[Updated Sept 2014]
RTI or Right To Information is one of the most important tools that citizens can use to seek any kind of information from Government offices (except sensitive information). Though RTI came into force few years back, very few citizens actually take advantage of RTI even when it is much needed.
The biggest reason for that is – many do not know how to file it or stay away from it as they think filing a RTI is a complicated process. Initially when RTI was launched, the process was slightly tedious, but since the time it has gone online, it has become a breeze.
Infact, it is so simple that anyone with even basic knowledge of internet can file it in less than 10 minutes. This article is meant to be a detailed step-by-step process of how you can do it.
Filing RTI Application in Under 10 minutes
Before you start with filing your RTI application, make sure that you have written down your information request in a word document or a note pad. Your request should be as precise and detailed as possible. If the request for information is ambiguous, then it may be returned back to you.
1) Register With Online RTI Request Website (1-2 minutes)
Head over to official website for filing Online RTI Request. The url is – http://www.rtionline.gov.in/. Go to registration page and fill up a simple form. The form takes less than a minute to fill and asks for your demographic information.
While filling in the form, please make sure that your email address and mobile number is correct as you will receive email notifications and SMS alerts after you file your RTI.
Once you have pressed submit, you will receive a confirmation on your registered email ID stating that your account with RTI website has been created. Along with the email, an activation ID will be sent. Enter this activation ID in the form that is shown to you after your initial registration form. Your account is now activated, and you start filing your RTI request.
Filing The Request (2-3 minutes)
Once you are logged into your account, click on the submit request button. This will pre-populate your demographic information. There are 2 most important things to remember while filing. The request you have asked should be directed to the correct ministry, government department or the apex body. So make sure that you choose that correctly from the drop down menu available.
Once you have chosen the right department, enter the text of your request that you have saved earlier (it is always a good idea to create the full text of your request before you start filing). If you need to furnish any lengthy supporting documents along with RTI attach them using the button for “Supporting document”.
Once you have press the submit button, your RTI is successfully uploaded and queued. The procedure is not complete unless you make a payment.
Making Online Payment For RTI (1-2 minutes)
Your RTI will not go through unless you make a payment for RTI request you just filed. There is a nominal fee of Rs. 10 that is needed to be paid.
Making payment is pretty straightforward, and if your account is with one of the State owned banks it is even easier. Payments can be made through internet banking (only few banks) or through most of the debit or credit cards. There is facility of online payments, but does have any offline channel of payment (as far as we know).
Once the payment is successful, you will receive an email as well as SMS confirmation that your application has been successfully received.
The process for filing the request is over – Generally it will not take you more than 5-7 minutes if you have the text of your information ready!
Once your RTI request is reviewed, and it is found that additional fees are required, the CPIO would intimate the applicant through the RTI portal. This intimation can be seen by the applicant through Status Report or through his/her e-mail alert.
Imp: Keep the Registration number & Reciept
Once you are done with the payment, a unique registration number will be issued, which may be referred by the applicant for any future reference. You should keep this reciept number carefully as it will be needed for any king of follow-up after the application has been filed.
Generally, it will take around 30 to 45 days for the applicant to receive the reply for their RTI. It depends on the nature of the request. If the reply is not received, the applicant can login to their account and then make submit appeal with the appellate authority.
The applicant can also regularly follow-up on the status of their application by going to “View Status” tab.