Last Updated On: August 15, 2021
Salient Features of RTI
Right to Information mean, the right to – inspect works, documents, records, take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records, take certified samples of material and obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.
PIOs are officers designated by the public authorities in all administrative units or offices under it to provide information to the citizens requesting for information under the Act. Any officer, whose assistance has been sought by the PIO for the proper discharge of his or her duties, shall render all assistance and for the purpose of contraventions of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a PIO.
- PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request cannot be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing.
- If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately.
- PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his/her duties.
- PIO, on receipt of a request, shall as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in S.8 or S.9.
- Where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.
- If the PIO fails to give decision on the request within the period specified, he shall be deemed to have refused the request.
- Where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the requester – (i) the reasons for such rejection, (ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred, and (iii) the particulars of the Appellate Authority.
- PIO shall provide information in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.
- If allowing partial access, the PIO shall give a notice to the applicant, informing:
- That only part of the record requested, after severance of the record containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided;
- The reasons for the decision, including any findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on which those findings were based;
- The name and designation of the person giving the decision;
- The details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee which the applicant is required to deposit; and
- His or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided.
- If information sought has been supplied by third party or is treated as confidential by that third party, the PIO shall give a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request and take its representation into consideration.
- Third party must be given a chance to make a representation before the PIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice
The Application Procedure for requesting information is, apply in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the PIO, specifying the particulars of the information sought for. Reason for seeking information are not required to be given. Pay fees as may be prescribed (if not belonging to the below poverty line category).
The time limit to get the information is:-
- 30 days from the date of application
- 48 hours for information concerning the life and liberty of a person
- 5 days shall be added to the above response time, in case the application for information is given to Assistant Public Information Officer.
- If the interests of a third party are involved then time limit will be 40 days (maximum period + time given to the party to make representation).
- Failure to provide information within the specified period is a deemed refusal
Application fees to be prescribed which must be reasonable. If further fees are required, then the same must be intimated in writing with calculation details of how the figure was arrived at. Applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by the PIO by applying to the appropriate Appellate Authority. No fees will be charged from people living below the poverty line. Applicant must be provided information free of cost if the PIO fails to comply with the prescribed time limit.