How to File RTI Online
How to File RTI Online
The Right to Information Act, 2005 was introduced to help citizens secure access to information under the control of public authorities and to promote transparency and accountability in the working of all public authority. As per the RTI Act, any person who desires to obtain any information can request in writing or online through RTI Online, by paying the requisite fee. On receiving a request for information under the RTI Act, a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer must provide the information requested or reject the request under any of the reasons specified in the RTI Act. In this article, we look at the process for requesting information through RTI online website.
Information Obtained Under RTI
Under the RTI Act, any information in any form, including records, documents, memos, emails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by public authority can be requested.
Using RTI any information from any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by:
- the Constitution;
- any other law made by Parliament;
- other law made by State Legislature;
- notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any-
- body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
- non-Government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government.
Obligation of Public Authority to Maintain Information
As per the RTI Act, all public authorities require to maintain all records in an indexed manner – which facilitates access of the information through a network. Further, all public authorities require to endeavour to provide as much information to the public as possible, at regular intervals through various means of communication, including the internet, so that the public have the minimum requirement to use the RTI Act to obtain information.
Under the RTI Act, Public Authority requires to maintain the following information:
- Particulars of the organisation, function and duties.
- Powers and duties of its officers and employees.
- Procedure followed in the decision-making process, including channels of supervision and accountability.
- Norms set for the discharge of functions.
- Rules, regulations, instruction, manuals and records, held by the public authority or under its control or used by its employees for discharging their functions.
- Categories of documents held by the public authority or under its control.
- Directory of Officers and Employees.
- Monthly remuneration received by each of its Officers and Employees.
- Budget allocated to each agency, including plans and proposed expenditures.
- Manner and execution of subsidy programs.
Requesting Information under RTI Act
Any person can request information held by public authorities under the RTI Act. The request for RTI must be in writing or through Online RTI request. The request of information can be in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area along with the fee.
On receiving an RTI request, the Public Information Officer must process the request within thirty days or reject the request stating specific reasons. When rejecting an RTI request, the Public Information Officer must provide the reason for rejection, the period within which an appeal can be made against the rejection and the particulars of the appellate authority.
Information NOT provided under RTI
Providing information relating to any occurrence, event or matter before twenty years from the date of RTI request is possible after making a request. Further, the public authority may allow access to information, if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.
However, under the RTI Act, the public authority is not permissible to provide any of the following information :
- Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence.
- Information which has been forbidden or punishable by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court.
- Any information which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.
- Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority satisfy the public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
- The information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority satisfies the public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
- The information received in confidence from foreign Government.
- Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes.
- The information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
- The cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other Officers.
- The information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of individuals, unless the larger public interest justifies disclosure of such information.
Process to File RTI Online
Online RTI application can be made through RTI Online website. The first step in RTI Online application is to create a username as shown below using the user signup form.
Now, the user will receive an email containing the activation code after submitting the user details. Enter the activation code in the email to access the RTI Online dashboard, as shown below.
The status of existing RTI request can be viewed through the dashboard. To submit a new RTI request online, the submit request button on the menu bar can be selected to launch the new RTI Online request.
Further, make payment through net banking or credit card after entering the information on RTI request form. The fee charged for Online RTI is Rs.10 in most cases.
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