How to file application under Right to Information Act

 “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”

-Dalai Lama

Right to Information is one of the most important legislations of recent times, given the growing rate of corruption in India and the desperate need for accountability and transparency.

RTI is your Fundamental Right!

RTI was declared a Fundamental Right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression), by the Supreme Court in 1976, in Raj Narain v. State of UP, wherein it said that people cannot speak or express themselves unless they know. Therefore, right to information is now embedded in Article 19. The Court further said that India is a democracy and its people are the masters. The masters have a right to know how the governments that are meant to serve them, are functioning. Therefore, from right to know evolved the Fundamental Right to information.

Right to Information ActBut just declaring RTI as a Fundamental Right was not sufficient; the Right required a mechanism for its application, wherefore came into existence, the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Steps to use Right to Information

A citizen of India may be able to obtain information from public authorities through the following steps:

1. IDENTIFYING THE PIO: Each public authority has Central/State Public Information Officers (as the case may be) and an Assistant Public Information Officer, in all of its administrative units or offices. Identify which one of them is in charge of receiving application for information that you are requesting.

2.DRAFTING APPLICATION:  Address a letter/ application to the CPIO or the APIO (as the case may be for that unit) requesting for the information.

3. PAYING FEE: The mode of payment of application fee (Rs.10) differs from State to State and information regarding the same is available on their respective websites. The payment may be made to the Accounts Officer or the APIO. REMEMBER to collect receipt after payment. Additional costs may incur depending on the number of photo copies required, charges for which are as prescribed under Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Costs) Rules, 2005.            

4. SUBMITTING APPLICATION: You may submit your application personally by hand, by Registered Post AD or by Speed Post.

Once you have followed the above steps and submitted your application, you may expect a reply within thirty days of receipt of the application by the CPIO (as per the RTI Act). If the information sought pertains to life or liberty of a person, the reply will be sent within forty eight hours of receipt of the application. The application may be rejected sometimes, and when so rejected, the CPIO has to provide reasons for such rejection, whereupon an appeal can be made by the applicant and the details of the appellate authority is to be provided by the CPIO.

This covers the basics of RTI.

Much has been and much can be achieved if this right is used to its full potential. From forcing local municipality to fix sewage to exposing corrupt activities of the biggest ministers, this right has been quite a success. Now that a simple mechanism has been established to enable its use, we shouldn’t hesitate to make use of it when necessary.

By Dhatri.K Sundaresh on March 22, 2013 · Posted in Informative, Simplified statute

1 Comment | Post Comment

mkc says:

best article

Posted on November 1st, 2013