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What is Information?
Information is any material in any form. It includes
records, documents, memos, e-mail, opinions, advices,
press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts,
reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in
any electronic relating to any private body which can
be accessed by the public authority under any law for
the time being in force.
A citizen has a right to seek such information form a
public authority with is held by the public authority or
witch is held under its control and even private
organisations to some extent.
This right includes inspection of work, documents and
records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of
document or records; and taking certified samples of
material held by the public authority or held under the
control of the public authority.
A citizen has a right to obtain to an
information in the form of diskettes,
floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in
any other electronic mode or through
print-outs provided such information is
already stored in a computer or in any
other device from which the
information may be transferred to
The Act gives the right to information only to
the citizens of India. It does not make
provision for giving information to corporation,
Associations, Companies etc. which are legal
entities/persons, but not citizens.
However, if an application is made by an
employee or office - bearer of any Corporation,
Association, Company, NGO etc. indicating his
name and such employee/office bearer is a
citizen of India, information may be supplied to
him/her. In such cases, it would be presumed
that a citizen has sought information at the
address of the Corporation etc.
RTI before Private companies
Applicants have every right to seek
information on a private company even
though it is in the private sector, if it
reports to a government body or owned
partially/considerably by government
NRI can also file an RTI
Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 enables NRIs and PIOs
to have access to information imperative for them.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs defines RTI
rights for NRIs and PIOs.
As one of their basic rights, NRIs and PIOs can contact
the PGE (Protector General of Emigrants) in case of
any grievance or query. The PGE can also be
contacted online at email@example.com.
The Department of Post has launched electronic
version of Indian Postal Order- - eIPO -- which will help
NRIs to pay fee online for seeking information under
the RTI Act.
Requirements at the time of filing
An applicant, along with his application, is required to pay a sum of Rs. 10/-
as application fee in case or by way of a demand draft or a banker‟s cheque
or an Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public
The applicant may also have to pay additional fee, as prescribed by the
Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005 for
supply of information as gives below:
rupees two (Rs.2/-) for each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) created or
actual charge or cost price of a copy in Larger size paper;
actual cost or price for samples or models;
for inspection of records, no fee for the first hour; and a fee of rupee five
(Rs. 5/-) for each subsequent hour (or fraction thereof);
for information provided in diskette or floppy rupees fifty (Rs. 50/-) per
diskette of floppy; and
for information provided in printed from at the price fixed for such
publication or rupees two par page of photocopy for extracts from the
Content and format of
Write your queries in the form of a numbered list so
that the PIO can provide information in the same
sequence. (This numbering should be ideally
maintained at all levels including first appeal, second
appeal, complaints, etc.)
You may write as many paras or sub-paras as you
want in a single application.
There is no limit to the amount of information you may
seek in a single application.
The initial fee payable will remain the same.
Each point/para should deal with just one piece of
information or work or record. You may write sub-paras
Focus on the need for information and ask for it in
a courteous manner.
Focus sharply on the purpose of seeking
information in the first place.
Frame your queries in a way that it will
make it impossible for the public
authority to wriggle out.
Time frame for disposing off application
Situation Time limit for disposing off applications
Supply of information in normal course 30 days
Supply of information if it concerns the life or liberty of a
Supply of information if the application is received
05 DAYS SHALL BE ADDED TO THE TIME PERIOD
INDICATED AT Sr. No. 1 and 2.
Supply of information if application/request is received
after transfer from another public authority:
1. In normal course
2. In case the information concerns the life or liberty of
1. Within 30 days of the receipt of the concerned public
2. Within 48 hours of receipt of the application by the
concerned public authority.
Supply of information by organizations specified in the
1. If information relates to allegations of violation of
2. In case information relates to allegations of
1. 45 days from the receipt of application.
2. Within 30 days of the receipt of application.
Supply of information if it relates to third party and the
third party has treated it as confidential.
Should be provided after following the procedure given in
para 32 to 36 of these guidelines.
Supply of information where the applicant is asked to pay
The period intervening between information the applicant
about additional fee and the payment of fee by the
applicant foe calculating the period of reply.
If you want to seek information that may
adversely affect vested interests or may
cause you financial or physical injury, you
should request your distant relative or a
friend or an RTI activist from another state
to file the RTI application desired by you.
Send him completed application form in his
name and address and give him directions
on how to pay the fee and submit the
The government has put a word limit of 500 words
for filing an application under the Right to Information
Earlier, there was no word limit in seeking
However, the rules said that “no application shall be
rejected on the ground that it contains more than five
According to a notification by the Department of
Personnel and Training under the Ministry of
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, an
applicant will have to pay additional postal charges
“involved in supply of information that exceeds fifty
Whether one can approach
consumer forum after filing
It is important to understand whether the
citizen who is filing an application under
the RTI Act can be considered as a
consumer or not.
If yes, can the failure to furnish
information under RTI be considered as
„deficiency in service‟ for which a citizen
can approach a Consumer forum is the
In the case of Dr. S P Thirumala Rao vs. Municipal
Commissioner, Mysore City Municipal Corporation, the
National Commission held that
“When a citizen seeks information through an application
under the RTI Act and pays the prescribed fee, he
becomes a „consumer‟ as per the CPA who has sought
certain „service‟. The person designated as the Public
Information Officer (PIO) under the RTI Act is held as the
service provider. If the PIO fails to provide the requested
information within the prescribed period of 30 days u/s
7(1) of RTI Act 2005, it is deemed to be a „deficiency‟ in
service. Non-supply of information, delay in supply of
information or providing information which is inaccurate or
incomplete would amount to deficiency in service by the
By seeking compensation under the Consumer
Protection Act (CPA) 1986, there is no breach of
the Section 23 of RTI Act which bars the
jurisdiction of courts as is only an additional
remedy and does not mean to challenge the order
of the Information Commission.
There is no bar from seeking remedy under CPA
along with seeking compensation under section
19(8)(b) of the RTI Act. The CPA provides
additional remedy in addition to the remedies
provided under any other Acts and it is not in
derogation of any provisions of law for the time
being in force.
- RTI needs to be filed in specific format for
seeking some information and not
discussing consumer dispute in it.
- RTI can be filed against government run
bodies and private bodies owned partially
or considerably by government bodies.
- After 30 days from filing of RTI if applicant
don‟t get adequate reply from PIO, then he
can approach the consumer forum.
Before preparing application or appeal,
one should read the rules framed by the
concerned State Government or the
You may ask for a free copy of the
„Citizens Charter‟ to be supplied with the
Step by step procedure of filing