Things to know about RTI Act in India

Last Updated at: October 23, 2019
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Things to know about RTI Act in India

Introduction

In India, a democratic country where the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is the right of the general public to know about the significant decisions taken, rationale and consequences of such decisions. Information and knowledge are essential for every individual. Information is the tool with which the people can appropriately exercise their social, economic political rights.

What is RTI?

The right to free access of information was claimed in a village of Rajasthan in 1987, where several labourers called for the government to check the performance records of the labourers as they were denied wages on grounds of inadequate performance. After protests, it was found that there was corruption on the government side, hence this right was a strong weapon to keep an eye on the government,

After that the demand for an essential tool in the hands of the citizens to ensure a check on the working of government authority took place. After all this, in the year 2005 the right to Information Act was passed by the Government. The Right to Information is one act that intends to make arrangements for the masses where they can access information under the control of the public authorities.

Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may appeal information from the government authority and it is the duty of that authority to revert back within 13 days. This act has enabled citizens everywhere to interrogate and probe explanations from the legislature, executive and judiciary.

The aim of RTI is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority and to eradicate any type of corruption in the public authority. Section 4 imposes the authority to maintain and provide access to all the information specified in Section 4(b) by applying Suo moto (self-initiative) action. This information not only helps people to be aware of the information but it is acceptable evidence in any legal proceeding.

Per Section 3 of RTI only Indian citizens are eligible to file the application for any information. The guideline issued by the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions department directs that if any RTI application filed on behalf of organization, should be accepted as a personal application on the behalf of that name of the person mentioned in the RTI application rather than being rejected.

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Who are all covered under the RTI?

It covers various departments as the sole spirit of the act is to promote transparency and accountability within the government. Although almost all the departments and bodies controlled or funded by the central government are covered under the act however departments funded by the state government are accessible only in those states which have the state RTIs

 There are certain departments which do not fall under the purview of the given act. These include departments dealing with defense and national security.  The state of Jammu and Kashmir is also an exemption from the right to information act.

How to file an RTI?

There are three ways to file the RTI which is by online from rtionline.gov.in; it can also be sent via post to the concerned department; or in person by visiting the public information officer of the concerned department and then the respective authority will guide the procedure. The procedure is fairly simple, keeping in mind the fact that people who file it are general citizens of the nation.

Read in detail on how to file an RTI here.

Conclusion

 RTI has constantly been hailed as legislation that has the power to alter the approach of government functioning. It is a symbol of hope for a more transparent and more accountable government. The Act can place the power of knowledge in the hands of the citizens by properly making use of it.

Things to know about RTI Act in India

1570

Introduction

In India, a democratic country where the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is the right of the general public to know about the significant decisions taken, rationale and consequences of such decisions. Information and knowledge are essential for every individual. Information is the tool with which the people can appropriately exercise their social, economic political rights.

What is RTI?

The right to free access of information was claimed in a village of Rajasthan in 1987, where several labourers called for the government to check the performance records of the labourers as they were denied wages on grounds of inadequate performance. After protests, it was found that there was corruption on the government side, hence this right was a strong weapon to keep an eye on the government,

After that the demand for an essential tool in the hands of the citizens to ensure a check on the working of government authority took place. After all this, in the year 2005 the right to Information Act was passed by the Government. The Right to Information is one act that intends to make arrangements for the masses where they can access information under the control of the public authorities.

Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may appeal information from the government authority and it is the duty of that authority to revert back within 13 days. This act has enabled citizens everywhere to interrogate and probe explanations from the legislature, executive and judiciary.

The aim of RTI is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority and to eradicate any type of corruption in the public authority. Section 4 imposes the authority to maintain and provide access to all the information specified in Section 4(b) by applying Suo moto (self-initiative) action. This information not only helps people to be aware of the information but it is acceptable evidence in any legal proceeding.

Per Section 3 of RTI only Indian citizens are eligible to file the application for any information. The guideline issued by the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions department directs that if any RTI application filed on behalf of organization, should be accepted as a personal application on the behalf of that name of the person mentioned in the RTI application rather than being rejected.

Talk to our Legal Experts

Who are all covered under the RTI?

It covers various departments as the sole spirit of the act is to promote transparency and accountability within the government. Although almost all the departments and bodies controlled or funded by the central government are covered under the act however departments funded by the state government are accessible only in those states which have the state RTIs

 There are certain departments which do not fall under the purview of the given act. These include departments dealing with defense and national security.  The state of Jammu and Kashmir is also an exemption from the right to information act.

How to file an RTI?

There are three ways to file the RTI which is by online from rtionline.gov.in; it can also be sent via post to the concerned department; or in person by visiting the public information officer of the concerned department and then the respective authority will guide the procedure. The procedure is fairly simple, keeping in mind the fact that people who file it are general citizens of the nation.

Read in detail on how to file an RTI here.

Conclusion

 RTI has constantly been hailed as legislation that has the power to alter the approach of government functioning. It is a symbol of hope for a more transparent and more accountable government. The Act can place the power of knowledge in the hands of the citizens by properly making use of it.

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