Beginner's Guide to RTI (Right To Information Act)

The Right to Information Act, simply known as RTI, is a revolutionary Act that aims to promote transparency in government institutions in India. The Act came into existence in 2005, after sustained efforts of anti-corruption activists.

It is termed revolutionary because it opens government organisations up for scrutiny. Equipped with knowledge about RTI, a common man can demand any government agency to furnish information. The organisation is bound to provide the information, that too within 30 days, failing which the officer concerned is slapped with a monetary fine.

When did RTI begin?

RTI Act has been made by legislation of Parliament of India on 15 June 2005. The Act came into effect on 12 October 2005 and has been implemented ever since to provide information to crores of Indian citizens. All the constitutional authorities come under this Act, making it one of the most powerful laws of the country.

The following Q&A will help you get familiar with the Act and how to use it.

 

    1. How to File RTI?

Every Indian should know about RTI filing.The procedure to File RTI is simple and hassle-free.

    • Write the application (or get it typed, your choice) on a paper in English/Hindi/the official language of the state. Some states have prescribed format for RTI applications. Address it to the PIO (Public Information Officer) of the department concerned.
    • Ask specific questions. See to it that they are clear and complete, and not confusing whatsoever.
    • Write your full name, contact details and address, where you want the information/response to your RTI be sent.
    • Take a photocopy of the application for your record. If you're sending the application by post, it's advisable to send it via registered post, as then you will have an acknowledgement of your request's delivery. If you're submitting the application to the PIO in person, remember to take an acknowledgement from him/her.