How To File An RTI And What Are The Authorities Under The Act

This blog is inscribed by Nishtha Jain.

Authorities Under RTI Act 2005

Public Authority (Section 4)

  • Appropriately maintain all the records and made them computerized with the reasonable time and make availability of resources from where it will be easy to search a record and connected a network all over the country on the different system so that records can be accessed;
  • Delegate powers and duties to its officers and employees and set a particular procedure for decision making;
  • Maintain a record of monthly remuneration received by each of its employee, compensation provided, budget allocated and proposed expenditure.
  • Provides particulars facilities to citizens for obtaining information and reading room.

Public Information Officer (Section 5)

There are central public information officer or state public information officer as the case may be who shall give necessary information to the requested applicant who is seeking information. He will check the application and if an application or a part of an application which comes under section 8 or 9, he will reject the application. He needs to give information within 30 days and in case of life and liberty within 48 hours from the date when the application made and if he rejects the application, shall give reasonable reason to the applicant.

Assistant Public Information Officer (Section 5)

Central assistant public information officer or state assistant public information officer as the case may be shall assist the central public information officer or state public information officer receives the application for information and appeal and forward to his senior. He shall follow the order of central public information officer or state public information officer as the case may be and do work according to that.

Public Authority

                                           Public Information Officer

                                 Assistant Public Information Officer

Central Information Commission (Section 12,13,14) 

Central Information Commission shall consist of:-

  1. Chief Information Commissioner;
  2. Central Information Commissioner, not more than ten as per the requirement.

It shall have all civil court powers:

  1. Summoning the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral and written evidence;
  2. Receiving evidence;
  3. Issue summons for examination of witness or document;
  4. Require the discovery and inspection of documents.

2.1. Chief Information Commissioner

He shall be appointed by President of India. He shall have wide knowledge and experience in law, science, technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. He shall hold office for 5 years or till attains of the age of 65 years old whichever is earlier and not eligible for reappointment. He shall be removed from the post if he became insolvent, unfit to continue in office because of mind or body, convicted for an offense.

      2.2. Central Information Commissioner

He shall be appointed by President of India. He shall have wide knowledge and experience in law, science, technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. He shall hold office for 5 years or till attains of the age of 65 years old whichever is earlier and not eligible for reappointment. He shall be removed from the post if he became insolvent, unfit to continue in office because of mind or body, convicted for an offense.

Central Information Commission

Chief Information Commissioner

Central Information Commissioner

State Information Commission (Section 15,16,17)

Central Information Commission shall consist of:-

  1. State Chief Information Commissioner;
  2. State Information Commissioner, not more than ten as per the required.

It shall have all civil court powers:

  1. Summoning the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral and written evidence;
  2. Receiving evidence;
  3. Issue summons for examination of witness or document;
  4. Require the discovery and inspection of documents.

State Chief Information Commissioner

He shall be appointed by Governor. He shall have wide knowledge and experience in law, science, technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. He shall hold office for 5 years or till attains of the age of 65 years old whichever is earlier and not eligible for reappointment. He shall be removed from the post if he became insolvent, unfit to continue in office because of mind or body, convicted for an offense.

State Information Commissioner

He shall be appointed by Governor. He shall have wide knowledge and experience in law, science, technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. He shall hold office for 5 years or till attains of the age of 65 years old whichever is earlier and not eligible for reappointment. He shall be removed from the post if he became insolvent, unfit to continue in office because of mind or body, convicted for an offense.

Appellant Authority (Section 19)

When the applicant is grievant from the decision of rejection of request under section 8 or 9 or from which the information provided to the applicant, by the central public information officer or state public information officer as the case may be, he can appeal for the grievance within 30days from the date decision given.

First Appeal 

The first appeal is made to the senior rank officers of the central public information officer or state public information officer as the case may be, within 30days from the decision of central public information officer or state public information officer as the case may be. After accepting the appeal, the appellate authority will call both the parties and hear the arguments. The appeal must be disposed of within 30-45 days from the date of filling. By disposing of the appeal reasonable reason must be given for the decision..

Second Appeal

If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of senior public information officer, then he can appeal to the central information commission or state information commission as the case may be, within 90 days from the decision given. After accepting the appeal, the appellate authority will call both the parties and hear the arguments. There is no prescribed time limit as there is a large number of pending cases in the second appeal. The decision the central information commission or state information commission as the case may be shall be binding. By disposing of the appeal reasonable reason must be given for the decision.

High Court

If the applicant is still not satisfied with the decision from the appellant authority, he can approach the High Court by filing a writ petition within 30 days from the decision of the appellant authority. After accepting the appeal, the appellate authority will call both the parties and hear the arguments. There is no prescribed time limit as there is a large number of pending cases in the High Court. The decision of the High Court shall be final and binding. By disposing of the appeal reasonable reason must be given for the decision.

  1. Public Information Officer Time for First Appeal is 30 Days
  2. Senior Public Information Officer Second Appeal 90 Days
  3. Center/State Information Commission Third Appeal 30 Days
  4. High Court

PROCESS OF FILLING RTI (SECTION 6)

Through Online Mode

  1. The first step is to visit a website http://rtionline.gov.in.
  2. It is not necessary to register yourself. You can make a request without registration.
  3. Click on the submit request button. When you click on the button, the guidelines page will open.
  4. Read the guidelines carefully, select I have read and understood the above guidelines option and then click on the submit button.
  5. First choose public authority from which you need information.
  6. Fill your personal details like name email id etc. It is mandatory to fill columns where * shows.
  7. Only citizen of India can file RTI.
  8. If you are below poverty line, select yes option and fill BPL card number details. 
  9. If you are above poverty line, select no option.
  10. Write your request within 3000 words, mention what information you want from the department and try to make it simple and clear, which doesn’t create any confusion.
  11. If you are below poverty line, it is mandatory to upload a BPL Card as a proof in pdf upto 1MB in supporting document button.
  12. If you are above poverty line, supporting document is optional.
  13. Enter security code and click make payment option.
  14. Make a payment of Rs. 10 through: 

(a) Internet banking through SBI;

(b) Using credit/debit card of Master/Visa;

(c) Using RuPay Card.

  1. After making a payment you will get a Registration ID for future references. You will receive an email or SMS on submission of your application.
  2. You can track your request with the help of Registration ID, you will receive your information within 30 days and in case of life and liberty within 48 hours from the department or else they can be penalized Rs.250/- per day which cannot be not more than Rs.25000/- which will be recovered from the salary of officials.

Through Offline Mode

  1. Write an application in English or Hindi or in any other official language of the area where you lives. There is no particular format prescribe for the application.
  2. When you cannot write an application, Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers whosoever suitable shall provide all reasonable means to you to make a request orally.
  3. The application should be address to Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers whosoever suitable with the subject line “Seeking information under RTI Act, 2005”.
  4. You should provide your name, address for contact, other than that it is not mandatory to provide any other personal detail and reason for filing RTI. Sign the application along with the date. 
  5. Only a citizen of India can file RTI.
  6. Write your request, mention what information you want from the department and try to make it simple and clear, which doesn’t create any confusion.
  7. Make a payment of Rs.10 through cash, money order, bank draft or court fee stamp. If you are below the poverty line, no need to make a payment. You have to attach a certificate of BPL along with the application.
  8. Make a payment for additional fees for receiving the information 
  9. Rs.2/- for each page ( in A-4 or A-3 size paper) copied or created;
  10. Rs. 50/- for information provided in diskette or floppy;
  11. Actual cost or price for sample or model;
  12. Actual charge or cost price of a copy in larger size paper.
  13. Keep a copy of the application before sending for future references.
  14. Send an application personally or by post ( address – CIC Bhawan, Baba Gang Nath Marg, Staff Quarters, Old JNU Campus, Munirka, New Delhi, Delhi 110067)
  15. You will receive your information within 30 days and in case of life and liberty within 48 hours from the department or else they can be penalized Rs.250/- per day which cannot be not more than Rs.25000/- which will be recovered from the salary of officials.

Grounds for Rejection of Request (Section 8)

  1. Any information contains sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or leads to incitement of an offence;
  2. Any information which is forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
  3. Any information which cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
  4. Any information contains commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, provided if the competent authority is satisfied that larger number of people wants the information, he may disclose the information;
  5. Any information which received in confidence from Foreign Government;
  6. Any information which causes endanger the or physical safety of any person given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
  7. Any information which prevents the process of investigation or prosecution of offenders;
  8. Any information contains cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers before published officially;
  9. Any information contains personal information which has no relation to a public activity or interest and disturbs the privacy of the individual.
  10. Any information of any occurrence, event, or matter which has happened 20 years before the date on which any request is made under section 6, provided the decision of Central Government shall be final after the appeal;
  11. Any information which infringement of copyright.

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