Right To Information
“An Act to provide for setting out
the practical regime of right to
information for citizens to secure
access to information under the
control of Public Authorities, in
order to promote transparency and
accountability in the working of
every Public Authority ”
3) RTI Act,2005
5) Steps in filing RTI
6) Request for information
7) Important section under RTI
8) RTI and Public Time Bound
9) RTI Online
10) Case study
“Jan Sunvai” started in Rajasthan, Bhim, Tehsil in
Press counsil prepared the draft in 1996.
Introduced in various states legilature from 19952001.
RTI Act was introduced in Maharashtra and eight
other states in 2002.
Central RTI Act was introduced all over
India(except Jammu and Kashmir) on 12 October
Currently RTI Act is applicable all over
India(including Jammu and Kashmir) in 2009.
RTI Act is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the
Indian Constitution (Freedom of expression).
Right To Information Act,2005
Right to InformatioAct,2005 mandates
timely response to citizen requests for
government information. It is an initiative
taken by Department of Personnel and
Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public
Grievances and Pensions to provide a–
RTI Portal Gateway to the citizens for
quick search of information on the details
of first Appellate Authorities,PIOs etc.
amongst others, besides access to RTI
related information / disclosures published
on the web by various Public Authorities
under the government of India as well as
the State Governments.
Particulars to be published
Particulars ,function and duties of
Powers ,Duties OF officers & Employees.
Procedure followed in decision making
including Channels of supervision.
Norms set For Discharge of functions.
Rules ,Regulation ,instruction manuals ,
Statements of categories of document
To setup the practical regime
To secure access to information under the control of public
To promote transparency and accountability in the working
of every public authority
The constitution of a Central Information Commission and
State Information Commissions
Matters connected to Public Authority or incidental thereto
To bring the citizen at par with the members of parliment
and members of legislature.
Application form of RTI
almost all the
Steps in filing an RTI
Consider your problem and frame your question.
Draft and submit your application to PIO and
obtain the acknowledgement slip.
PIO has 30 days to accept or reject your
PIO to notify in the writing of additional fees if
required, the details of Appellate Authority and
relevant forms to make an appeal.
PIO provides the required information.
Appeal if either you are not satisfied with the
information or the information is not provided
within the time limits.
Request for Information
be made to PIO.
To be in writing /electronic means ( if it can’t be
in writing , PTO will assists to reduce oral request
In Hindi ,English, Official Language of the area
Accompanied by prescribed fee.
No reason required
No personal details required except for contacting
To be transferred to another public authority if
pertain to them (in 5 days ) ->applicant to be
Information should be free of cost or at prescribed
cost of medium printout
No fees are to be taken from those below the poverty
If additional fees (cost of providing info) are required
PIO has to give calculation to information seeker and
details of appeal rights
If time limits passed ,info to be given frees
RTI FOR WHOM
RIGHT TO KNOW
Before dwelling on the RTI Act,2005,mention
should be made that, the supreme court read
into article 21 the right to know. The supreme
court held that right to know is a necessary
ingredient of participatory democracy. In view of
transnational development when distances are
shrinking international communities are coming
together for cooperation in various spheres
And they are moving towards a global
perspective in various fields including human
rights ,the expression “liberty” must receive an
expanded meaning. The expression cannot be
limited to mere absence of bodily restraint. It is
wide enough to expand to full range of rights
including right to hold a particular opinion and
right to sustain and nurture that opinion. For
sustaining and nurturing that opinion it become
necessary to receive information.
Article 21 confers on all persons a right to know
which include a right to receive information.
Thus a citizen has a right to receive information
and that right is derived from the concept of
freedom of speech and expression comprised in
article 19(1) (a).
Important Definations Of RTI
Jurisdiction of RTI Act- 2005
Section-1(2): It extends to the whole of India except the State of
Jammu and Kashmir.
Section- 2 (a):
"Appropriate Government" means in relation to a public authority
which is established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially
financed by funds provided directly or indirectly: (i) By the Central
Government or the Union territory administration, the Central
Government; (ii) By the State Government, the State Government.
Section- 2 (c):
"Central Public Information Officer" means the Central Public
Information Officer designated under sub-section (1) and includes a
Central Assistant Public Information Officer designated as such under
sub-section (2) of section 5.
Section- 2 (e):
"Competent Authority" means:
(i) The Speaker in the case of the House of the People or
the Legislative Assembly of a State or a Union territory
having such Assembly and the Chairman in the case of the
Council of States or Legislative Council of a State;
(ii) The Chief Justice of India in the case of the Supreme
(iii) The Chief Justice of the High Court in the case of a
(iv) The President or the Governor, as the case may be, in
the case of other authorities established or constituted by
or under the Constitution;
(v) The administrator appointed under article 239 of the
Section- 2 (h):
"Public Authority" means any authority or body or
institution of self- government established or constituted:
a. By or under the Constitution, b. By any other law made
by Parliament; c. By any other law made by State
Legislature; d. By notification issued or order made by the
It also includes any:
(i) Body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
(ii) Non-Government Organisation substantially finance
directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate
Responsibilities of Public Authority
Section- 4(1) (a):
Every Public Authority shall maintain all its records duly
catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which
facilitates the Right to Information under this Act and
ensure that all records that are appropriate to be
computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to
the availability of resources, computerised and connected
through a network all over the country on different
systems so that access to such records is facilitated.
PIO (Public Information system)
Every public authority has to –
Designate in all administrative units or offices central or
state public information officers to provide information to
persons who have made a request for the information.
Designate at each sub-divisional level or sub-district level
central assistant or state assistant public information
officer to receive the application for information or appeals
for forwarding the same to central or state public
Function of PIO
with requests for information
Offer reasonable assistance to applicant
Provide access enabling assistance to sensorily
Seek assistance from any other officer as
For the purpose of contravention of this act such
other officer will be treated as PIO
Responsibilities of Public Information
Section- 5 (3):
Every Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, shall deal with
requests from persons seeking information and render
reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such
Section- 2 (f):
"Information" means any material in any form, including
Records, Documents, Memos, e-mails, Opinions, Advices,
Press releases, Circulars, Orders, Logbooks,.
Contracts, Reports, Papers, Samples, Models, Data material
held in any electronic form and information relating to any
private body which can be accessed by a Public Authority
under any other law for the time being in force.
Section- 2 (i):
(a) Any document, manuscript and file;
(b) Any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a
(c) Any reproduction of image or images embodied in such
microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and
(d) Any other material produced by a computer or any other
"Right to Information" means the right to information
accessible under this Act which is held by or under the
control of any public authority and includes the right to:
(i) Inspection of work, Documents, Records;
(ii) Taking notes, Extracts or Certified copies of documents
(iii) Taking certified samples of material;
(iv) Obtaining information in the form of Diskettes,
Floppies, Tapes, Video cassettes or in any other electronic
mode or through printouts where such information is
stored in a computer or in any other device.
Section- 2(n): "Third Party" means a person other than
the citizen making a request for information and includes a
Cause of Information
Section- 6 (2):
An applicant making request for information shall not be
required to give any reason for requesting the information
or any other personal details except those that may be
necessary for contacting him/her.
Transfer of Application to another Public
Section- 6 (3):
Where an application is made to a Public Authority
requesting for information:
(i) Which is held by another public authority; or
(ii) The subject matter of which is more closely connected
with the functions of another Public Authority
RTI and Time Bound:
Accountability how far ?
30 days from the date of application.
48 hours for information concerning the life or liberty of a
5 days shall be added to the above response time, in case
the application for information is given to Assistant Public
Information Officer (35 days).
If the interests of a third party are involved then time
limit will be 40 days (maximum period + time given to
the party to make representation).
Failure to provide information within the specified period
is a deemed refusal.
If further fee required , period between dispatch of
request and deposit of fees will not count.
HOW TO DISPOSE ?
Give the information right away (same 30 days procedure).
Give on payment of further fees.
Transfer to another Public Authority.
Refuse with reason (as per exemptions in the acts ).
of receipt and disposal of RTI applications
in the Department is checked at the end of
every month as:
No. of cases Received during the Month.
No. of cases disposed off during the Month.
Balance carried over to next month.
CASES OF REJECTION
Application be sent back because it does not mention a
Rejected outright :
If the PIO decides that the information you have requested
is covered by an exemption, then your application will be
This might happen where some of the information in the
documents you requested is sensitive and falls under an
If it infringes copyright of any person other than the
Role played by stakeholders and
Central Government- Chief Information
State Government - State Chief Information
Public Information Officers(PIOs) and Assistant
Public Information Officers(APOIs)
Central Information Commission
The CIC is to be constituted by the central
government through a gazette notification. The
CIC includes one Chief Central Information
Commissioner and not more than 10 Information
CIC shall be appointed for a term of 5yrs.
They file the complaints and appeals from use of
They are appointed by the President of India.
STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
The SIC will be constituted by the state
government through gazette notification. The
SIS consists of one State Chief Information
Commissioner and not more than 10 State
SIC shall also be appointed for 5yr.
They are appointed by the Governor.
CICs and SICs, both are headed by Chief
Ministers of their States.
Powers of ICs
Receive Complaints regarding:
1. No PIO appointed.
2. PIO refused to accept application.
3. Refuses access to information.
4. Time limit Expired.
5. Information is incomplete or false.
6. Any other matter of RTI.
Can initiate inquiry.
Has powers of Civil Court.
Appeal to IC is 2nd appeal ,in 90 days.
Onus on PIO TO PROVE refusal was Justified.
Time limit for the supply of information
Section- 7 (1):
Subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 or the
proviso to sub- section (3) of section 6, the Central Public
Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the
case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, and in
any case within 30 (Thirty) days of the receipt of the request,
either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be
prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in
Charges for Information
Section- 7 (5):
Where access to information is to be provided in the printed or in
any electronic format, the applicant shall, subject to the
provisions of sub-section (6), pay such fee as may be prescribed
and no such fee shall be charged from the persons who are of
below poverty line as may be determined by the appropriate
Reason to rejection
Section- 7 (8):
Where a request has been rejected under sub-section (1) of
Section- 7, the Central Public Information Officer or State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall
communicate to the person making the request,
(i) The reasons for such rejection;
(ii) The period within which an appeal against such rejection
may be preferred; and
(iii) The particulars of the Appellate Authority.
Role of Central/State Information Commission
Section- 18 (1):
Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of
the Central Information Commission or State Information
Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a
complaint from any person, Who has been unable to submit a
request to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public
Information Officer, as the case may be, either by reason that
no such officer has been appointed under this Act,
or because the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or
State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be,
has refused to accept his or her application for information or
appeal under this Act for forwarding the same to the Central
Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer or
Senior officer (First Appellate Authority) specified in sub-section
(1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the
State Information Commission, as the case may be.
Who has been refused access to any information requested under
Who has not been given a response to a request for information
or access to information within the time limit specified under this
Who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she
Who believes that he or she has been given incomplete,
misleading or false information under this Act.
Affect of CIC/SIC judgment
Section- 19 (7):
The decision of the Central Information Commission or
State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall
Section- 19 (8):
In its decision, the Central Information Commission or
State Information Commission, as the case may be, has
the power to:
(a) Require the Public Authority to take any such steps as
may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions
of this Act, including:
(i) By providing access to information, if so requested, in a
(ii) By appointing a Central Public Information Officer or
State Public Information Officer, as the case may be;
Non interference of court
No court shall entertain any suit, application or other
proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and
no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by
way of an appeal under this Act.
Twenty Years ago....
However .any information about events which happened 20
years ago is to be provided , unless the sovereignty of india
or contempt of court is at stake.
If the record contains exempted information in parts ,PIO
CAN give that part of the record which can be reasonably
Notice has to be given applicant stating that info is only
part , reasons for the decision, details of fees , details of
right to review.
This is a portal to file RTI applications/first
appeals online along with payment
gateway. Payment can be made through
internet banking of SBI & its associate
banks and debit/credit cards of Master/Visa.
Through this portal, RTI applications/first
appeals can be filed by Indian Citizens only
for the main ministries/departments of
Central Govt., located at New Delhi. RTI
applications/first appeals should not be filed
for other Public authorities under
Central/State Govt. through this portal.
GUIDELINES FOR USE OF RTI ONLINE PORTAL
This Web Portal can be used by Indian citizens to file RTI
application online and also to make payment for RTI application
online. First appeal can also be filed online.
An applicant who desires to obtain any information under the RTI
Act can make a request through this Web Portal to the
Ministries/Departments of Government of India.
The applicant has to fill the required details on the page that will
The fields marked * are mandatory while the others are optional.
After filling the first page, the applicant has to click on "Make
Payment" to make payment of the prescribed fee.
The applicant can pay the prescribed fee through the following
(a) Internet banking through SBI and its associated banks;
(b) Using credit/debit card of Master/Visa.
No RTI fee is required to be paid by any citizen who is below
poverty line as per RTI Rules, 2012.
On submission of an application, a unique registration number
would be issued, which may be referred by the applicant for any
references in future.
The application filed through this Web Portal would reach
electronically to the "Nodal Officer" of concerned
Ministry/Department, who would transmit the RTI application
electronically to the concerned CPIO.
In case additional fee is required representing the cost for
providing information, the CPIO would intimate the applicant
through this portal. This intimation can be seen by the applicant
through Status Report or through his/her e-mail alert.
List of RTI murdered
The data points to around 251 cases across India where people were either
attacked, murdered, physically or mentally harassed or had their property
damaged because of the information they sought under RTI. The data throws
up 32 alleged murders and two suicides that were directly linked with RTI
Data gleaned by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) shows
Maharashtra has seen 53 attacks on RTI activists, including nine cases of
murder, over the last eight years. Gujarat comes second with 34 attacks,
including 3 murders. Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh
and Karnataka follow with over 10 reported attacks on RTI activists during
the last eight years.
RTI activist Shehla Masood: murdered
38 years, Shehla Masood had campaigned
tirelessly against corruption. Glamorous and
combative, she had embraced India's Right
to Information Act with gusto, rattling out
applications in all directions, exposing
wrongdoing at the highest levels of Madhya
Pradesh state where she lived, upsetting
many powerful people with a great deal to
lose. Judges, police and politicians from the
local ruling BJP party had all come into her
sights and been exposed for misusing public
In recent months, she had turned her
attention to mining conglomerate Rio Tinto's
plans to extract 37 million tonnes of
diamond-bearing ore from land in one of the
finest strands of teak forest in the country.
Then, on 16 August, Shehla was found
dead in her car outside her home in a
prosperous area of Bhopal, with a single
gunshot to her neck
has definitely helped in better governance.
Even though it has been seven years, but still the
act has not been used to its full power because of
many reasons like less awareness, threats,
political power and corruption.
There are no amendments in the law since the
time it has been passed even though there is a
need to change.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
had collected all the data from various