What is the objective of Right of Information Act ?
The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government. The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
What is information?
As per Act, Information is any material in any form. It includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form.
What does Right to Information mean?
As per act, it includes right to: ? Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts. ? inspect works, documents, records. ? take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records. ? take certified samples of material.
What are the exemptions?
As per section 8 and 9 of the Act, few categories of information are exempted. These include information received from foreign governments, information prejudicial to security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the country, breach of privilege of legislatures, etc. And also, Information relating to allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
What should be the Format of Application?
There is no prescribed form of application for seeking information. The application can be made on plain paper. The application should, however, have the name and complete postal address of the applicant. Even in cases where the information is sought electronically, the application should contain name and postal address of the applicant. It can be in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the Public Information Officer (PIO).
What is the fee for seeking information?
o In Central Government, Fee is Rs. 10 o In state Government, this may vary from state to state o Below Poverty Line( BPL) category applicant is exempted, however, he should submit a proof in support of his claim .
Who is the authority to whom application is to be made?
Application for seeking information should be made to an officer of the public authority designated as Central Public Information Officer (CPIO). All the public authorities have designated their Central Public Information Officers and have posted their particulars on their respective web-sites. This information is also available on the ?RTI PORTAL? (www.rti.gov.in). Persons seeking information are advised to refer to the web-site of the concerned public authority or the ?RTI PORTAL? for ascertaining the name of the concerned CPIO. If it is found difficult to identify or locate the concerned Central Public Information Officer of a public authority, application may be sent to the Central Public Information Officer without specifying the name of the CPIO at the address of the public authority.
What is the time limit to get the information?
30 days from the date of application 35 days if the application is given to Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO. 48 hours for the information concerning the life and liberty of a person
Who will give the information?
One or more officers in every Government Department have been appointed as "Public Information Officers" (PIO). If you want some information, you need to file an application with the PIO. The PIOs are responsible for collecting information wanted by you and providing that information to you.
Where do I submit the application for information?
You can submit the application with the PIO or APIO of the Government Department you are questioning.
Do I have to give reasons why I want a particular information?
No, you are not required to give any reasons other than your contact details (i.e. Name, Address etc.)
Can the PIO refuse to accept my RTI Application?
No. The PIO cannot refuse to accept RTI Application. Even if, the information does not pertain to his department, he has to accept it and then he would have to transfer it to the right PIO within 5 days.
What are the provisions related to Appeal?
First Appeal - If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first appellate authority who is an officer senior in rank to the CPIO. Such an appeal, should be filed within a period of thirty days from the date on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the date on which the information or decision of the CPIO is received. The appellate authority of the public authority shall dispose of the appeal within a period of thirty days or in exceptional cases within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal. Second Appeal - If the appellate authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the first appellate authority, he may prefer a second appeal with the Central Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was actually received by the appellant.
What are the Important Web-sites related to RTI?
Given below are the addresses of some important web-sites which contain substantial information relevant to the right to information: (i) Portal of the Government of India (http://indiaimage.nic.in). (ii) Portal on the Right to Information (www.rti.gov.in). (iii) Website of the Central Information Commission (http://cic.gov.in). For more information please visit http://www.rti.gov.in/