By Sahil Jainwww.facebook.com/sahil2441 www.getup4change.org
What is Information ? [Sec 2(i)&(j)] Definition of a Public Authority. [Sec 2(h)] Request of Information under Section 4 or 6 Whom to address the Application ? Beauty of Section 6(3) Disposal of Request Fees Format of the Application Important tips 1st Appeal 2nd Appeal Penalties
Section 2(j): "right to information" means the right to— (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; (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(i): "record" includes— (a) any document, manuscript and file; (b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; (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 device;
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 appropriate Government,and includes any— (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;
SuoMoto Disclosures- Section 4 17 points under Section 4(b) defines the Suo moto disclosures. E.g. Budget allocation, Plan/Non-plan Expenditures, subsidy programmes etc. Otherwise, any citizen of India can file a RTI application under section 6.
Every Govt. Dept. has a Public Information Officer(PIO) for this purpose. CPIO at the Centre Govt. Departments and SPIO at State Govt. departments. You can find this out easily from the internet. Incase you do not know who PIO is, you can just address it to the ‘Public Info. Officer, Name of the Department’.
Section 6(3): Where an application is made to a public authority requesting for an 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, the public authority, to which such application is made, shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately about such transfer: Provided that the transfer of an application pursuant to this sub-section shall be made as soon as practicable but in no case later than five days from the date of receipt of the application.
You can pay fees either by Demand Draft or Postal order. The most convenient is Postal order, which can easily be purchased from a Post Office
You can draft your application in English, Hindi or any regional language. You can draft in on a simple blank page. Some departments have already made a sample format on their website, but it’s not mandatory. Mention duration of the Information required. Any number of questions can be asked. Questions should be precise an to the point.
Ask for the unique file number, in your RTI. You can also mention an inspection clause. Information asked must be on record. Always remember to take a photocopy of your application and DD/IPO before filing a RTI. Always send it through speed post or Registered post. If possible, attach a Acknowledgement with the RTI.
Rs 10 is the fees for obtaining information from any Central Govt. Office/ Department. However, some State Govt. have amended the RTI Act. This can be checked on the internet. No fees shall be charged from people who are of BPL(Below Poverty line). At maximum, information should be provided within 30 days. Section 7(3): Further fees of Rs 2/page and Rs 50/CD shall be charged.
Section 19(1): Besides the PIO, every Govt. Dept. must appoint an officer to whom 1st appeal be made. If you do not get the reply to your RTI within 30 days, or, you are not satisfied with the reply, you can make a appeal to the 1st Appellate Authority within 30 days from such decision. The reply of 1st appeal must come within 30 days.
Section 19(3): If you are not satisfied with the reply of 1st appeal, or, you do not get any reply, you can file a complaint(2nd Appeal) with State Information commission(SIC) or Central information Commission(CIC). 2nd Appeal must be filed within 90 days from date of the decision made by First Appellate Authority .
Section 20(1): The SIC/ CIC shall impose a penalty of Rs 250/day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs 25,000.