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National Right to Information Act 2005

The National Right to Information Act 2005 became operational from October 12, 2005. It applies to all local, state and central governments.

Highlights of the National RTI Act, 2005

  • Covers central, state & local governments, and all bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed directly/indirectly by government funds. Covers executive, judiciary and legislature.
  • Gives all citizens of India the right to seek any material in any form (including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, reports, samples etc) which is held by or under the control of any public authority.
  • Includes the right to: (i)inspect work, documents, records; (ii) take notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records; (iii)taking certified samples of material; (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, tapes etc.
  • Application to be submitted in writing or electronically, with prescribed fee, to Public Information Officer (PIO). No need to specify reason for seeking information or other personal details
  • Information to be provided within 30 days. 48 hours where life or liberty is involved. 35 days where request is given to Assistant PIO. 40 days where third party is involved and 45 days for human rights violation information from listed security/ intelligence agencies.
  • Provides for two appeals in case complete and correct information is not provided within the stipulated timeframe. First appeal with senior official in the department. Second appeal with the Information Commission (independent body). Onus of proof on refuser/public authority
  • In case of violation of the provisions of the Act there is provision for strong penalty imposition. Penalties imposable by Information Commission on PIO or officer asked to assist PIO :

    - For unreasonable delay Rs 250 per day up to Rs 25,000
    - For refusal to accept application, malafide denial, knowingly providing false information, destruction of information, etc. up to Rs. 25,000 fine
    - Recommendation for departmental action for persistent/serious violations

How to apply for information under the RTI Act?

A person can apply for information on a blank piece of paper giving her name, address and details of information required under National Right to Information Act. Click here to view a sample format of an RTI application.

Sample questions for seeking information under the RTI Act

Pamphlet in Hindi on the RTI Act

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