So we all know that RTI can be great tool but a lot of us actually have never filed an RTI and don’t know how to file an RTI. Here I try to explain the procedure of filing an RTI in a simple manner. I hope it helps.
RTI Filing Procedure:
RTI can be filed in any Government Department or any Government aided institution. A citizen can demand any information or any public record, or photocopy of the record.
1. Find out the PIO (Public Information Officer) details from the website of the organization.
2. Write a simple application addressed to the PIO and state clearly your questions.
3. RTI – Fees Rs.10
(a) Attach an IPO (Indian Postal Order) or DD (Demand Draft) of Rs.10 along with the application or pay the cash amount of Rs.10 in treasury and get challan (receipt).
(b) If you are living abroad then a Rs 10 DD from any bank will work. Just do the conversion for that time and keep the DD amount a little bit more than Rs 10.
(c) If u had asked for any photocopies of documents, they will calculate the fee and demand it from u. So it’s better to send DD or IPO of some extra amount initially with the application itself.
(d) The information on whom the check/draft/IPO should be addressed to is available on almost all government website. For example in case of CVC it is to “Section Officer, CVC”.
4. RTI – Sending Options
(a) Send it through Normal Post or Speed Post or Registered Post or in person.
(b) It is not compulsory but it is advisable to send by Speed Post or Registered Post because you will have a proof (receipt) of your posting.
(c) You can also have the tracking report of your speed post by visiting indiapost.gov.in [It will give u the full detailed report of your speed post - The day it was dispatched, the route it followed & date of reaching its destination.]
(d) RTI Application can be sent Free of Cost by BPL (Below Poverty Line) people. You need to attach photocopy of your BPL Card along with the application.
(e) If possible also send an email of RTI Application to PIO’s official email ID displayed in the website on the same date. The clock starts ticking from the moment the email is sent (not opened). It isn’t a valid application till it is accompanied by the proper fee. That’s the whole trouble with online applications. The Fees (Rs.10) along with RTI Application can be sent by post subsequently, but the time limit starts from the day the email is sent/received.
(e) To avoid any delay include a fully paid self addressed envelope with the application.
PIO – Reply Time & Fine
PIO – Public Information Officer is responsible for the RTI reply.
Every PIO is bound to reply within 30 days of receipt of the application, if he delays without any justified official cause or gives wrong information, he can be fined upto Rs250/ daily upto Rs.25,000 with a way of deduction from his salary.
RTI Reply Time
Generally [30 Days] , Life & Death Case Reply Time [48 Hrs]
IPO (Indian Postal Order)
IPO is similar to the size of your bank cheque. You can purchase it from any post office by paying Rs.10. You need not to fill any form to purchase it. Tear off the Left Part of IPO & keep with you as a proof of purchasing. Mention the following on IPO on specified space on Right Side.
To, PIO (Public Information Officer)
Organization Name and Address
Your name and address.
RTI Application – Format
PIO (Public Information Officer)
Organization Name with Address
Subject: Application for information under the Right to Information Act.
Please provide the following information with respect to the following questions.
Q1. What was the Cut off (Minimum marks obtained by a candidate) in Each Section to be called for the Interview in all categories (General, SC, ST, OBC, PH) for the examination held on – ?
Q2. What was the Cut off (Minimum marks obtained by a candidate) in Total (Written + Interview) to be called for the Final Selection in all categories (General, SC, ST, OBC, PH) for the examination held on – & Interview Held on – ?
Q3. What were the Highest Marks in Each Section by a candidate in the examination held on – ?
Q4. What were the Highest Marks in Total (Written + Interview) by a candidate in the examination held on – & Interview Held on – ?
Q5. What were the marks obtained by me in Total (Written + Interview) in the examination held on – & Interview Held on – ? – (Write Your Roll No or Registration No.)
Signature of the applicant
DD or IPO No:
Please find the following attachment (2 IPOs of Rs.10).
1- Rs.10 IPO for the RTI application.
2- Another Rs.10 IPO for the documentation and the other expenditures for the same work.
RTI – Points to remember
Use proper format if prescribed by government under its RTI rules.
Visit if available, website of the government office, whose information is required and study RTI section.
Pay correct amount of fee by proper mode of payment as prescribed in RTI rules.
Send application with fee by regd or speed AD post. Avoid submitting in person. Avoid courier also. Do not address in personal name of Public Information Officer. Use official designation as Public Information Officer.
Framing query is very important part of application. Do not ask questions as to why, when, who, whose, how etc. Instead ask for certified photocopies of records which contain the information required by you. For example do not ask “why my application is not attended so far?” Instead ask “Please provide me reasons on record and certified copy of records containing reasons for delay in attending my said application”.
Do not waste too much time and energy in deciding which information can be asked and which cannot be. Just ask whatever you want. If you ask you may get, if you do not ask, you may not get. At the most Public Information Officer will say NO to your query. You don’t have to quote any reason for seeking the information. You can ask as many questions as u want in a single application but just stick to one subject in one application.
Don’t mention your phone number in the RTI application. Information conveyed over phone is not necessarily genuine & you don’t have a record of it. Without the phone number, the responsible department or PIO will be compelled to provide their response in writing which could be used in pursuing the matter further.
You can ask for free copy of citizen charter of govt. office to be supplied with reply. You can know many things about that office.
Be crystal clear, firm and to the point but at the same time be courteous. Give serial number to each query and avoid essay type application.
Do ask for photocopy of file noting pertaining to your matter or application, even if you do not require.
If you know section of RTI act or decisions of CIC/State Information Commission, which are in favour of your query mention the same at the end of the respective query as [refer CIC decision No.____________dtd.______or refer section _______of RTI Act. etc].
RTI is not applicable in J&K; RTI is not applicable to following Organizations – CBI, IB, RAW, NIA (National Investigation Agency), Economic Intelligence Bureau, Aviation Research Centre, NSG
Wrong or Incomplete Information or No Information
If you are not satisfied by the information given by PIO within 30 days or if no information is given to you in 30 days then you can Appeal to Appellate Authority with previous records.
PIO can never reject the application on the ground that the information is Detailed or Large. If the information is detailed or large the RTI Act makes the provision of the inspection of relevant documents, which is being asked by the person.
If you are not satisfied by the information given by PIO & Appellate Authority (AA) within next 30 days or if no information is given to you in next 30 days then you can Appeal to Information Commission with previous records and then the date will be fixed by the commission for a hearing and the notice will be served to the concerned PIO and the Appellant to present on a fixed date.
AA (Appellate Authority) Vs PIO
PIO and Appellate Authority cannot be the same person. It is a clear violation of the RTI Act.
Section 19(1) of the Act says
“to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority”
AA has to be an officer senior to the PIO
The AA must forward it to the PIO but the answer should be sought from the PIO and only the AA must sign the decision of the first appeal and not the PIO. The first appeal is a complaint against the PIO. The PIO therefore can’t settle or judge (and sign) a plaint against himself, as, in simple terms, nobody can be a judge of his/her own cause.
RTI – Rejection
Where a request has been rejected under sub-section (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall communicate to the person making the request:
(i) The reasons for such rejection
(ii) The period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred
(iii) The particulars of the appellate authority.
RTI – Physical Apperance for Inormation
The PIO (Public Information Officer) & AA (Appellate Authority) has no right to demand your physical appearance for giving the Information. They cannot compel you to do so. They must reply to RTI Application by written method only. Just wait for 30 days and send the next letter to the Information Commission.
State RTI Act
There are many states in India where there are State RTI acts. There are SICs (State Information Commissioner) for those states. A person can ask for information through RTI Act 2005 or through the State RTI Act. SICs are there for all states, except J&K.
The categorization is that the public authority funded by the state government is governed by the SICs while the organizations funded by Central government in the same state are under the jurisdiction of the CIC.
RTI in Recruitment Process
In many occasion it is observed that recruitment discriminate the candidates or favour particular candidates during interview by assigning marks arbitrarily.
By RTI, you can ask the photocopy of your OMR Sheet along with answer key.
There is a Supreme Court ruling that limits interview marks for selection to govt. departments to 15 % of total marks. If, in this selection procedure, the interview marks are above that, then it can be challenged.
Through RTI Act we may have information towards the criteria of assigning marks e.g. Qualification, Experience, Presentation etc. so that we expect at least minimum marks.
I hope all this information can help you in filing a successful RTI. Please follow up the blog to see more real life examples of RTI files and replies provided by government agencies.
You can check out RTI question and replies at our index page:
You can also search for RTI replies at: http://youradhikar.com/search