Right to Information

The Right to Information (RTI) is a legal right conferred upon citizens of a country to access information held by the government or public authorities. It is an essential tool for promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance in a democracy. The RTI Act enables citizens to obtain information related to the functioning of government departments, policies, decisions, and financial transactions.
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Overview of Right to Information

The Right to Information (RTI) is a fundamental human right that enables citizens to access information held by public authorities. The RTI Act provides citizens with the legal right to access information about the functioning of government departments, policies, decisions, and financial transactions. The RTI Act is a tool that empowers citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions and to participate in the democratic process.

The RTI Act requires public authorities to proactively disclose information about their functioning and provide information requested by citizens within a specified time frame. The Act also provides for the establishment of independent bodies such as Information Commissions to ensure the effective implementation of the Act and to adjudicate on disputes arising under it.

Advantages of Right to Information

Transparency RTI promotes transparency and accountability in government activities. It allows citizens to access information on how the government functions, its decisions, policies, and activities.
Empowering citizens RTI empowers citizens by giving them the power to hold public officials and institutions accountable for their actions.
Promoting good governance RTI promotes good governance by ensuring that government institutions are transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of citizens.
Fighting corruption RTI is an effective tool for fighting corruption by exposing corrupt practices and holding corrupt officials accountable.
Enhancing public participation RTI promotes public participation in government decision-making by providing citizens with the information they need to participate effectively in the democratic process

Registration Process

The following steps can be followed to file the RTI application online

Step 1: Visit the official website https://rtionline.gov.in and register by creating a username and password.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Submit Request’ on the top left corner of the website. A page describing the guidelines for filing RTI will pop up where you have to accept the terms and submit for further process.

Step 3: RTI application request form can be seen at https://rtionline.gov.in/request/request.php. The required information should be filled up by selecting the concerned department.

Step 4: In the next step, the individual has to write the information required by him within 3000 words in the ‘text for RTI application’ box. If the text exceeds the limit one can upload supporting documents.

Step 5: On submitting the application, a unique registration number is created for future reference.

Step 6: A nominal fee of Rs 10 has to be paid by internet banking or through Debit Card.

Step 7: On completing the payment process, the individual will receive an email as well as a message for successfully submitting the application.

The following steps can be followed to file the RTI application offline

Step 1: The individual must ensure the appropriate department to seek information from before filing the application. This implies that the individual shall decide whether the query relates to the municipality or state government of the central government.

Step 2: On ensuring the department to which the query is related, the individual can write or type the application in Hindi or English. An application can also be written in the local language if the query is related to the local authority.

Step 3: The address of the concerned authority shall be mentioned clearly in the application along with the individual’s name, address for communication, and place of residence.

Step 4: The individual should mention the query concerning which they are seeking information specifically. The queries must be related to the same subject for which the individual is seeking information. There is no limitation on the number of queries.

Step 5: A nominal fee is to be paid after preparing the application by cash or bank draft or a court fee stamp. If the individual falls under the category of Below the Poverty Line and is unable to pay the fee, proof of the same shall be attached with the application.

Step 6: On complying with all the above steps, the individual can finally send the application through post or personally hand it over to the concerned authority. An acknowledgment receipt is given to the individual after submitting the application.

Required Documents

1. A written application requesting information: The application should be in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area where the application is being made.

2. Application fee: The application fee, which varies depending on the state and mode of payment. It can be paid by cash, demand draft, or postal order.

3. Identity proof: A photocopy of any valid identity proof like Aadhar card, voter ID card, passport, driving license, etc. can be attached to the application.

4. Address proof: A photocopy of any address proof like Aadhar card, passport, driving license, electricity bill, telephone bill, etc. can be attached to the application.

It is important to note that some states may have additional requirements or forms to be filled out for filing an RTI request. Therefore, it is advisable to check the respective state government’s website for specific requirements before filing an RTI application.

FAQ's Right to Information :-

According to the RTI law in India, in most cases, it mandates that information be provided in 30 days after the application is received by the PIO.
Once you file an RTI application online, you can check the status of your application by visiting https://rtionline.gov.in/request/status.php and giving the unique registration number.
One can file an appeal if their RTI application has not been answered within the prescribed duration. A first appeal can be filed addressed to the Appellate Authority with the name of the concerned department as well as the address. This makes it mandatory for the Appellate Authority to reply back within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal. However, one can file a further appeal to the Information Commission, Chief Information Commissioner or State or Central Information Commission on the failure of Appellate Authority to reply.
As per RTI Act, no fee has to be paid for the first appeal.

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