Know About Right to Information Act

RTI Fun Fact:

What is the national game of India?
Hockey – This will be your answer without any hesitation.
Now here comes the shocker – Hockey is not our national game.
Surprised? You should be, but how did this come to the surface?
This surprising statement was released by the ministry in response to an
RTI raised by a ten-year-old girl, Aishwarya Parashar.

With this example, it is very clear that RTI is a tool that can unearth hidden secrets or even bring to light the unknown.

Right to Information Act – Introduction

  • The RTI Act is an Act of the Parliament of India that gives the right to information privileges to all citizens of India.
  • The RTI Act replaces the Freedom of Information Act, 2002.
  • By using this Act, any citizen of India can request information from a public authority and the public authority has to reply expeditiously or within 30 days.
  • The Act also requires that every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination.
  • The RTI Act came into effect on 15th June 2005 and ever since this date; crores of Indian citizens have taken benefit.
  • By and large, this Act is one of the most powerful laws in India as of today.

Why was RTI Act initiated?

The first and most important reason for bringing in the RTI Act was the
shortcomings of the erstwhile Acts such as the Official Secrets Act, 1923
and Freedom of Information Act, 2002.

Right to Information Act – Benefits

There are multiple benefits of RTI. First and foremost, people get to know information that would usually be hidden from them. If there is any corruption, then it can be exposed by RTI. The RTI Act also acts as a deterrent against any malpractices in the government organizations.

Answerable Organisations
Public Sector
Undertakings
Ministry of State
& Central Levels
Municipal
Corporations
Judiciary
Government Departments Government Schools
Government Aided
Universities
Public Works
Department
Road Authorities Provident Funds
Departments

Right to Information Act – Central Information Commission

  • The Central Information Commission has been constituted with effect from 12 October 2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
  • This body takes care of the complaints that arise from discrepancies of the Act.
  • So, if you have filed an RTI with a government body and you have not got any response, you can directly approach the Central Information Commission.

Right to Information Act – Process of Filing RTI

Every citizen of India should be aware of the process of filing an RTI. This process is very simple and hassle-free these days.

  1. Write an application on paper.
  2. This application can be in English or Hindi or in the official language of the state.
  3. There are some states that have prescribed formats for the RTI application.
  4. Address it to the PIO or Public Information Officer of the concerned department.
  5. Ask specific questions and always make sure that they are complete and clear.
  6. You will have to write your full name, contact details, address and where you want the RTI response or information to be sent
  7. Take a photocopy of the RTI application and keep it for your future reference.
  8. If you are sending the RTI by post, then it is recommended that you send it via registered post.
  9. If you are handing over the application to the PIO in person, then you need to make sure that you take an acknowledgement from him/her.

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