What Is RTI?
The Right to Information is bill introduced in Loksabha in December 2004.It was passed by both houses with major Amendment given in May 2005.The law was passed to enable citizen to exercise their Fundamental Right to Information held by Public Authority all over Country. It aims to bring transparency in Functioning of Public Authority contain Corruption and make them accountable to Public. It creates process of providing information to people. It covered all aspects regarding Jurisdiction power and Duties of Officer acting under the Act, appointments and qualification, removal, tenure time, terms of service fees, time limits, and Penalty provisions etc.
RTI Act, 2005 Preamble
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, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
How to File RTI and Step wise Process in Detail
In this point we are going to learn how we can file RTI application to Public Authority. There are two ways for filing an application with Public authority are as follows:
For submitting click on submit request option.
· On clicking on submit request option ‘Guidelines for use of RTI ONLINE PORTAL’ screen will be popped up. This screen contains guidelines for using RTI online portal. One has to click on the checkbox and then click on submit button.
· Then Online RTI Request Form screen will be displayed. Ministry or Department for which the applicant wants to file an RTI can be selected
from Select Ministry/Department/Apex body dropdown.
· Applicant will receive SMS alerts on his/her mobile number. The fields marked * are mandatory while the others are optional.
· If a citizen belongs to BPL category, he has to select the option ‘Yes’ in ‘Is the applicant below poverty line?’ field and has to upload a BPL card certificate in supporting document field. (No RTI fee is required to be paid by any citizen who is below poverty line as per RTI Rules, 2012)
· After submission of the application, a unique registration number is issued, which is being referred by the applicant for future references
· If a citizen belongs to Non BPL category, he has to select the option ‘No’ in ‘Is the applicant below poverty line?’ field and has to make a payment of Rs 10 as prescribed in the RTI Rules, 2012.
· ‘Text for RTI request application’ should be up to 3000 characters. If the text is more than 3000 characters, further can be uploaded in supporting document field.
· After filling all the details, click on the ‘make payment’ option.
· After clicking the option, Online Request Payment form will be displayed. The payment can be made via internet banking, ATM-cum-debit card or credit card.
· At the end one will get an email and SMS alert after submission of application.
Below is sample application form.
Basically Few Steps are required to fulfilled in order file RTI though Offline Method
Choose the Department
First try to identify the public authority from where you want information. It may fall under the State governments or local panchayat or the Central government. Ensure right address failing which to right department will result into rejection.
Fill the RTI forms
· Handwrite your RTI application as sample shown above on a white sheet or type it out in English, Hindi or regional language.
Find out Public Information Officer in Your area
· RTI application letter be addressed to the concerned PIO. Details of PIOs and Appellate Authorities can be obtained on telephone or by visiting the respective office.
Procedure for Submitting RTI Forms
· Applications need to be submitted according to the procedure .Specific details and documents in your request. Prescribed Format and 500 Words Limit: If your RTI forms exceed word limit, fill two separate applications.
· Typical charges / fees for an RTI application:
· Application Fee of Rs.10/-.
· Document charges: To obtain documents, the applicant has to make a payment of Rs.2/- per A4 size page and Rs.50/- per CD.
Mode of Payment of Fee:
· Indian Postal Order or
· Demand Draft or
· Bankers’ Cheque or
· Cash to the public authority, with proper receipt.
· Applicant’s name and full address, including PIN Code should be mentioned correctly in the RTI forms. Contact number may help PIO staff to contact you, but not compulsory.
Send RTI forms and keep receipts / photocopies
An applicant can submit RTI forms in different ways:
· Speed Post/ Registered Post by Indian Postal Services.
· Hand delivery by physically visiting the office.
Retain photocopy of the RTI forms for future reference and get an acknowledgement after submitting the same.
To Whom It is Applicable and Its Exception?
The Act cover whole of India. It extend to all the constitutional authorities, including executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or body established/constituted by an act of Parliament or a state legislature, appropriate government including bodies “owned, controlled or substantially financed” by government, or non-Government organizations “substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds”.
Private bodies are not covered under Act’s ambit directly. In a case of Sarbjit Roy vs. Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, the CIC also reaffirmed that privatized public utility company’s fall within the purview of RTI. As of 2014, private institutions and NGOs receiving over 95% of their infrastructure funds from the government come under the Act
As per RTI Act, 2005, Section 8(1) lists all of the exemptions:
(a) Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India;
(b) Information which may constitute contempt of court;
(c) Information that would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
(d) Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
(e) Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
(f) Information received in confidence from foreign government;
(g) Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person;
(h) Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
(i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations, which come under the specified exemptions;
(j) Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has not relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy.
Recommendation and Suggestion
At the end we can concluded that RTI Act, 2005 plays vital role. Well it is not easy task for someone to get information from Public Authority there are some common problem to be face by every person or RTI Activists.
RTI Act required that RTI Applicant identity be revealed he has to mention his full name and address. Due to this He may face life threat and unwanted attention harassment etc.
Sometime when Public authority or CIC is not in good mood they may refuse to give you information citing different and unreasonable explanation like your fees is not confirmed application is not in proper form; submit after that day or time etc. We would like to suggest whenever public authority refuse to give information proper grievance cell should be formed by appropriate authority and whenever there is such kind of information is sought by applicant is not feasible or sensitive in nature after applicant facing such harassment death threat suitable protection must be given to him by government. Sometime minor mistake in application must be ignored in order to save time of both subject to information sought by person. Such awareness camps seminar webinar should be taken up in village’s societies etc.