The Right To Information Act (RTI) determines, among the most adaptable acts of the Indian Parliament. The RTI is one of the fundamental rights an Indian holds which gives him the right to know how the tax payers’ money is being applied by the government.
The elementary objective of the RTI Act is to empower the citizens of India, provide clarity and above all, make the government liable to its people. This act mandates that a timely response must be given which makes it the most powerful fundamental right in our country. There are few brief things one has to know about the RTI.
Being classified as a fundamental act, the procedure to file an RTI has been kept quite simple making it easy for our citizens to file one without much confusion. Here are the steps included in filing an RTI.
1. Identify what department you want information from
The subject you have in mind may fall under the State Government, Central Government or a local Municipality. Please keep in mind that if it is a matter that requires discretion, you may not get access to it.
2. Preparing the RTI
Draft your RTI on a plain of paper. It can either be written or typed in Hindi, English or any other local language used in your region. If it is handwritten, please make sure the text is clearly visible and does not lead to any confusions.
3. Addressing the RTI
Your RTI must be forward to the State/Central Public Information Officer. Write the name of the department from which you wish to obtain information. You are need to mention that you seek information “under the RTI Act, 2005”.
4. Framing the RTI application
The questions you wish to get acknowledgment for must be clearly written out. Make your questions as detailed as possible. It would be impactful if you mention the year or the period in which your complaint falls under. You are also acceptable to ask for relevant documents or excepts from documents.
5. Paying the fee
Fee for filing an RTI is fixed at INR 10/-. This fees can be made in cash, bank draft, money order or court fee Stamp. Such a stamp must be on the application. The fee is not acceptable to individuals falling under the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. For them, there is no fee. A copy of the BPL certificate must be affix to the application to accept this concession.
6. Contact details
As the RTI is an Act which calls for a response, do not forget to mention your contact details including your full name, permanent address, phone number and email address. Place your signature, and date.
7. Handing it over
It is highly suggested that you keep a photocopy of the RTI you compilled for future references. Once you have the RTI ready and a photocopy kept away safely, you can post your RTI via mail or hand it over to the appropriate department in person.
8. Response to your RTI
The law mandates that a response to an RTI must be given in no less than 30 days or 48 hours if it concerns an individual’s freedom/life. Your first appeal should be arranged to the Appellate Authority. The Appellate Authority is authorized by law to respond within 30 days. Write to the Chief Information Commissioner or the Central/State Information Commission.
This is little sums up the method to file an RTI in India.
The entire process may seem to consume more time. But there are few things that will help you save time. Take a look.
As opposed to Bank Drafts or postal orders, court fee stamps take lesser time. Use them instead.
If the information you require is distributed among various departments, such departments will internally forward it to each other. When that happens, the concerned person in each department is expected to send you a notice informing about the RTI being forwarded elsewhere and the other departments are mandated by law to provide a collect within thirty days.
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