*******Power of RTI Act: How, where to use the right to question your govt | Business Standard News

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/power-of-rti-act-how-where-to-use-the-right-to-question-your-govt-122070801362_1.html

What is RTI Act? Indian citizens can seek any information that the government can disclose to the Parliament of India. From application to fees, here’s how to use RTI Act to question your government


To file an online RTI request form, visit the official website of the RTI — https://rtionline.gov.in

The RTI (Right to Information) Act, enacted in 2005 is part of the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Subject to the provisions of the RTI Act, all Indian citizens have the right to information. RTI Act allows citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

The RTI Act mandates timely response within 30 days to citizen requests for government information. An Indian citizen can file an RTI to seek information from government offices, departments, ministries, and all the organisations run by the government of India or any other state government.

A person, who wants to receive any information under the RTI Act, can make a request in writing in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area where the application is being made and the applicant is not required to provide reasons for seeking information.

The text of the RTI application is confined to 3,000 characters only that can be uploaded on the RTI website.

The RTI application can be uploaded as an attachment if it contains more than 3,000 characters. An applicant can also receive alerts on the registered mobile number about the status of the RTI application.RTI Act

How to file an RTI online?

  • To file an online RTI request form, visit the official website of the RTI — rtionline.gov.in
  • Click on ‘Submit Request’ tab on the homepage
  • A new page will appear stating ‘guidelines for use of RTI online portal’
  • Tick mark ‘I have read and understood the above guidelines’ option and click on ‘submit’
  • Select the ‘public authority’ you want to seek information from
  • Enter the required personal details of the RTI applicant like — name, gender, e-mail id, phone number, home address, citizenship, educational status, etc
  • Don’t upload Aadhar Card or PAN Card or any other personal Identification (except BPL card)
  • Enter security code
  • Click on ‘make payment’
  • An ‘online request payment form’ page will appear
  • Select ‘Internet Banking, Credit or Debit Card / RuPay Card, UPI’ and then ‘Payment Gateway’ option to proceed
  • Click on ‘pay” button, you will be directed to SBI payment gateway
  • After completing payment process, you will be redirected back to RTI Online Portal to view the details of your RTI application
  • RTI applicant will receive an email of ‘RTI online request filed successfully’ stating details of registration number, date of filing, transaction status, etc


What is the fee required under RTI Act?

The fee for submitting an RTI application is as prescribed in the RTI Rules, 2012. Under rule 3 and rule 4 of the RTI Act, an information seeker needs to submit a fee of Rs 10 through Internet banking via SBI and its associated banks using the website. Credit/debit cards, UPI payment method or RuPay card can also be used to process the transaction.

If an applicant belongs to the below poverty line (BPL) category, then he or she is not required to pay any fee. However, proof (such as a certificate) needs to be submitted in support of the claim for belonging to the BPL section.

What type of information can be asked under RTI Act?

Indian citizens can seek any information that the government can disclose to the Parliament of India.

What are the exemptions under RTI Act?

Sub-section (1) of section 8 and section 9 of the RTI Act explains the types of information exempted from disclosure:

  • Information, the disclosure of which, can affect the integrity and sovereignty of India
  • Information which has been forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court
  • Information, the disclosure of 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 is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
  • Information received in confidence from a foreign government
  • Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify
  • Source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes
  • Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders
  • Information of cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers

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