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YOUR GUIDE TO THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
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This book has been written for those who receive or are likely to receive RTI applications from the citizens of India. Many officials lack knowledge of the RTI Act, 2005. Some know the law but are not sure how to apply it while processing the RTI applications received by them. Many feel harassed and frightened. This book aims at equipping operating officials with practical knowledge to make their RTI experience painless. I have included, in this second edition, many templates, for the benefit of various officials designated under the Act, especially the PIOs and APIOs. I hope these will help them in expeditious processing of applications and appeals. Lakshmy Chandrasekaran Iyer Mumbai September, 2022  
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Dedcation

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Dedicated to my parents Dr. S. S. Iyer & Mrs. N. Saraswathy IyerPREFACE

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PREFACE

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This book has been written for those who receive or are likely to receive RTI applications from the citizens of India.Many officials lack knowledge of the RTI Act, 2005. Some know the law but are not

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THERE IS NEVER A WRONG TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING!

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Every official of a public authority owes allegiance to his organisation. But when an official is designated as the Public Information Officer (PIO) under the Right to Information Act, 2005, he has to

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PREAMBLE TO THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

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We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens:Justice, social, economic and political;L

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RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION

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RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION

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An RTI application may be received by an organization in any one of the following ways: -By handBy ordinary post By registered post By speed postBy courier By e-mailThrough the RTI Online portal of th

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IS IT AN RTI APPLICATION?

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IS IT AN RTI APPLICATION?

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If you are in receipt of an RTI application, you should first make sure that it is an RTI application and not just an ordinary communication.Section 6 (1) of the Act states as under: -6 (1) A person,

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ARE YOU A PUBLIC AUTHORITY?

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ARE YOU A PUBLIC AUTHORITY?

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So now you have established that the communication you have received is an RTI application.The next step is to ensure that your organization comes under the purview of the Act.The preamble to the Act

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YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL ROLE VIS-S- VIS THE RTI ACT, 2005

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YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL ROLE VIS-S- VIS THE RTI ACT, 2005

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It is now established that an RTI application has been received by your organization and that your organization is a public authority, which, therefore, comes under the purview of the Act.The RTI appl

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY APIO

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY APIO

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You are an APIO and you have received an RTI application.You should examine the RTI application and understand what information is being sought therein.While your role as per the Act is to accept the

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY FAA

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY FAA

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You are an FAA and you have received an RTI application. This is generally a rare occurrence.Such a situation occurs because the RTI applicant is not aware of the organizational structure and he has e

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY PIO – PART I

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY PIO – PART I

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IS THE RTI APPLICATION IN ORDER?You are a PIO and you have received an RTI application. The role of the PIO is to reply to the RTI application.The application may have been received directly by you or

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WHO HAS SUBMITTED THE APPLICATION?

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WHO HAS SUBMITTED THE APPLICATION?

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Section 3 of the Act states as under: -3 Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.Therefore, you must ensure that the application has been submitted by a

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LANGUAGE OF THE RTI APPLICATION

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LANGUAGE OF THE RTI APPLICATION

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Section 6 (1) of the Act states as under: -6 (1) A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in t

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APPLICATION FEES

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APPLICATION FEES

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Section 6 (1) of the Act states as under: -6 (1) A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in t

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY PIO – PART II

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WHAT TO DO ON RECEIPT OF AN RTI APPLICATION BY PIO – PART II

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You have examined the application with reference to language, receipt of fees, signature, whether the applicant is a citizen, etc. to ensure that the application is in order.The next step is to proces

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TIMELINES

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TIMELINES

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The Act is highly time sensitive. There are three sections which prescribe time limits for the PIO to act upon an application. These are Sections 6, 7 and 5.Section 6 (3) of the Act states as under: -

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FURNISHING THE INFORMATION

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FURNISHING THE INFORMATION

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LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATIONWhile Section 6 of the Act states that the application may be in English, Hindi or the official language of the area in which the application is being made, there is no explic

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INSPECTION OF RECORDS

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INSPECTION OF RECORDS

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If the applicant has sought inspection of records under the Act and the PIO has decided to allow him to inspect the records then the following steps should be taken.a) A communication should be sent t

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THINK HARD BEFORE REJECTING THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

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THINK HARD BEFORE REJECTING THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

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One of the reasons why an RTI application is submitted to a public authority is because the citizen has experienced some real or imagined grievance. This grievance could be of a personal nature or it

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EXEMPTIONS FROM DISCLOSURE

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EXEMPTIONS FROM DISCLOSURE

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The preamble to the Act states that while democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information to contain corruption and to hold Governments and public authorities accountable to t

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DISCLOSURE OF THIRD-PARTY INFORMATION

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DISCLOSURE OF THIRD-PARTY INFORMATION

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Section 11 of the RTI Act states as under: -11. (1) Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record,

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FIRST APPEALS

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FIRST APPEALS

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The Act provides for two stages of appeals – the first and the second.The first appeal has to be preferred before the First Appellate Authority (FAA) and the second appeal before the Second Appellate

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SECOND APPEALS

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SECOND APPEALS

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In case the appellant is not satisfied with the FAA’s order or if the FAA has not passed any order on his first appeal, then the appellant may file a second appeal before the Information Commission –

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PENALTIES

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PENALTIES

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Section 20 of the Act provides for two types of punishment which can be imposed by the Information Commissions on the PIO, namelya) Penalty and / orb) Recommendation for Disciplinary Action.PENALTYSec

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MISCELLANEOUS

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MISCELLANEOUS

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ACTING IN GOOD FAITHSection 21 of the Act states that if a person has done or intends to do something under this Act, which is in good faith, then no suit can be filed against him. He cannot be prosec

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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1. The Constitution of India2. The Right to Information Act, 20053. Notification dated 31.07.2012, issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pens

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LIST OF TEMPLATES

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S.N.PARTICULARSPG1Forwarding of application from APIO to PIO2Application does not pertain to our organization but we do not know which organization it pertains to.3Application does not pertain to our

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