- RTI Act was passed in 2005 to empower all citizens of the country by providing them the right to information.
- The provisions of the Act extends to whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It extends to all public authorities except military and other intelligent services excluded by the Schedule 2 of the RTI Act.
- "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.
- "right to information" includes the right to (i) inspection of work, documents, records(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records(iii) taking certified samples of material (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.
- “third party" means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority.
- If the information sought under the Act does not relate to a public activity or interest or the information sought for intrudes into the privacy of a third person it cannot be disclosed. Nevertheless, if the information you seek for serves a larger public interest the same can be disclosed.
Excluded for the RTI ACT
Any information can be sought except those expressly excluded under section 8 of the RTI Act which includes –
- Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence.
- Information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court.
- Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.
- Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
- Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
- Information received in confidence from foreign Government.
- Information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes.
- Information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
- Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.
- Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over.
- Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed.
- Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.
Third party information
- Where a request is related to a third party the Public Information Officer(PIO) has to give a notice to the third party within 5 days of the receipt of the application asking the third party to make his submission. PIO has to take into account the submission of third party while disclosing the information. PIO can disclose the information if it serves larger public interests.
- Every Government department has to designate a PIO with whom RTI applications can be submitted.
- Required application fee has to be submitted with the form.
- For central government departments the fee is Rs. 10/-. There shall be no fee for persons living below poverty line.
- Though there is a prescribed format available (You can download the form here), there is no need that application should be in this format. It can be written on a plain paper.
- Fee can be by Cash or DD in favour of the department.
- Application can be submitted in person or by post.
Supply of information in normal course
Supply of information concerning life or liberty of a person
Supply of information relating to a third party
Time for following the procedure prescribed.
Where the applicant is asked to pay additional fee
Intervening period between informaing the applicant and payment is excluded while calculating the limits
- Appeals can be filed with the appellate authority mentioned in the letter of rejection along with the original application form.
- No prescribed format and no fee for this.
- Complaint /Appeal can also be filed with Central Information Commission and through website of RTI.()
RTI in Indian Railways
- Being a public organization, Railways is bound by RTI Act.
- Any information required by any person can be obtained from the PIO on application and payment of prescribed fees which are as follows:
For information under Sub-Sec.(1) of Sec.6 of RTI Act (which relates to an information from PIO)
For copy of records
Rs.2/- for each page (A4/A3 Size) created or copied
For inspection of records
No fee for first hour, thereafter fee of Rs.5/- for each subsequent hour(or fraction thereof)
For information on diskette or floppy
- The fees can be paid by way of cash at Headquarters or Divisional Cash office or at any Railway Station office Booking office. Alternatively by DD/Bankers cheque/IPO drawn in favour of FA&CAO for Zonal HQrs. & Sr.DFM of the respective divisional office.
- Information regarding Material Management, Freight Management, Tenders and other Public Information of Zonal Railways has been made available on Zonal Railways website. Names of Divisional as well as Zonal PIO/APIO also have been published on the Zonal Railways website.