt from disclosure. The Public Information Officer should not disclose such information unless he is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information. The Sub-section (2) of section 8, provides that information exempted under sub-section (1) or exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 can be disclosed if public interest in disclosure overweighs the harm to the protected interests.
What is the cost payable for providing information under RTI Act?
An applicant has to pay is Rs.10/-(Rupees ten), payable to The Accounts Officer of the Public Authority as fee prescribed for seeking information. The applicant may also be required to pay further fee towards the cost of providing the information, details of which shall be intimated to the applicant by the PIO as prescribed under section 17 of RTI ACT. Payment for offline request can be made by way of cash to the Accounts Officer of the public authority or to the Assistant Public Information Officer against proper receipt. No RTI fee is required to be paid by a citizen who is below poverty line, as per RTI Rules, 2012. However, the BPL applicant must attach a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate government in this regard, along with the application.
Who are eligible to seek information under RTI act?
The Act gives the right to information only to the citizens of India. It does not make provision for giving information to Corporations, Associations, Companies etc. which are legal persons, but not considered as citizens of India. However, an employee or an office bearer of the organization in his/her capacity as citizen of India may seek the information at the address of the Corporation etc.
How to apply for information under RTI act?
An application on a plain sheet of paper with the information you require qualifies as an RTI. There is no prescribed format of application for seeking information. Application may be made in English, Hindi or the regional language. Letter may be addressed to the concerned Public Information Officer (PIO) or Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO). No need to write the name of PIO or APIO. Subject of the letter should be written as “Information sought under RTI Act, 2005”. No need to give reasons for seeking information or to furnish an explanation/need/utility for filing the application. The name and correspondence address of the applicant is required to be mentioned in the application.
How to apply for information under RTI act using online platform?
An applicant who desires to obtain information under the RTI Act, 2005 can make a request through RTI Online Portals (https://rtionline.gov.in/faq.php) or (https://rtionline.gov.in/) to the Central Ministries/Departments and other Central Public Authorities mentioned in ONLINE RTI request form. On clicking at “Submit Request”, the applicant has to fill the required details on the page that will appear. The text of the application may be written in the prescribed column of the RTI request form. The fields marked * are mandatory while the others are optional. At present, the text of the application is confined up to 3000 characters only. In case, the text of an application contains more than 3000 characters, it can be uploaded as a PDF attachment in the “Supporting Document” column of the form. The mobile number can be provided (optional) by the applicant/ appellant in order to receive SMS alerts. You will get the receipt for online filing of RTI application. The application filed through the online would reach electronically to the “Nodal Officer” of concerned Ministry/Department, who would transmit the RTI application electronically to the concerned CPIO.
Mode of online payment
After filling the first page of the RTI request form, a non-BPL applicant has to click on “Make Payment” button for payment of the prescribed RTI fee. No RTI fee is required to be paid by a citizen who is below poverty line, as per RTI Rules, 2012. The applicant can pay the prescribed RTI fee through the following modes:
(i) Internet banking through State bank of India.
(ii) Using ATM-cum-Debit card of State Bank of India.
(iii) Credit/Debit card of Master/Visa.
Registration Number is generated after reconciliation of bank scrolls for cases whose numbers are not generated instantly after the payment. This procedure may take 48 working hours. If someone still does not receive the Registration Number, he/she may contact their respective bank for refund of amount.
If the applicant does not receive a response to the application within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, he/she can file a first appeal under section 19 of the RTI Act. The registration number of original application has to be used for reference. No fee has to be paid for first appeal. For making an appeal online to the first Appellate Authority, the applicant has to click at “Submit First Appeal” and fill up the page that will appear. Status of the RTI application/first appeal filed online can be seen by the applicant/appellant by clicking at “View Status”.
In case of any difficulties faced by the applicant in using online platform applicant, he/she may call the RTI helpdesk or send an e-mail at helprtionline-dopt at nic dot in. Helpline mail id is exclusively meant for queries or problem being faced while filing the online RTI. Applicants should not use this helpline for any other matter or asking for any other details.