Friday, September 4, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for simple Questions and Answer regading use and provisions of the Right to Information
Address of Information Commissions
Click above for the list of Chief Information Commissioners in States and in CIC. Address of Central and State Information Commissions has also been given here.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Appeal Procedure Rules, 2005
Fee Rules in Brief
Fee and Cost Rules

RTI Act, Rules

RTI Presentation
RTI Act (English)
Frequently asked questions

How to use RTI

Vishnu Rajgadia
The Right to Information Act has provided us the right to get information from the government. Through this we can now expose corruption and also bring to light those duties that are not being performed by officials. Through all this we can also seek solutions to our problems. We can ask for information about projects and plans. We can inspect files and check for any misappropriations. The government spends a huge amount of money for development work. We can ask for information about the work being done in our area. We can find out the amount of money that is being spent and where.
Information related to tenders, agreements, payments and estimates of engineering work etc. can be obtained with the help of the Right to Information Act. Besides these, information can be sought on the following:
You can demand samples of materials used for the construction of roads, drains and buildings etc.
You can demand an inspection of any social development work, work in progress or information related to any completed work.
You can demand an inspection of government documents, maps for the construction, registers and records.
You can demand information related to the progress made on any complaint filed by you in the recent past.

How to seek Information

Vishnu Rajgadia
After the implementation of the Right to Information Act, it is mandatory to appoint a Public Information Officer and an Assistant PIO in every public department. The names of these officials are to be made public through newspapers; they also have to be displayed on the notice boards of the public departments. Even if you do not get the names of the Public Information Officers, you can file your application in the name of the Public Information Officer to the concerned department and seek the information required.
In this way, you can seek information from different public departments. As per the provisions, every government department will specially appoint officials only for this purpose. They will accept applications under the Right to Information Act from citizens and provide the information sought.
For seeking information an application has to be submitted. There is no specific format or form for the application. You can submit a hand written application written on a plain sheet of paper. There are some departments, which have released forms, which are available free of cost. You can fill up the application form and seek the required information. If you want to deposit a hand written or typed or printed application no officer can refuse to accept your application.
You must take two copies of your application. An application fee of Rs.10 has to be deposited with the application. For receiving information, a payment of Rs.2 per sheet of A3 or A4 xerox sheets has to be made. No charges are levied for inspecting documents for the first hour, but after this the charges are Rs. 5 for every 15 minutes. For getting data on a CD or Floppy, Rs. 50 has to be paid.
All information sought has to be provided within a month. If the applicant does not receive any information within a month or is not satisfied with the information provided, he can first appeal to the First Appellate Authority and then to the Information Commission. If the appeal is accepted then information will be provided.
If some official is reluctant to provide information then he may also be penalized for not providing information within the stipulated period. The concerned official may be fined at the rate of Rs.250 per day to a maximum limit of Rs.25000 per application per day. However, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees.
It is sufficient to provide only questions for seeking information. It is not necessary to mention in the application as to why you want the information. Even the officials are not supposed to ask why you are seeking the information or putting up these questions. Similarly, you do not require any identity for seeking information. It makes no difference if you are a leader of a political party or an ordinary citizen. If you file your application as per the provisions then the officials are bound to provide the information sought by you. Even if you belong to a political party, the press or are any known personality you must apply as a common citizen so that the officials realize that this is the right for the common people and that they are accountable for it. The complete address of the applicant is compulsory though. If the applicant has a phone connection then the number has to be mentioned.
The applicant must receive the receipt for the amount of Rs. 10 paid while filing the application. When receiving the application the official will inform the applicant as to how and when the information will be provided. If the official denies accepting the application then it can also be deposited through registered post with a demand draft of Rs.10. No fee would be collected from people living below the poverty line.
If you are not provided information within 30 days or you are not satisfied with the reply, then you can appeal to the department’s First Appellate Authority. Even then if you are not satisfied then you can appeal to the State Information Commission.
An applicant may be denied some information like information related to the security, integrity and unity of the nation and information which would hamper the privileges of the Parliament and the State Assemblies. Information related to the Foreign Department, information concerning the life and security of the people can also be denied and should be avoided. Information, which would hamper criminal proceedings too must be avoided. However, the information sought by common citizens hardly falls under these categories. The Act also states that information, which is provided to the Parliament or the State Assemblies, can also be provided to the common people for their use.