What is the full form of RTI?
RTI stands for Right to Information, which is ensured as a fundamental right of every citizen by the Constitution of India. RTI is regulated through the Right to Information Act, 2005 (Act No. 22 of 2005). Under Right to Information Act, 2005, every citizen of India ensures access to information of public authorities (subject to preservation of confidential and sensitive information) with an aim to reassure accountability and transparency of roles, duties, and functions of the public authorities.
What is RTI process?
As a responsible citizen of India, you should know the process of filing RTI online. Unlike traditional method, the process of filing RTI online is easy and time-saving. Follow these simple steps to file RTI online:
1. Write an application (handwritten or typed) in English/Hindi/Regional language of your state in a particular format prescribed by the:
(a) Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer of the concerned public authority;
(b) Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer.
Note: Make sure you check the format prior to submission. Under Section 6(1) of Right to Information Act, 2005, if an individual fails to give written or typed application due to illiteracy, physical impairment or any justifiable reasons, he or she can request for oral submission and the same will be reduced to writing by the concerned public officer. Pro-tip: You can download the application form from India Development Gateway Portal.
2. Fill out the following information to File RTI online:
• Name and office address of Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO)/Public Information Officer (PIO)
• Subject: Application Under-Section 6(1) of Right to Information Act, 2005
• Information you seek from public authority
• Applicant’s Name
• Father’s/Husband’s Name
• Postal address with Phone number and e-mail ID
• Date and place
• Applicant’s signature
• List of enclosures
Note: Applicants are not obligated to provide any other information except those that are necessary for contacting them. If you are sending your application via Post, then send it through registered post because you will get regular updates about the delivery. If you are sending in person, make sure you take an acknowledgement from the receiver.
Can I withdraw my RTI application?
Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, there are no provisions for the withdrawal of an online RTI application. In order to make your RTI application null, you can either write a letter to the PIO mentioning that the information sought is not required anymore (along with your application number & date) or the applicant shall not do any further due diligence.
Lately a new amendment bill under the Right to Information Act 2005 has been proposed, but hasn’t been published in the official Gazette. These two provisions could enable applicants to withdraw their RTI applications. The Rule 12 in the draft defines the following provisions:
The drafted rule says, “12 (1) The Commission may in its discretion allow a prayer for withdrawal of an appeal if such a prayer is made by the appellant on an application made in writing duly signed or during hearing. However, no such prayer may be entertained by the Commission after the matter has been finally heard or a decision or order has been pronounced by the Commission.”

“12(2) The proceedings pending before the Commission shall abate on the death of the appellant.”
Can RTI application be sent by email?
Yes, RTI application can be sent through an email. As per the Section 6 (1) of Right to Information Act, 2005, any individual who wish to observe any information has to make a request either written or typed in English, Hindi or regional language and send the same through an email at helprtionline-dopt(at)nic(dot)in with a payment of Rs. 10 to complete the process of filing RTI online.
How to make payment for RTI application?
To submit the fee for filing an RTI online, India has started ePIO facility for people who wish to pay RTI fees online. In order to enable this facility, fill the first page of the RTI request form, a non-BPL applicant has to click on "Make Payment" button for payment of the prescribed RTI fee.

The applicant can pay the prescribed RTI fee through the following modes:
(i) Internet banking through SBI and its associated banks.
(ii) By using ATM-cum-Debit card of State Bank of India.
(iii) Through Credit/Debit card of Master/Visa.

Note: According to the RTI Rules, 2012, Citizens who belong to the Below Poverty Line are not required to pay any RTI fee. Moreover, a BPL applicant is required to attach a copy of the certificate issued by the government with respect to the RTI application.
How is RTI useful in promoting human rights?
Right to Information Act provides a basic human right that enables good governance and democracy. RTI is essential where the whole system of government has an obligation to be responsive to the needs of its citizens. It promotes transparency and accountability. Besides, there is a process to have all the information in hand; if you straight headedly approach any government department and ask them show their files and documents, you would not get any of them. To exercise your fundamental right, you need to follow the process of filing a RTI online or offline and apply for the information that you need from any particular department.
Who is the first appellate authority under RTI?
Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, a senior officer (in rank) to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) happens to be the first Appellate Authority. This officer is responsible to supply relevant and correct information within the specified timeline to an individual who is seeking information.

In case, CPIO does not furnish adequate information or an applicant is not satisfied with the decisions of the CPIO then, as per the provisions of the Act, an applicant can file for the second appeal to the Central Information Commission.
Can RTI be used in court?
Yes, any document obtained by an applicant under the RTI Act, 2005 can be filed in the court and will be taken into consideration by the consumer court or any other court. These documents have been issued by the government or public authority hence, and they can’t be questioned.

Make sure you file with original RTI documents used while filing RTI online and not the photocopies because the original documents have been verified and signed by an authority hence, there would not be a problem with respect to its authenticity.
Can we file RTI against bank?
Yes, we can. Under Section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, applicants can file RTI against public sector banks. If any applicant wants to obtain information from any concerned bank, they can move their online RTI applications to the Reserve Bank of India as all the banks function under the direct control of the RBI.
Follow these simple steps for how to file RTI against bank:

• Download RTI Template for the Banks
• Enter an address and branch name
• Fill personal details like – Name, address, email, contact etc.
• Mention the information you want to obtain. Make sure it is brief and straight.
• Put postal order for Rs. 10, addressing CPIO, Branch name, Address.
• Enter the postal order number in the online RTI application.
• Get a print out and send it via registered post to the branch address.
Can government employees file RTI?
Under Section 3 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, all the Indian citizens have the right to information. A government employee is an India’s citizen first, and therefore, has the right to file RTI online against any concerned authority or seek information from any public authority. Moreover, under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, RTI is a fundamental right and cannot be denied to anyone including the government employees.
What is CPIO in RTI?
CPIO stands for Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) who is an officer of a particular public authority to whom your RTI application for seeking information shall be made or addressed to. All the public authorities have their designated CPIOs who render assistance to the applicants for filing RTI or guide in the RTI process. If an applicant is unable to file RTI online in writing, he/she can seek help from the CPIO to write his/her RTI application. If a sensory disabled person wants to access any information or document, the Central Public Information Officer will offer assistance in order to access the requested information.
Where is RTI not applicable?
The Right to Information Act, 2005 is one of the greatest tools for the citizens as it encourages transparency and authenticity between the people and their government. Although people have a right to seek any information from the government, but there are some cases where the RTI is not applicable or your online RTI application may get rejected.

Following are some of the cases where the RTI will not be applicable:
• If you are seeking information from private organizations
• If you are seeking Income Tax Return (ITR) information of any person
• If you want information from any intelligence agencies as such information involves sensitive data which may be a threat to national security.
• If you want to obtain personal information of a person
How can I file RTI for state government?
Every citizen of India can exercise their right to information from the government by filing an online RTI application with a Central or State Public Information Officer. Follow the simple process to file RTI online for state government.

1. Enter your personal details correctly like- name, address, mail id, phone, etc.
2. Write the questions you want to ask. Make sure the questions are clear, straight and specific.
3. Identify the concerned department (like public sector enterprise, NGO, state legislatures, etc.) that can give you the information required.
Note: You can seek information from any state department that are constituted, controlled, owned, established or financed by the State Government like the Panchayat raj institutions, the parliament, state legislatures, courts of law etc.
4. Address your RTI application to the concerned SPIO (State Public Information Officer) or APIO (Assistant Public Information Officer) of that particular department.
5. Follow the prescribed format required to file RTI for the state government.
Note: Although there is no particular format to file RTI online, but some state government follows some specific rules for filing RTI request. Make sure you know the format of that particular state government.
6. Submit your RTI application with the paid receipt of the fees.
Note: Those who are below the poverty line are exempted from paying the fee.
7. You can either submit your RTI application in person or through registered post or you can file online RTI.
8. Expect the reply within the 30 days. If no information has been provided to you or you are not satisfied with the information provided by the state government, you can escalate it further by filing an appeal to the Appellate authority. Go for second appeal in case you didn’t hear back or still unsatisfied; second appeal can be filed within the 90 days.
What does Section 8 & 9 specify as Exemption of information?
Section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act exempts few categories of information from disclosure from the Public Authorities. Such information includes-:
• The ones that could cause internal security issues
• Any information that can violate the individual privacy of any non-public person
• Any information detrimental to national interest and is under the official secrets act.

Sub-section 1 of Section 8 and Section 9 further elaborates on the denial of RTI on the following grounds-:

• Disclosure of information that could harm the sovereignty and integrity of India, strategic, security, and scientific
• or economic interest of any State
• or harm relations with any other country or lead to incitement is a punishable offense.
• Information disclosure that could cause a breach to the dignity of the Parliament or State Legislature is unacceptable.
• Relationship between the two countries is often sensitive and thus candid assessments and analysis of behavior could easily offend and cause damage to the countries.
When can a Public Authority deny Information?
Exemptions under Section 8 of the RTI Act says that a public authority is under no obligation to furnish any information disclosure which could seemingly affect India’s relation with other foreign states or may lead to some offensive crime.
Online RTI can be denied on topics that could harm the economic, political, and environmental, and social security of the people of India.
Thus the right of the citizen of India to access any information held by any Public Authority should follow all the rules of the exemption set up in the RTI Act accordingly.
Who can file an RTI?
• A person who is a citizen of India can file an RTI. Although there are some exception, read below to find more.
• As per requisite of section 3 of RTI Act, 2005 a person who is a citizen of India can file an RTI (Right to information).
• Being in India and filing an RTI is very simple. But, what if an overseas citizen wants to file an RTI? Are they eligible for the online RTI login?

According to RTI Act, 2005 every Indian Citizen covered under Citizenship Act , 1955 (amended 2019) has the right to file RTI including NRI (Non-Resident Indians), OCI(Overseas Citizen of India), PIO(Persons of Indian Origin ) Cardholders.

All NRI, PIO, OCI can file Application seeking RTI with PIO (Public Information Officer) of the local Indian Embassy/consulate/High Commission with requisite amount of Application fee in local currency with mode of payment.
Is there an exception to citizens wishing to file RTI?
In the state of Jammu & Kashmir RTI ACT, 2005 was applicable until the state J&K Information Commission became non -functional. Now, there is no clarity on the RTI machinery in the state, and nothing has been specified yet.
The above mentioned requisite is as per section 3 of the RTI Act, 2005 eligible to file RTI.
‘The RTI Act, 2005 says- the right not on all 'persons' but only on 'citizens' and there is no ambiguity about the term 'citizen.' A juristic person/ Legal entity such as Firms, Company, etc., can be a 'person' but cannot necessarily be a citizen,” Therefore any office bearer of company, firm, etc., can seek information on and behalf of Company, firm, etc., as an individual and citizen of India but the applicant cannot be a company/firm etc.
How can I apply for RTI offline?
For filing RTI offline, the first thing you need to do is to identify the department in which you want to send an RTI plea and check whether it covers the scope of the local authority, state or central government. After the department selection, you need to follow these steps for filing RTI offline:

• Write or Type your RTI application in Hindi/English or in the local language.
• Mention “Seeking Information under the RTI Act- 2005” in the subject line while addressing the concerned Public Information Officer.
• Jot down detailed and specific questions along with the year in which the plea falls in. If you require any document or excerpt, you will get them by paying Rs. 2 per page.
• To file RTI offline, you need to pay Rs. 10 in cash or bank draft or money order or court fee stamp. People under the poverty line will be exempted from paying the fee if they show the proof.
• Fill this information correctly – Full name, Address, Phone Number, email address, Town, and Date.
• Send your RTI application by mail or send it in person at the office. Make sure you keep a copy of the RTI plea and also get an acknowledgment slip from the office.
Is ID proof required for RTI application?
As far as the Right to Information Act, 2005 is concerned, nowhere in the Act is it discussed that petitioners have to provide identity proof for RTI application in order to seek information from the designated Public Information Officer (PIO). Whilst in some cases, if there is an occurrence of slightest doubt about the petitioner seeking information about any legal heir or any confidential information, if insisted by the PIO, it becomes mandatory to submit a self-attested copy of ID proof such as – AADHAR Card, Voter Card, Ration Card etc.
Can salary details be given under RTI?
Under section 4 (1) (b) of the RTI Act -2005, if you seek information about the salary amount or the details of pay scale of any public servant, you will be given such details since it is a voluntarily information that can be disclosed. Whereas details like deductions, loans, salary slips and residential address will not be disclosed unless there is an involvement of public interest.
What happens if RTI is not answered?
If you don’t hear back from the Public Information Officer within 30 days or if the sought information has been rejected by the PIO, you can lodge a “First Appeal” which has to be submitted within 30 days from the date of application by CPIO with First Appellate Authority (FAA).
What is the use of RTI Act?
Right to Information Act is a fundamental right of every citizen of India that gives people access to information of public authorities. As clearly said by the Justice P N Bhagwati, “Where a society has chosen to accept democracy as its creedal faith, it is elementary that the citizens ought to know what their government is doing.” Hence, as citizens of India we need RTI Act to recheck or reassure accountability and transparency of the roles, duties, and functions of the public authorities.
What Information can be denied under RTI?
The following information can be denied-:
• When the information is given by a non-public authority organization. For example- a Private corporate, an institute, Cooperative Society, or if the authority is controlled by the Government.
• Any document that does not fall in the category of the “information” definition specified above.
• The Right to Information Act 2005 gives every citizen the right to get information from any “Public Authority”.
The Act gives specific duties to the Public Information Officer (PIO) and gives him the right to seek a penalty in cases of default.
What type of questions cannot be asked in RTI?
Yes there is some limitation regarding the questions that can be asked in the online RTI. If an answer to your question is in available in public domain, authority or in records easily accessible or controlled by public authority, then your question is valid. According to the RTI Act, an “Information contained in any form, including documents, records, memos, e-mails, bits of advice, opinions, press releases, orders, circulars, logbooks, contracts, reports, samples, papers, models, or any data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which is accessible by any public authority under any other law for the time being in force.” In simple words you can request information if and only if the question or reason is falls under the above stated definition of information.
What type of questions are not answered in online RTI?
You are not allowed to ask any hypothetical questions as a query in the online RTI application. For example, questions starting with “Why”, “How” and “What” can be the ones usually forbidden. This may be the case when there is a probability that answers to these questions are not available in the record of Public Authority. However, this doesn't mean that all questions that are prefixed with “What”, “How” or “Why” are dismissed. Some of them might meet the requirements of the RTI Act and considered legal. If a citizen asks questions about, the purpose or reason of any enforced and existing law, to the Public Authority of the respective department. Then the Public Authority is bound to attend the question and present a valid answer. Likewise, if a citizen asks a question that is not under the hold/jurisdiction/ supremacy of the Public Authority or department, or has not yet been implemented by the Legislature, then RTI isn’t bound to answer the question.
What are some questions that have been rejected before and cannot be asked in an online RTI portal?
• How is the government planning to ban a life sentence?
• Abolish personal law?
• Implement uniform civil code, etc.
Worried whether your query is a valid online RTI question? Comment below to ask the expert panel from and go ahead with filling the online RTI application without a doubt.
Is RTI a legal right?
Yes RTI is Legal, you are not doing against the law while filing a RTI. As a citizen of this country you own every fundamental and constitutional to demand information as and when required. Still not sure read more to find out why RTI is a legal Right.The Freedom of Information Act, 2002 was replaced by the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the Parliament on 15th June 2005. It is a legal, fundamental right for every citizen of India. The law came into force on 12th October 2005 and have been accessed by thousands of Indians around the globe. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is described as a Fundamental, Constitutional, and Legal right by Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Remarkably, all Fundamental rights are Constitutional rights, but the vice-versa is not always true. As per Article 19, RTI is a Constitutional Right too. According to the same Article, RTI is designated as a legal Right too.
What Documents are required for RTI?
Need for documents depends on different stages of RTI. it depends on whether your RTI is not answered within 30 days or if denied by the concern authority.
As soon as you decide file RTI you go online or off line and submit RTI, at this moment you don’t need any document. You need to wait for 30 days, there could be 2 scenarios after waiting period. Either your RTI request is denied, or your RTI not answered yet
A. In case of denial you need to find out, if the request is made valid and does not fall under exempted question. If not then you can file it again
B. In case of RTI not answered you can appeal for answer.
• In these both cases while making a first appeal you need a copy of original RTI that was filed before.
• In case you are not satisfied with the result you can go for second appeal
• In case of second appeal, you will need certain documents that will mainly comprise of the documents from the first appeal.
Should you keep any documents handy while filing an Online RTI query?
The answer varies and depends on the scenario you are in. As soon as you decide file RTI you go online or off line and submit RTI, now you don’t need any document. Now you wait for 30 days, there could be 2 scenarios after waiting period.

1. RTI request is denied 2. RTI not answered yet

A. In case of denial you need to find out, if the request is made valid and does not fall under exempted question. If not then you can file it again.
B. In case of RTI not answered you can appeal for answer.
• In these both cases while making a first appeal you need a copy of original RTI that was filed before.
• In case you are not satisfied with the result you can go for second appeal
• In case of second appeal, you will need certain documents that will mainly comprise of the documents from the first appeal.
What documents, if any, would you need to register online RTI?
According to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, there are no rules that notifies the need of any identity proof when the application is referred to Central Governments.
• State Government do have the privilege of setting their personalized RTI rules in addition to the general rules.
• Right from the initiation of the RTI Act, some State Governments have had disputed views on the submission of identity or address proof during the time of online RTI application.
What documents would you need for the second appeal?
You need to carry a soft copy, in case of online RTI, or hard copy of the following documents
• A copy of the application submitted to the Central Public Information,
• A copy of the reply received, if any.
• A copy of the previous appeal made.
• A copy of the order received from the First Appellate Authority.
• Copies of other documents relevant to the appeal.
• A record of the documents inferred in the appeal.
After second appeal if the result is not satisfactory, you cannot appeal third time. Now you would have to approach high court for further information or proceeding
Which State Government have preferred collecting a supporting document?
• In Odisha, the government did stand by the rule to showcase relevant documents when the applicant claimed to be Below Poverty Line (BPL).
• In Rajasthan, the High Court ordered a rule urging the public authorities to collect proof of identity attached to the RTI application. This came after an applicant gave an untraceable address after filing an RTI request.
Is it possible that a public authority can requests citizens to submit certain documents?
Yes, at time, you can receive an alert via email or SMS informing that a public authority has requested documents supporting the online RTI filed. In this case click on the online RTI portal. Scroll to the online RTI status, it will reflect an option to upload the requested documents.

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