Streamline your tax compliance with our expert-assisted GSTR 9 & 9C services @ ₹14,999/-

Tax efficiency, interest avoidance, and financial control with advance payment @ 4999/-
Private Limited

RTI For Private Companies: Get Information From Private Bodies

In a recent judgement, the Madras High Court has ruled that Public Information Officers (PIO) who deliberately and tactfully deny information are unfit to hold office and must be shown the door. This will give a much-needed boost to furthering the impact of the Right to Information (RTI) act. In this article, you will learn how to file an application.

Table of Contents


As long as the information is not covered under Sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act, any other information about a private firm such as a hospital or a college that has been protected by the RTI Act can be accessed by the public.

Are there any instances where the Right to Information can be used to obtain information from private companies or private bodies, such as schools, colleges, and private companies? Yes.

In a landmark decision of sorts in the case Sarbajit Roy vs DERC, the Central Information Commission reaffirmed that privatized public utility authorities also fall well within the ambit of the Act, and are obligated to disclose information as requested by the citizen. This means that private bodies which perform a ‘public’ function will come under the RTI Act.

Secondly, Section 2 (f) defines information as  ‘any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force ‘.

A Pvt Ltd company, or Private Limited company, is a business entity with limited liability. It offers legal protection to shareholders while restricting the public trading of its shares.

RTI for Private Companies

So, say there is a college, a private body. It’s governed by a public authority, the Ministry of HRD.If the Ministry of HRD can ‘access’ information related to say ‘the qualifications of the teachers’ in that college, even you can get the information under the RTI Act! Rti for private companies isn’t directly subject to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, as it typically applies to public/government bodies. Private companies’ information, including “Rti for private companies,” is governed by their internal policies and relevant laws, like data protection regulations.

How to Get This Information?

Falling under the purview of ‘private entities’ are mainly private schools, colleges, coop societies/banks, private sector banks and insurance companies, public/private trusts, private service providers, and public limited companies.

  • The first step is for the citizen requiring the information to do his research and find out the government department under which the particular private body is registered.
  • The website of the Department will provide to the citizen the Public Information Officer ( ‘PIO ‘) who has to be contacted. The contact details of the concerned PIO will be available on the website.
  • The steps following this are similar in procedure to those that have to be followed in case of a normal RTI Application filed to a public authority.
  • The Application has to be filed as per the fees and the format prescribed by that Government (Central or State). The Fee details have to be accompanied by the mode of payment and postal order numbers or any other such imperative details as may be required. The information required will be furnished by the concerned PIO, as Government departments can summon information from private bodies under various laws of the state.
  • It must also be noted by Applicants that the information barred from disclosure under Sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act cannot be obtained under this Section either.
  • Summing it up, the advent of the RTI Act was one of the most beneficial steps by the government. The question was if an applicant could ask for information on private bodies. The answer is yes, as long as they perform a ‘public’ function that comes under the purview of the RTI Act.

Filing RTI Against a Private Company

Empowering citizens with the right to information, the Right to Information Act (RTI) extends beyond the public sector, encompassing private companies as well. Understanding the avenues within which you can file an RTI for private companies is key to harnessing this tool effectively.

Inspection of Work, Documents and Records

Exercise your right to transparency by filing an RTI request to inspect the work, documents, and records of a private company. This provides a window into their operations, fostering accountability.

Obtaining Notes, Extracts or Certified Copies of Documents or Records

Need specific information? You can leverage RTI to request notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents and records maintained by a private company, ensuring you access accurate and authenticated information.

Taking Certified Samples of Material

In certain cases, where certified samples of materials held by a private company are essential, the RTI mechanism becomes a valuable tool. It facilitates a legitimate way to obtain certified samples for various purposes.

Seeking Other Information Related to the Company

RTI for private companies extends to a broader spectrum. Whether it’s financial details, corporate decisions, or any other pertinent information, you can file an RTI request to obtain comprehensive details related to the workings of the private company.

Applicability of RTI for Private Companies

While private company registrations may not be explicitly covered under Section 2(a) of the RTI Act, recent legal developments have expanded the scope. Originally designed for public entities, the ‘appropriate government’ clause was limited to those substantially financed or controlled by governmental bodies. However, higher court rulings have extended the RTI Act’s reach, subjecting private organisations to its provisions under specific circumstances.

This shift provides a powerful tool for citizens seeking information from private companies, countering potential obstacles from public information officers. Even when claims of inadequate funding are made, the RTI Act empowers individuals to request and obtain essential information, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability in the private sector. Stay informed and explore the avenues that RTI opens for accessing crucial details from private entities.


We have tried our best to provide you with sufficient information, for any help or suggestion leave us your comment below or contact our team Vakilsearch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can individuals file an RTI (Right to Information) request for obtaining information from private companies in India?

Yes, individuals can file RTI requests for information from private companies in India, as certain higher court rulings have expanded the applicability of the RTI Act to include private organisations under specific circumstances.

What types of information can be requested from private companies under the RTI Act?

Individuals can request various types of information, including inspection of work, documents, records, obtaining copies of documents, samples of material, and any other information related to the company.

Is there a specific procedure or format for filing an RTI request with private companies, and where should the request be addressed?

While there isn't a specific format, the request should be addressed to the designated public information officer of the private company. The procedure typically involves submitting the request along with required details.

Are there any fees associated with filing an RTI request for information from private bodies, and how are the charges determined?

Fees may be applicable, and charges are determined based on the nature of the request. The fee structure can vary, and it is advisable to check with the relevant authority.

What are the rights and obligations of private companies in responding to RTI requests, and within what timeframe should they provide the requested information?

Private companies, like public entities, are obligated to respond to RTI requests. The timeframe for providing information is generally 30 days from the date of the request, and they must adhere to the rules and regulations specified under the RTI Act.

Can individuals seek information about commercial or proprietary details of private companies through the RTI Act?

The RTI Act does allow individuals to seek information about commercial or proprietary details of private companies, but certain exemptions may apply to protect sensitive business information.

Are there any exemptions or limitations on the type of information that private companies are required to disclose under the RTI Act?

Yes, certain exemptions exist to protect sensitive information, such as trade secrets or intellectual property. Private companies are not obliged to disclose information that falls under these exemptions.

How can individuals appeal if their RTI request to a private company is denied or if they are dissatisfied with the information provided?

If a request is denied or if individuals are dissatisfied, they can appeal to the relevant appellate authority within 30 days of receiving the response. The appeal process involves presenting the case to the higher authority for review.

What measures are in place to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of sensitive information when requested through the RTI Act?

The RTI Act includes provisions to protect sensitive information and ensures that exemptions are applied where necessary to safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of proprietary or confidential details.

Are there differences in the application of the RTI Act between private and public entities, and how is it enforced in the context of private companies?

While the principles of the RTI Act apply to both private and public entities, there may be differences in the application based on the nature of the information. Enforcement involves compliance with the Act's provisions and can include penalties for non-compliance.

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter blogs

Back to top button


Remove Adblocker Extension