• Every citizen has a right to know how the Government is functioning.
  • Right to Information empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government, inspect any Government documents and seek certified photocopies thereof.
  • Some laws on Right to Information also empower citizens to official inspect any Government work or to take sample of material used in any work.

Right to Information includes the right to:

  1. Inspect works, documents, and records.
  2. Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
  3. Take certified samples of material.
  4. Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video , cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.

“Information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, 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.

“Record” includes:

  1. Any document, manuscript and file
  2. Any microfilm, microfiche, and facsimile copy of a document
  3. Any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not);
  4. Any other material produced by a computer or any other device;

An applicant cannot ask for opinions/advice/views under the RTI Act, unless the opinion/advice/view is already on “record”. However, under Section 4(1)(d), an applicant can ask for “reasons” behind a administrative or quasi judicial decision of a public authority, especially if he is a “affected person”.

Who can ask for information under Right to Information Act?
*Any citizen can ask for information under these laws.
*The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
OCI’s (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO’s (Persons of Indian Origin) card holders can also ask for information under the RTI Act.
*For citizens, OCI’s and PIO’s who are staying out of India, the RTI Application can be filed with the PIO of the local Indian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission
*They will inform you regarding the amount of application fee in local currency as well as the mode of payment.

Your name, address, contact telephone number and your email id
Information about Public Information officer, name, address e.t.c. In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI application to the Pio C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned Public Authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will have to forward your application to the concerned PIO.
Do not address your RTI application to the PIO by his name, just in case he gets transferred or a new PIO is designated in his place.
Mode of Payment available with CPIO, the fees, and Contact person to receive the application. (In most of the cases the Assistant Chief Public Information officer, ACPIO or directly the CPIO).
Public Authorities under the centre, states, legislatures and Supreme/High courts have framed separate rules for RTI. The amount of fees and the mode of payment varies and you should check the correct rules as applicable in your case.
Generally, you can deposit your application fee via:

  1. In person by paying cash [remember to take your receipt]
  2. By Post through:
  3. Demand Draft/Bankers Cheque
  4. Indian Postal Order
  5. Money orders (only in some states)
  6. Affixing Court fee Stamp (only in some states)
  7. Some state governments have prescribed some head of account. You are required to deposit fee in that account. For that, you can either go to any branch of SBI and deposit cash in that account and attach deposit receipt with your RTI application. Or you can also send a postal order or a DD drawn in favour of that account along with your RTI application. Please see respective state rules for complete details
  8. For Public Authorities under Central RTI rules, DoPT has recently clarified that BC/DD/IPO can be in favour of “Accounts Officer”. If the department or administrative unit does not have a Accounts Officer, they are supposed to designate someone, as per DoPT circular

You will need a proof, that your RTI application has been received by the PIO. The tested methods to submit a RTI application are:
Personally, by hand: Please ensure that you get your copy of the application and proof of payment duly stamped, signed and dated, either by the PIO or by the inward department
Registered Post AD: The AD card will act as proof of submission, after it is returned to you by the postal department. In case the AD card does not come back with a proper stamp, signature and date of receipt, follow up with the despatching post office to get the AD card completed
Speed Post (A postal department service): Once the application is sent by Speed Post, track it on http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Speednew/track.aspx and keep a print out of the delivery status carefully with you
Do not use ordinary post, private courier companies, etc. since these will not provide you with a confirmed proof of delivery.

Time line limit under which you will get the information?

You will get the information in 30 days.

One has to follow the following guidelines while filing 1st Appeal under Right to Information Act 2005.
  1. First appeal has to be filed within 30 days from date of receipt of decision of CPIO by the applicant with First Appellate Authority (FAA).
  2. If no reply is received within 30 days (35 days if application is lodged with ACPIO) from the date of receipt by CPIO (ACPIO), then first appeal has to be filed within 30 days from the date when reply was due from CPIO.
  3. Find out name, designation and address of first appellate authority from the decision letter of CPIO. If no reply is received, visit the web-site of the govt. dept/office/undertaking and refer RTI icon for these details.
  4. Despite above efforts, if you are not in a position to locate details of FAA, address your first appeal as under:
    The First Appellate Authority under RTI Act 2005
    Head of _______________Dept/office
    and mention address of CPIO’s dept/office
  5. If you want to be present during the first appeal hearing, mention it at the end of your appeal.
  6. No fee is prescribed for first appeal for Public Authorities under the Central Government.
  7. Some States have a prescribed fee and a specified format for First Appeal. Please check RTI Rules of individual Sates regarding First Appeal fees (if any), mode of payment, format (if any) if your First Appeal is to a Public Authority falling under State Government.
  8. All photocopies of enclosures mentioned in the appeal should be self-attested by the applicant under the word ‘Attested’ and full signature.
  9. Retain one set of appeal and postal receipt and AD receipt.
  10. You can deliver personally also, but mailing by registered ad/speed post is preferable. Couriers should be avoided.
  11. FAA has to decide on the appeal within 30 days from the date of receipt of first appeal. He can take a further 15 days (total 45 days), provided he gives the reasons for the delay in writing.
  12. The FAA can give either a “spoken” order or a written order.
  13. Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued specific instructions to FAA’s. These can be referred to here:

Fill in the above appeal/complaint form, index and chronological order of progress. If you are filing appeal remove ‘complaint/complainant’ words. If complaint is being filed, cut words “second appeal/appellant”

The Registrar,
II floor, August Kranti Bhavan,
Bhikaji Kama Place,
NEW DELHI 110066

  • Get it typed in double space.
  • Get one photocopy of:
    • Original application under RTI with its enclosures
    • First appeal with its enclosures
    • Bank demand draft/pay slip/postal order/cash receipt used for paying filing fee of Rs.10/-and other charges
    • Copy of demand letter of CPIO for charges if any
    • Postal proof of mailing original application and first appeal
    • Postal AD slips/official acknowledgement received from CPIO and FAA
    • Decisions of CPIO and FAA if received
  • Arrange all papers as per index and then serially number all papers on right hand side top corner. This is one original set of second appeal/complaint.
  • Prepare additional four sets as above by photocopying.
  • Sign each page of appeal, index and chronology chart [all five sets].
  • Self attest all the photocopies by signing under the word “Attested”
  • Send one set by speed/regdad/upc post to each of CPIO and FAA and attach photocopy of proof of mailing to the original, extra copy of second appeal/complaint and your copy after filling details in index/chronology chart.
  • Mail original set and one extra copy of set by registered AD to the commission at the following address:
  • Avoid courier services.
  • Retain one set for your record and reference, with proof of mailing and AD received from CIC/CPIO/FAA for having received second appeal/complaint.
  • If postal AD card is not received or acknowledgement letter is not received from CIC within 15 days of mailing, it is better to send by speed post copy of only second appeal/complaint [without enclosures] with a request to trace the same at CIC. Photocopy of regd post receipt may also be mailed to CIC.
  • You can consult local NGO/RTI activist for filing first or second appeal to have better result. Services are generally free.