24th September, 2018

Frequently asked questions about Right to Information (RTI)

Right to Information (RTI) | Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is RTI?

RTI stands for ‘Right to Information’ which is basically an act passed by Parliament of India in 2005. RTI gives the right to the citizen to ‘know’ anything about the working of the government by simply filing an application online. Right to Information is a fundamental right of every citizen of India.

2. Who will provide the information that I am looking for?

Every government department appoints one or two officers called “Public Information Officer” (PIO) and these very PIO are responsible for collecting and providing any information that the applicant asks for. There are several others APIOS “Assistant Public Information Officers” in every government department whose main job is to collect the information from the public and forward it to the concerned PIO.

3. What is the procedure of filing RTI?

One can file an RTI online by simply filing up an online form provided on the official website of RTI and pay the required fee.  The act prescribes a simple format to fill the application but there is no compulsion to stick to the format. The applicant can simply write down the information he/she seeks on a plain white paper and send it to the concerned government department, addressing it to the PIO.

4. What kind of information can I get by filling RTI?

You can get all the information regarding the working of any government organization. For instance, if you have to recheck the answer sheets of any examination conducted by C.B.S.E or UGC, you can easily do that by filing an RTI. If you require knowing the fund usage of any MP or MLA, you can get all the information by simply filing RTI application.

5. Where can I submit the application for RTI?

The application for RTI can be submitted online as well as offline. The offline RTI applications can be submitted to the concerned government department you seek to find information about with the PIO or APIO of that department. RTI applications can also be submitted to some post offices as well.

6. What are the general requirements for filing RTI?

For filing an RTI one just needs to be a citizen of India. The applicant should have the specifics of the information that he/she seeks to know. The applicant is also required to pay a sum of nominal application fee in order to file an RTI.

7. Can I get information about a private body by filing RTI?

No, one cannot get information about a private body by filing RTI as RTI only covers institutions which are government. Although one get information about a private public utility company by filing an RTI.  Also, all those private institutes and NGOs which receive more than 95% of their infrastructure funds from government comes under RTI.

8. Can I get information about what politicians are doing with our tax money?

Yes, you can definitely get information about how the politicians are using our tax money by filing an RTI.

9. What is the payable amount for applying for RTI?

The applicant is required to pay a sum of Rs. 10 at the time of applying which can be paid in cash, draft or banker’s cheque. However, the fee varies in different states of India. In addition to the initial amount, the applicant is also required to pay Rs. 2 per page of information sought about any Central Government Department. One has to pay additional fee if one needs to inspect some documents. There is no fee for the first hour of inspection but one need to pay Rs. 5 for every subsequent hour of inspection, according to the Central rule but this fee is also subject to change in different states.

10. In what time period can I get the information after filing RTI?

After the online application procedure is completed, the applicant can get the required information within 30 days. One can get the information concerning the life and liberty of a person within 48 hours. Although, it might require 5 extra days in addition to the above mentioned time frame if the information is given to Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO).