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Home > Know Your Rights > Right to Information
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Q1. What is Right to Information?

A1.Right to Information is a fundamental right provided by the constitution of India to all its citizens. It aims at empowering citizens to seek information from government as to how their money is being spent. It seeks to bring transparency in the system.


Q2. How is RTI beneficial to me?

A2.RTI gives you the right to ask the government as to why you are not getting continuous electricity supply? Why there is so much dirt in the city? Why your pension not been released for so long? etc. You can seek information from government on almost anything that affects your day to day life.


Q3. What all information is covered under the RTI?

A3.Information means any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, 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 a public authority under any other law for the time being.


Q4. What rights are covered under the RTI?

A4.RTI gives you the right to:

  • Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information
  • Take copies of any government documents
  • Inspect any government documents.
  • Inspect any Government works
  • Take samples of materials of any Government work.


Q5. Can I be refused the information that I seek?

A5.Yes you can be refused to be given information if that information pertains to 11 subjects that are listed in section 8 of the RTI Act. These include information received in confidence from foreign governments, information prejudicial to security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the country, breach of privilege of legislatures, etc.


Q6. From where would I get the information?

A6.The RTI Act has made the provision of designating one or more existing officers in every Government Department as Public Information Officers (PIO). All RTI applications pertaining to that department are filed to them and then they are responsible for collecting information sought by you from various wings of that Department and providing that information to you. In addition, several officers have been appointed as Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs). Their job is only to accept applications from the public and forward it to the right PIO.


Q7. How do I make an application under RTI?

A7.Draft your application on a normal sheet of paper and submit it by post or in person to the Public Information Officer (PIO). Remember to keep a copy of the application for your personal reference. Also, in the case of all Central Government Departments, 629 post offices have been designated as APIOs. You can go to any of these post offices and submit your fee and application at the RTI counter. They will issue you a receipt and acknowledgement and it is the responsibility of that post office to deliver it to the right PIO. The list of these post offices is given at http://www.indiapost.gov.in/rtimanual16a.htmlfee.


Q8. Is there any fee for an RTI application?

A8.Yes, there is an application fee of RS 10 for Central Government i.e. if you are seeking information from any of the Central Government Departments. In addition you are required to pay Rs. 2 for every page of information. For every State, this fee differs on state by state basis.


Q9. Whom should I approach if my application is not accepted by the PIO?

A9.If a PIO refuses to accept your application or work on that , you can make a formal complaint to the respective Information Commission under section 18 of the RTI Act. The Information Commissioner has the power to impose a penalty of Rs 25000 on the concerned officer who refused to accept your application. A Central Information Commissioner has been appointed by the Government, whose main responsibility is to oversee the functioning of Information Officers and take action against them in case of any misconduct. No PIO or APIO can refuse to take your application even if it does not belong to his department.


Q10. Within what time I should receive the information I seek?

A10.RTI Act prescribes a maximum time limit within which information should be made available. In case you have submitted your application to the PIO, then you must get the information within 30 days. In case you have filed your application with Assistant PIO then information has to be made available within 35 days. In case the matter to which the information pertains affects the life and liberty of an individual, information has to be made available in 48 hours. For further information on RTI, you can visit http://www.righttoinformation.org.

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