Get INFO with help of Right To Information (RTI) ACT

RTI Act
Right to Information Act
As citizens of India, we all pay taxes. Even a beggar on the street pays sales tax when he buys anything from the market. This money belongs to us. But where does this money go? Why are there no medicines in the hospitals? Why are people dying of starvation? Why are the roads in such pathetic conditions? Why are the water taps dry?
As citizens, we also have the RIGHT to question the government’s actions. The Parliament of India has passed new Right to Information laws, which empower citizens to question the government, including the citizen’s inspection of government files and the inspection of government projects that benefit the country.
Click Here  Read The RTI ACT in the PDF Format.

How to use the Right to Information Act 2005

The Right to Information Act 2005 is a legal tool that will help check corruption and hold the various departments, agencies and officials of the Government accountable. The Act prevents arbitrary action by any government servant. The RTI Act proposes a mission statement of sorts by stating that it is essentially a practical roadmap detailing the ways by which citizens of India can gain access to information that can promote good governance.
Indeed, the Act states that the ‘paramountcy’ of the democratic ideal must be preserved by reconciling and harmonizing the information economy of India.


What is an RTI application


Step 1:             Identifying the issue.
Step 2:             Identifying the relevant department of the Government. The law mandates a ‘Public Information Officer’ to transfer the application to the relevant department. In case the applicant refers the application to the wrong department, in no case can the application be returned to the applicant.
Step 3:             On a plain sheet of paper addressed to the Public Information Officer of the relevant department write down your questions. This can be in a simple letter format with the subject: Application under Right to Information Act 2005/Section 6 (there is no prescribed application form under the law for filing an RTI application.
Step 4:             Payment of fees — the application fees for the State of Tamil Nadu and the Central Government is Rs.10. The following modes of payment are acceptable in Tamil Nadu:
a.     Cash — 
The applicant goes to the relevant department in person and pays fees in cash. Please insist on a receipt/acknowledgement.
b.    Court Fee Stamps — 
The applicant affixes court fees stamps (as per amended rules, GO MS 72, dated March 20, 2007).
c.     Government Treasury — 
The applicant goes to the Treasury and pays under the RTI account head. The receipt should be attached to the application and sent by Registered Post Acknowledgement Due.
d.    Demand Draft — 
The applicant sends a Demand Draft addressed to the Public Information Officer, Name of the Department. The law also gives Public Authorities the liberty to club existing account heads to receive RTI fees. It would be advisable to confirm with the PIO of the relevant department about this. The DD should be attracted to the application and sent by Registered Post Acknowledgement Due.
e.     State Bank of India — 
All State Banks are allowed to accept RTI fees. Payment can be made under the RTI account head and the receipt should be attached to the application and sent by Registered Post Acknowledgement Due.
Note: For Central Government Departments payments can be made by cash, through Demand Drafts, Postal Orders or through RTI counters at the nearest Post Office.
Step 5:             The PIO should respond within 30 days of the receipt of the application failing which the applicant should make the First Appeal to the Appellate Authority of the same department. The appeal should be addressed to the Appellate Authority (the postal address is usually the same as the PIO).
Step 6:             The Appellate Authority gets another 30 days to respond failing which the applicant can make the 2nd appeal to the State Information Commission (for the State Government Departments) or Central Information Commission (for Central Government Departments) as the case may be.

Useful Addresses

Old No. 273, New No. 378, Kamadhenu Super Market (First Floor), Teynampet, Anna Salai, Chennai 600018.
Fifth Floor, Block No. IV, Old JNU Campus, New Delhi 110 067.
Public Information Officers and Appellate Officers
Government of Tamil Nadu web link.

5th Pillar

41, Circular Road, United India Colony, Kodambakkam, Chennai 600024, India.
Telephone: + 91 44 65273056 / 94451 64555
Fax : +91 44 42133677
Website : http://www.5thpillar.org

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