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How To File RTI Application [Where, How, Who & What]

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Update: Since writing this post, Government of India has enabled online filing of RTI, which is quick and easy process. We wrote step-by-step process on “How to File RTI Online in Under 10 Minutes“, which you may like to read. However, the post below details out some pre-requisites and important information you may want to know before heading to that article.

——

We have been wanting do this post for sometime now, simply because the more people know about RTI and actively use it, the more each one of us are doing our bit to curb corruption and wrong practices in Government Department. RTI indirectly ensures that all Government departments adhere to legal processes and systems and is documents as RTI can immediately bring everything in public domain!

In simple words, the Right to Information Act or RTI is an act that practically supports and enables citizens to claim their right to information which is guaranteed by the constitution of India.

Let’s put aside all the jargon and complicated terms to take a look at what the Right to Information Act is all about – from a common citizen’s perspective.

RTI

Right to Information Act (RTI) – What is it for?

The Right to Information Act was established to make the government accountable for its work by empowering citizens to demand information regarding its activities. This act applies to both the Central and the State Governments of India except Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own RTI Act.

What information are we talking about?

The RTI aims to allow citizens to ask for records, documents, circulars, contracts, reports, papers, emails, memos and all other information held in print or electronic form from the public authorities, i.e. all the governing bodies. There are certain sections of administrative activities that are exempt from the RTI Act, details of which can be found in Section 8 and 9 of RTI Act 2005.

The RTI Act 2005 also empowers citizens to physically inspect the records that have been duly maintained by the government and its administrative bodies.

Who can ask for information?

All citizens can ask for information whether they want to inspect the work and activities of the Government or simply exercise their right to other information and documents that were mentioned earlier. If you are a citizen who seeks information or want to inspect records of governing and administrative bodies, you are a valid applicant.

How can you ask for information?

Citizens can exercise their right to information by filing an application with a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO). All the administrative levels of the government will have a CPIO who will give the required information to people who file an application or a query under the RTI Act.

As an applicant, you should know that there is no particular format required. Your application can even be on simple plain paper. Applicants however need to ensure that their contact details including name and correspondence address appear on the application. Reasonable assistance can be expected from the CPIO if you decide to give your application in writing.

On what grounds can you seek information under the RTI act?

As a citizen, applicant under the RTI and as an information seeker, you are not required to give any reasons if you wish to seek information under the RTI Act.

Is there a fee to file and RTI application?

Yes, as per the RTI Act 2005, applicants will incur fees and costs that include, but may not be limited to the following

Fee on initial application

  • Demand draft, banker’s cheque or cash with subsequent receipt of Rs. 10

Fees for information sought

  • Rs. 2 per page printed, copied or created in A4 or A3 size
  • Cost of the page or paper
  • Rs. 50 per disc if information is given in that form
  • Cost or actual price of sample or models requested under the RTI Act

Fees for inspection of records

  • First hour is free after which there is a fee of Rs. 5 per hour

How long will it take?

Information sought under the RTI 2005 will be supplied within a time period of 30 days. However it has been stated in the RTI Act 2005 guide that if the information ‘concerns the life and liberty of a person’, it will be supplied in 48 hours. Here are the details of various time limits for receiving information for your RTI application.

 

For PIO to reply to application 30 days from date of receipt of application
For PIO to transfer to another PA under Sec 6(3) 5 days from date of receipt of application
For PIO to issue notice to 3rd Party 5 days from date of receipt of application
For 3rd Party to make a representation to PIO 10 days from receipt of notice from PIO
For PIO to reply to application if 3rdParty involved  40 days from date of receipt of application
For applicant to make First Appeal 30 days from date of receipt of PIO’s reply or from date when reply was to be received
For First Appellate Authority to pass an order 30 days from receipt of First Appeal OR
Maximum 45 days, if reasons for delay are given in writing
For applicant to make Second Appeal before CIC/SIC 90 days from receipt of First Appeal orders or from the date when orders were to be received
For CIC/SIC to decide Second Appeal No time limit specified

(table source)

The RTI Act 2005 guide also mentions that if you as an applicant have given your application to an Assistant CPIO or the wrong public authority, 5 days will be added to the generally prescribed time frame.

What if you don’t receive the RTI information or wish to appeal?

The RTI Act 2005 has set forth guidelines and procedures for applicants who have not been given the information they seek in time or are not satisfied with the information provided to them. Here is an overview of the appeals procedure

  • As an applicant, you should file an appeal with the relevant first appellate authority within 30 days of the date that was the last day of the expiry of the 30 day time period to supply information. [Please refer the timeline chart above]
  • Your appeal will be reviewed and disposed within 30 days of receipt, or 45 days in ‘exceptional cases’.
  • As an applicant, if your appeal is not disposed or you are still left unsatisfied, you can file a second appeal to Central Information Commission. This appeal must be done within 90 days from the date that was the last day of the 30 or 45 day time period of the first appeal.

Cumulative RTI statistics for past 3 years

Here are some numbers released by authorities that give you an idea about number of RTI applications that were filed / rejected in last 3 years.

Aspects

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Opening balance of RTI requests (as on 1st April of the reporting year)

32,792

97,474

1,37,771

Number of requests received during the year

329,728

5,29,274

4,17,955

Total number of requests at the end of the reporting year

362,520

6,26,748

5,55,726

Number of Requests rejected

23,954

34,057

21,621

Requests rejected as a percentage of requests received during the year

7.26%

6.43%

5.20%

Requests rejected as percentage of total number of requests at the end of reporting year

6.60%

5.43%

3.89%

[Table source]

 

Hope this article helps you in getting to know everything there is for RTI – Go exercise your Right to Information now!

Update 02/12/2011: One of our readers, Mr. Anupam Saraf, pointed us to links to sample RTI forms that you can refer to create your RTI application [ Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3]

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About Kaushambi

Kaushambi Vaishnav is a Freelancer with professional and personal interest in media, technology, business, current affairs and the internet.

28 comments

  1. RtI Form Kahan Par Milta Hain Mujhey Uska Address Cahiye Kirpiya Ye Address Dene Ki Kirpa Karen

  2. i m an employee of indian coast guard i applied for leave for 12 dady but officer didnot allow me to go on leave on time and said that go on leave on monday.officer told me to cancell reservation tickets. i cancelled my reservation ticket. sunday evening 10 august officer send me a message through another person to go on leave. but by the time i had cancelled my ticket. i wanted to know that can i file an rti against that officer to recover my cancellation charges. please send me a reply on my email id. thank u

  3. Dear sir, How can rti on bank which stop a result of bank po . Suggest me out rti

  4. devendra nath dixit

    I am not getting pension from last 3 years from ITI Raebareli, UP. Someone please suggest me how to process RTI. I tried online 2 times but it got disposed, i don’t why. Thanks

  5. Hi, Can I file RTI against Police Departments against Pending results of recruitment process. because all other results of other district regarding same recruitment process are clear in my state except my district. when we ask about the results they say there is some technical problems then why the same technical problem didn’t happen for other district…by the way our district was first to complete the recruitment process compare to other district in my state…..what should i do please help

  6. Subject : The CPIO cum ITO Ward 49(1) taking side of tax evading company M/S. Accord Financial Services. Not providing proper reply of my RTI’s Even The Additional commissioner of Income Tax Appellate Authority, Range-49, is not giving any reply after one and half month of my First Appeal. It looks Income Tax department making Jokes of RTI Act Dear Sir; I am Uday Narayan Gupta. I am ex employee of Accord Financial Services A-60 Lajpat Nagar part-2, New Delhi-24.I resigned proper intimation and they give full and final statement and cheque and deduct tax on it. The company deduct tax but not deposit to income tax even they withdraw my already deposit tax through revise return. Issue incorrect TDS certificate in several heads like shows less income, not include leave encashment, difference Mediclaim policy amount, not given 80 C rebate benefit and return my investment proof. I complaint it to ITO Ward No 49(I) TDS laxmi Nagar New Delhi Shri S.P. Ahuja. Regarding tax evasion by the company they very next day inform to company and deposit the balance tax but not give the order to issue revise Form 16 and told me leave this matter. Take refund of tax. Company is not issuing revised certificate then what I will do? And show his helplessness. And take no legal action against tax evasive company. ITO Shri.S. P Ahuja send me letter with unauthenticated/unsigned document by company. They show 25K cheques of my wife name as my income, and balance 73K shown convince reimbursement. I never signed any convince voucher. Then I complaint about ITO & company nexus to Additional commissioner TDS, range 49 new Delhi, Director TDS Mayur Bhawan, Director Investigation Jhandewalan, Director Vigilance deen dayal upadhyay marg ITO, Satkarta Bhavan new Delhi. And put 6 RTIs to alls but unfortunately I got reply as information about forwarding application from Director TDS. Reply from director investigation as this office is not under RTI and 2 reply from same ITO Ward 49(I) they mitigate the things willfully and reply as your salary matter has been disposed of on 11.04.2011 and there is no discrepancy in your salary payment. I never received this letter even they confirmed in reply of my one RTI that this letter is not for you. In another RTI reply regarding convince reimbursement voucher ITO ward 49(I) give reference of polish report and harassing me. I wrote 2 apple letter to Appellate Authority Addl Commissioner Income tax Range 49 room no 404 Aaykar Bhawan Laxmi Nagar Delhi-110091 but appellate authority give reply of some point which he himself created. Even they confirm partial Income in it. I already wrote to pgportal on CBODT/E/2010/00379 dated 15.07.2010, CBODT/E/2011/00237 dated 06/04/2011, CBODT/E/2011/01967 dated 01.11.2011 but Status shows till today is UNDER PROCESS and in one complaint status is not pertaining in this ward and disposes off. I also wrote to Income Tax Ombudsman then they reply me we are not dealing this type of matter. We are only concern tax refund. My complaint letter was forwarded to the Section officer of Central Vigilance commission from Director general of Income Tax (Vigilance) vide DGIT(V)/FCR-O/TEP/410/11/1432 dated 07/07/2011. I also copy to Central Vigilance Commission of my last letter to ITO ward 49(1) by Speed post ED106312980IN on 23-03-2012 but no response till now. Lastly file First Appeal against reply Submitted by Shri Ashok Kumar, CPIO & Income Tax Officer, TDS Ward-49 (1), New Delhi under his File No 170-W- 49(1)/RTI/2011-12/81 dated 19.06.2012 to the application dated 17-05-2012 to The Additional commissioner of Income Tax Appellate Authority, Range-49, Room No 404, 4th Floor, Aayakar Bhavan, Laxmi Nagar District Centre, Delhi-110092 on dated 16/07/2012 by Speed post ED673756154IN but no reply after one and half month. It looks Income Tax department making Jokes of RTI Act by not taking any action on my Appeal and also seems whole Income tax department saving Tax Evader Company. I am facing problem with Income tax since last two years but no reply. I loose my job since January 2012. Please help me where I should write? Or what should I do? Regards, Uday Gupta 223-D, Pocket-C Mayur Vihar Phase-2 DELHI-110091 0-9891495190(M)

  7. I file a RTI in income tax department ITO ward 49(1). I got reply in mitigated way. The CPIO sidelined my questions. Then I file First Appeal to Assist Commissioner TDS range 49 Laxmi Nagar. but after 45 days no reply from First Appeallet Authority. It seems Whole Incoeme department saving Tax Evader company Accord Financial Services A-60 Lajpat Nagar Part -2 NEW DELHI-24 please guide me what I will do If I not get any reply of my First Appeal.

  8. Ashaq Hussain Mir

    It is great to have this information. Every body should follow this for the prosperity of our country and nation.

  9. umesh kumar sahu

    sir,jaihind main police ki kam na karne babat rti dalna chahta hoon pls mujhe batayen ki kis address me rti bhejna hai. dhanyawad.

  10. Singaraju Santosh Kumar

    Good info. Helped me a lot.

  11. Sanjoy Kakati

    RTI THAT IS WHAT I AM THINKING RIGHT NOW ABOUT.

    • Dipjyoti Kakati

      Private vendors short change DEOs Sowmya Sivakumar, TNN Dec 3, 2011, 07.41AM IST JAIPUR: This is a scam which may not run into millions but is at the cost of millions. Data entry operators (DEOs) who have been hired by private vendors selected by Bharat Electrical Limited (BEL) for the SECC 2011 in Rajasthan are being paid amounts far lower than that specified by BEL in its terms to its vendors. … "Each operator has to be paid Rs 13,000 for four enumeration blocks (EBs) or 2,000 records (i.e, individuals enumerated)… the terms also mention that the DEO's remuneration will be Rs 6,500 per month, calculated for two months and they have to be paid Rs 13,000 in any event if they complete 2,000 records," disclosed a senior BEL official. If the number of records is less than 2000, then the DEOs should be paid accordingly by vendors, he added. On the field, however, the figures range between Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,600 for 40 days of work, depending on the district and vendor, but in any event, this falls far short of the BEL specifications and in some districts grossly violate the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The direct impact of this has been on the survey-with absenteeism , and poorly trained DEOs on the field collecting data affecting millions and a high turnover. "We were told that the DEOs would be paid Re 1 per individual enumerated ," disclosed Om Prakash, a supervisor at Gogunda tehsil, Udaipur district. A travel allowance is also paid, but most DEOs are from the panchayats they are surveying so this works out to be nominal. Each enumerator-DEO team is expected to survey 4 EBs over 40 days (10 days per EB) in the first phase of the survey . On this basis, the DEOs would get just Rs 2,000 for completing 2,000 individuals , or records, while the BEL specifies Rs 13,000 for the identical work. In Jaipur district, Eagle representatives said a gross amount of Rs 6,600 will be paid to the DEOs for the entire period of work. "We are paying an amount of Rs 6,485 (including deductions) for a period of 45 days to each DEO who is expected to complete a minimum of 20-25 households per day," said Iven D' Cruz, project manager for SECC 2011 from the vendor Eagle Group. Also, there is no mention of incentives or holidays, which operators may want to take. Unable to find qualified operators, the vendors have gone through placement companies, consultancies, tutorials and computer institutes to find DEOs, shelling out a commission of 20% or more per DEO. "We had to pay a minimum of Rs 1,000 per DEO to placement agencies due to shortage of trained operators as they are engaged in other massive exercises such as UID and NPR," explained Cruz. However , he added that they are now looking to get more operators through NGOs and volunteer channels

  12. Bhudutt sharma

    Dear sir/mam i am Bhudutt Sharma from Dayanatpur(Jewar) G.B.Nagar(U.P.) . my Hero Honda Splender UP-16-N9830 has been stolan from jewar in 10-jan-2009 and i have all document of insurance(oriental) but company is not giving me any clame so suggest me or this. this is my contact no.09412642138

  13. is there any hindi site is there for rti

  14. ??? ?? !!!

  15. Very informatics for us.

  16. Very informatics for us.

  17. Very informatics for us.

  18. Very informatics for us.

  19. Very informatics for us.

  20. prabhakaran karan

    On what grounds can you seek information under the RTI act? As a citizen, applicant under the RTI and as an information seeker, you are not required to give any reasons if you wish to seek information under the RTI Act. Is there a fee to file and RTI application? Yes, as per the RTI Act 2005, applicants will incur fees and costs that include, but may not be limited to the following Fee on initial application Demand draft, banker’s cheque or cash with subsequent receipt of Rs. 10 Fees for information sought Rs. 2 per page printed, copied or created in A4 or A3 size Cost of the page or paper Rs. 50 per disc if information is given in that form Cost or actual price of sample or models requested under the RTI Act Fees for inspection of records First hour is free after which there is a fee of Rs. 5 per hour How long will it take? Information sought under the RTI 2005 will be supplied within a time period of 30 days. However it has been stated in the RTI Act 2005 guide that if the information ‘concerns the life and liberty of a person’, it will be supplied in 48 hours. Here are the details of various time limits for receiving information for your RTI application. For PIO to reply to application 30 days from date of receipt of application For PIO to transfer to another PA under Sec 6(3) 5 days from date of receipt of application For PIO to issue notice to 3rd Party 5 days from date of receipt of application For 3rd Party to make a representation to PIO 10 days from receipt of notice from PIO For PIO to reply to application if 3rdParty involved 40 days from date of receipt of application For applicant to make First Appeal 30 days from date of receipt of PIO’s reply or from date when reply was to be received For First Appellate Authority to pass an order 30 days from receipt of First Appeal OR Maximum 45 days, if reasons for delay are given in writing For applicant to make Second Appeal before CIC/SIC 90 days from receipt of First Appeal orders or from the date when orders were to be received For CIC/SIC to decide Second Appeal No time limit specified (table source) The RTI Act 2005 guide also mentions that if you as an applicant have given your application to an Assistant CPIO or the wrong public authority, 5 days will be added to the generally prescribed time frame. What if you don’t receive the RTI information or wish to appeal? The RTI Act 2005 has set forth guidelines and procedures for applicants who have not been given the information they seek in time or are not satisfied with the information provided to them. Here is an overview of the appeals procedure As an applicant, you should file an appeal with the relevant first appellate authority within 30 days of the date that was the last day of the expiry of the 30 day time period to supply information. [Please refer the timeline chart above] Your appeal will be reviewed and disposed within 30 days of receipt, or 45 days in ‘exceptional cases’. As an applicant, if your appeal is not disposed or you are still left unsatisfied, you can file a second appeal to Central Information Commission. This appeal must be done within 90 days from the date that was the last day of the 30 or 45 day time period of the first appeal.

  21. DrMohsin Khan Pathan

    Every Indian Citizen must know about this.

  22. Every Indian Citizen must know about this.

  23. Every Indian Citizen must know about this.

  24. Sea of information,,,,very beautiful website i have seen for a long time…thanks creator….god bless you all…..

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