This Article is submitted by –
Shekhar Kumar, a Law graduate
As the title itself says, this article is about the right of an Indian citizen to get the information from any public authority. As per the provisions of Right to Information Act,2005, an Indian citizen may request any information by moving an RTI (Right To Information) application to the concerned department. Then the department has to provide the requested information to the applicant within 30 days, and if the matter involves the petitioner’s life and liberty, then the information has to be granted within 48 hours of the receipt of such RTI application. It is a simple process designed in such a way so that any person can apply to request information without the help of a lawyer, requiring if he is only averagely educated.
This right to get the information is often practised by two groups, the 1st group is called “students” and the 2nd group is called “politicians”. Students usually move an RTI application in their universities to check their answer sheets when they are not satisfied with their results. Political parties use this as an attacking tool or weapon to expose the ruling party. For instance, getting information and data about the expenses really done in a government project.
However, RTI doesn’t have jurisdiction over each and every department of government such as RAW( Research & Analysis Wing), because some of the government information is confidential in nature and it should remain that way for security reasons inside India, on Indian borders and for the safety of Indian diplomats in Foreign countries.
Procedure & fee
The RTI application can be applied in 2 ways:
- Online RTI – An application for Right to Information can be submitted to the concerned department through an online portal. Firstly, the applicant has to simply register on rtionline.gov.in. Secondly, he has to draft a short and precise application requesting the information and finally it has to be sent to the concerning department or ministry. The fee is very nominal but not fixed as it depends upon the quantity or length of information sought by the applicant. Fee can be paid through debit, credit card, online mods, etc.
- Offline RTI – Firstly, the applicant has to draft an application containing all the particulars of the information sought. It must contain enough details like roll number, date of exam etc or any other relevant details according to the information requested. Secondly, the application is posted to the Public Information Officer of the concerned department/ ministry along with the supporting documents and evidence of paid fee. The Public Information Officer is bound by law to provide the requested information within 30 days.
“The views of the authors are personal“