How To File a RTI (Right to Information) Application

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To file an RTI application in India, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the public authority: First, identify the public authority from which you want information. You can file an RTI application with any public authority or government department at the central, state, or local level. You can find the list of public authorities covered under the RTI Act on the website of the Central Information Commission or the respective state information commission.
  2. Write the application: The RTI application should be in writing and can be in English or any official language of the concerned state. You can write the application on a plain sheet of paper or use the RTI application form prescribed by the public authority. The application should be addressed to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the concerned department.
  3. Provide details: The application should clearly state the information you are seeking from the public authority. Make sure to provide specific details such as dates, names, and other relevant information to help the PIO locate the information you are seeking.
  4. Pay the fee: The fee for filing an RTI application is Rs. 10, and it can be paid by cash, demand draft, or online payment, depending on the mode of payment accepted by the public authority. If you belong to the below poverty line (BPL) category, you can seek a fee waiver by providing a copy of the BPL card along with the application.
  5. Submit the application: Once you have written the application and paid the fee, submit it to the PIO by hand, post, or email, depending on the mode of submission accepted by the public authority. Make sure to keep a copy of the application for your records and obtain an acknowledgment from the PIO.
  6. Receive a response: The PIO is required to respond to your application within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application. In case the information you have sought pertains to the life or liberty of a person, the PIO must respond within 48 hours.
  7. Appeal: If you are not satisfied with the response or if you do not receive a response within the stipulated time, you can file an appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA) of the concerned public authority within 30 days of receiving the response or within 30 days from the date of expiry of the 30-day period for response. The FAA is required to dispose of the appeal within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.
  8. Second appeal: If you are still not satisfied with the decision of the FAA, you can file a second appeal with the Central Information Commission (CIC) or the State Information Commission (SIC), as applicable, within 90 days of receiving the FAA’s decision. The CIC/SIC will conduct a hearing and pass an appropriate order directing the public authority to provide the information sought or take any other action deemed necessary.
Also Read  CIC Criticizes Election Commission's Delayed Response to RTI Query on EVMs

It is important to note that RTI applications can be filed only for seeking information that is held by a public authority and not for personal information or information that is exempt under the RTI Act. The RTI Act has empowered citizens to demand transparency and accountability in governance and has been instrumental in promoting good governance and fighting corruption in India.

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