In India, like many other countries such as Canada, Bulgaria, Brazil, Australia etc, citizens have also right to get information about government policies, works and its enlisted organizations etc in the form of The Right to Information Act 2005. The act empowers the citizens to get information they want related to government and its attached functionaries. Nowadays, many Indian citizens are well aware with the act, but there is also a large number of people, which is not aware with this act, even a large number of those people who are aware with the ACT, however, don’t know how to apply in order to get information. This article will help you to know how to get information from government offices, departments and functionaries.
Prior to knowing how to get information, you should know what is RTI ACT 2005? The act was passed by Parliament of India on 15 June, 2005 and made effective on 12 October, 2005. It is effective in all states and union territories of India except Jammu & Kashmir, because this state has its own RTI ACT called Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009. According to The RTI Act 2005, in every governmental department, there is a PIO who is appointed for providing required information to the citizens of India. A CPIO or PIO cannot refuse to provide information to any citizen of India, however according to article 8 of the ACT, CPIO or PIO can refuse to provide informations which are confidential. There are 11 subjects on which a CPIO or PIO can refuse to provide information. The time period for providing the required information is 30 days if you’ve applied to the PIO, but if you’ve applied to the assistant PIO, then information must be provided within 35 days. In special matters in which the information is related to the life and liberty of the person, information should be provided within 48 hours.
Now certainly you are thinking that how can we draft an application and in what format. But don’t be worried about that, because there is not any fixed format for applying for getting the information. You can do it simply by using a plain paper, just write an application to the CPIO or PIO of the department and attach a Rs. 10/- Postal Order/Demand Draft/Bankers’ Cheque in favor of “Account officer of the department” with it and send it through ordinary post/speed post to the concerned CPIO or PIO. The procedures and application fees for getting the information vary from state to state, so please read the procedures carefully before applying for getting information. If the required information will not be provided within stipulated time frame by the CPIO/PIO/APIO of the department, then you can apply to higher authorities against the concerned officer of the department.
An example of RTI application format is below:
The Public Information Officer,
Employees Provident Fund Organization
Plot No. 23, Sector-23, Dwarka, New Delhi-110075.
Subject: Getting information regarding delay in EPF withdrawal.
I am having EPF account number DL/XXXXX/XXXXXX and applied to withdraw my money on 15 Dec., 2010. Since then, more than 2 years have been elapsed but I haven’t got my money in my bank account. I don’t know the reason and have not got any letter from the regional office, Dwarka, New Delhi. Therefore, I want to know the following points related to my EPF account:
(1) What is the status of my withdrawal application?
(2) What is the reason this latency?
(3) What is the name of the officer who is responsible for this latency?
(4) What is interest on the money from the day of withdrawal application?
(5) Provide me the name and contact details of the first appellate authority for this RTI application.
Declaration: I hereby declare that I am a citizen of India and shall not misuse of the information.
EPF Account Number:
Details of Attached Demand Draft/PO: