Right to Information in India

All you need to know about filing an RTI - iPleaders

The right to information, as enshrined in the Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2005, marks the end of a phase in human civilisation. It is the personification of one of the most mature faces of the country’s thriving democracy. This right is also a barometer of the expansion of human rights and liberties in their vital aspects, which naturally stem from the country’s democratic credentials. With the expansion of science, technology, and industry, a greater awareness of human rights and liberties prepared the path for democratic government. Almost every living being has an innate need for freedom. As a result of the growing awareness of diverse liberties, revolutions against autocracies and monarchs occurred in many areas of the world, and the political scene was visited by democracy, which grew and flourished in many countries. One of democracy’s key goals was to promote the advancement of human liberties and dignity.

People had high hopes and dreams for the new structure because our independence was the outcome of decades of struggle and sacrifice. As a result, the Indian Constitution established appropriate provisions in the form of fundamental rights and state policy direction principles.

What exactly does the term “information” imply?
Under the Act, the idea of information has been given a broad definition. The many modes and formats of information that can be accessed under the right to information have been specified in detail. Because it is the Act’s central theme, it has been included in all of its connotations, forms, and dimensions.

Any material in any form, including records, documents, manuscripts, files, 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 that can be accessed by a public authority under any other law currently in force, is referred to as “information.”

What does the term “Right to Information” mean?
“Right to Information” refers to the right to inspect work, documents, and records held by or under the control of any public authority, as well as the right to take notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records, and to take certified samples of material; and to obtain information on diskettes, floppies, tapes, or video cassettes.

It is the right to access information from a public authority that the authority owns or controls. This right applies to every item of information with a public purpose. For example:

Inspection refers to looking over a work document or record closely, carefully, and for a specific purpose.
Taking notes: this could entail jotting down specific details from the documents being examined.
Certified samples of material: in order to promote transparency and prevent corruption, it allows citizens to take samples from the material acquired or utilised by the government.

What method do you use to gather information?
Citizens who wish to acquire information under the RTI Act should submit a written request to the Public Authority’s Public Information Officer in English, Hindi, or the official language of the area in which the request is made. The application must be detailed and precise. He must pay the application fee as specified in the Fee Rules at the time of submission of the application. The applicant has the option of sending the application via mail, email, or personally delivering it to the public authority’s office. An Assistant Public Information Officer can also submit the application.

This application may be written or electronic, and it may be written or printed, or it may be sent electronically, such as via e-mail or fax. Any mode may be chosen by the applicant depending on the circumstances and his convenience. The choice of the language would be that of the applicant and the SPIO and ASPIO concerned cannot force the applicant to use a particular language. However, the SPIO may decide the mode of supply of information as per availability of the resources.

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