Objects of the Act: To empower the citizens and to promote transparency and accountability of the Government, thus keeping the citizens informed of the Government activities.
What is the information you can access?
Information can be in any form - records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models or data material held in any electronic form. You can either inspect these records or request for copies. You can seek this information from a public authority. However, not all information of a public authority can be accessed and the Act specifies a list of information which is exempt from disclosure.
What is a public authority?
A public authority is any institution established by the Constitution, by any law of the Parliament or an order of the Central or State Government. It includes bodies which are substantially financed by the Central/State Government. You can also seek information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority.
What is the fee to be paid?
A person seeking information should pay Rs. 10 in the form of a demand draft or banker’s cheque or an Indian Postal order or cash to the Accounts Officer of the public authority from which information is sought. The applicant should also pay extra fees towards the cost of providing the information. You may also choose to simply inspect records, in which case Rs. 5 needs to be paid for every hour from the second hour of inspection.
Format of Application:
There is no prescribed format of the application for seeking information. It can be made on plain paper and must contain the name and complete postal address of the applicant. The application can be in writing or through electronic means in Hindi or English or in the regional language. There is no need to state the reason for seeking the information.
Whom should you approach?
Each public authority has designated an officer(s) as Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) whose name and contact details are mentioned on the public authority’s website. The CPIO is responsible to give information to anyone seeking information under the Act. The application can also be sent through an Assistant Public Information Officer. In normal course, the information sought needs to be provided to the applicant within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority.
If the information is not supplied by the CPIO within 30 days or if you are not satisfied with the information furnished, then you can appeal to the first appellate authority of the public authority, who is an officer senior to the Public Information Officer. This is called First Appeal and should be made within a period of thirty days from the date on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the date on which the information or decision of the Public Information Officer is received. The appellate authority should dispose the appeal within thirty days from the receipt of the appeal.
If the first appellate fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if you are not satisfied with the order of the first appellate authority, you can appeal with the Central Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was actually received by you. This is called Second Appeal.
Where can you use the RTI Act?
As an individual, you can use the RTI Act to obtain any information from any public authority, within the ambit of the Act. Every public authority makes certain disclosures on its website. If you need anything other than what is mentioned on the website of the public authority, you can approach the public authority’s CPIO and appellate authority, as mentioned above. We have consolidated a few public authorities, who you may deal with on a regular basis for your investments. The information below is taken from the public authority’s website or from the RTI website (www.rti.gov.in) and stands valid as on 9th Nov 2012. This is subject to change and we advise you to check the details when you approach the concerned officers.
Life Insurance Corporation of India:
Disclosures under RTI Act - http://www.licindia.co.in/Further_discloser_regarding_Section.html
Details of CPIOs and Appellate Authority http://www.licindia.co.in/pages/CPIOs3.pdf
Employees Provident Fund Organization:
Details of CPIO and Appellate Authority http://www.epfindia.com/rti_officers.html
Central Pension Accounting Office:
Details of CPIOs and Appellate Authority http://cpao.nic.in/pdf/rti_2007.pdf
Proactive disclosures under RTI Act - http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/ccit/rtipage.asp
CPIOs details can be obtained by calling Aaykar Sampark Kendra on 0124-2438000
Post Office related:
Disclosures under RTI Act - http://www.indiapost.gov.in/rti_contents.aspx
Details of CPIOs - http://www.indiapost.gov.in/CPIOs.aspx
Proactive disclosure and details of CPIOs - http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/pdf/RTI.pdf
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