SNS’s work related to the RTI
SNS assists people exercise their right to information and empowers individuals to use the RTI Act. We work with residents of slums in Delhi to create awareness about their rights and entitlements and help them in using the RTI Act to access information from the government. On the basis of information accessed under the RTI Act, the Sangathan mobilises people to hold the government accountable for delivery of basic rights, entitlements and services like ration, pensions, health, sanitation, education etc. by organising public hearings, filings complaints and petitions etc.
Read about Sumitra’s battle for her pension in the Business Standard
Read how residents of slum settlements are using the RTI Act to ensure accountability of their MLAs in The Mint
Read how people are using the RTI Act to fight against bribes in the Times of India
Read how people have used the RTI Act to ensure quality education for their children in the TOI.
Proposed RTI Rules 2017
In March 2017, the government proposed a new set of rules RTI Rules 2017 to replace the existing rules and invited comments from the public.
Video of street play on the RTI Act by SNS’s Youth Group
How to use the RTI Act
In 2005, as a result of a decade long civil society struggle for a law guaranteeing citizens the right to obtain information, the National Right to Information Act was passed. It provides a practical regime for ensuring citizens’ access to information held by the government and all bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed directly/indirectly by government.
Under the RTI Act, citizens can access information from the legislature, executive and judiciary. The Act applies to the local, state and central governments.
The RTI Act guarantees citizens the right to obtain information held by a public authority in the form of records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models or data material held in any electronic form. Citizens can take copies or inspect records, inspect works and can also ask for samples of materials used.
The Act defines a process and timeframe for obtaining information and fixes accountability on officials to provide information.
Under the RTI Act, Public Information Officers (PIOs) have been appointed in all public authorities to receive requests and provide information.
Read more about the RTI Act in this primer on the law which includes suggested format for filing applications under the RTI Act and sample questions. Read a pamphlet on the RTI Act in English and Hindi.