Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to write an RTI application?

How to write an RTI application?

| July 3rd, 2010 | By: Piyush Goyal |

The Right to Information Act (RTI) is a law enacted by the Parliament of India "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens." The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir – which is covered under a State-level law. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen (excluding the citizens within J&K) may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.

This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005. Information disclosure in India was hitherto restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act now relaxes.

Pre-requisites:

- Your name, address, contact telephone number and your email id.
- Information about Public Information officer, name, address e.t.c. In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI application to the Pio C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned Public Authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will have to forward your application to the concerned PIO.
- Do not adress your RTI application to the PIO by his name, just in case he gets transferred or a new PIO is designated in his place.
- Mode of Payment available with CPIO, the fees, and Contact person to receive the application. (In most of the cases the Assistant Chief Public Information officer, ACPIO or directly the CPIO).

Public Authorities under the centre, states, legislatures and Supreme/High courts have framed separate rules for RTI. The amount of fees and the mode of payment varies and you should check the correct rules as applicable in your case.

Generally, you can deposit your application fee via:

- In person by paying cash [remember to take your receipt]
- By Post through:
Demand Draft/Bankers Cheque
Indian Postal Order
Money orders (only in some states)
Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states)
- Some state governments have prescribed some head of account. You are required to deposit fee in that account. For that, you can either go to any branch of SBI and deposit cash in that account and attach deposit receipt with your RTI application. Or you can also send a postal order or a DD drawn in favour of that account along with your RTI application. Please see respective state rules for complete details.
- For Public Authorities under Central RTI rules, DoPT has recently clarified that BC/DD/IPO can be in favour of "Accounts Officer". If the department or administrative unit does not have a Accounts Officer, they are supposed to designate someone, as per DoPT circular.

Application Guidelines:

While filing an RTI application, the framing of the questions is very important. A slight misunderstanding or vague questions gives the PIO a chance to reject your application. Follow these guidelines:
- Use a white sheet of paper to write an application. There is no need to using Note-sheet, or the Court stamp paper. You can use your letter pad for asking for information.
- The matter can be hand written, or typed. There is no compulsion of typing the content.
- Make sure the application is legible and easy to read.
- There is no restriction on number of pages for asking information.
- There are also no restriction on number of questions that can be asked in one application. However, it is generally advisable to ask restrict one application with limited set of questions and generally related ones.

NOTE:

The state of Karnataka has recently passed a amendment to its RTI rules restricting the RTI application to one subject matter and to 150 words. Please see:

- Be very specific & ask to the point questions. Don't ask vague questions.
- Ask as many short questions as you like ,but don't ask for voluminous information.
- Ask information always by writing your name and signature, and not by your post, as only citizen have the right to information.
- Do not ask a question containing 'WHY'! For example, questions like why you failed to pass the bill, is liable to be rejected for not covering under RTI Act.
- You can ask for reasons behind a "administrative" or a "quasi-judicial" decision under Section 4(1)(d), especially if you are a "affected person".
- If the information sought is voluminous, it is better to ask it in the form of CD to save on cost.
- Remember that, you do not need to write the reason for asking the information.
- Mention the payment details like BC/DD/IPO number, issuing bank/post office, date, cash receipt details , etc., towards the end of your application.

Courtesy_

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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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Disclaimer

This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

Dinamani - RTI News