Steps to file an RTI

Recently I had to file an RTI in order to seek some clarifications on the reasons why some of the decisions that my college had made. The trouble and research that I had to go through inspired me to write this post.

RTI act came into force on 12th October 2005 with the aim to introduce transparency. The public authorities need to share all the documentation regarding any decision/indecision and give justification for their actions. Hence it makes them accountable to the public and makes it hard to cover up for any bad governence, corruption or simple carelessness. My experience says that it takes less than 20 minutes to file an RTI and get the ball rolling. Here is how I would recommend you to proceed.

Step 1. Research on your grievances. The more information you have gathered on the topic (formally or informally) the stronger you can make your case. Also it may be possible that your research itself would convince you that there is no need to file and RTI.

Step 2: Draft the RTI: Although you can file the RTI via email, please avoid it. The best way to get the ball rolling in an government office is have things in writing. RTI can be filed on a simple piece of A4 paper in any language (Hindi, english or the regional language). It can be hand written also.

Step 3: Locate the Public Information Officer/PIO. As per law, all government organizations need to have a designated Information officer who would be responsible to handle your RTI. If the department website does not have it, ask someone in the office. If you are still not able to locate him/her you can write to the head of the department.

Step 4: Pay the nominal fees of 10/-. Most departments prefer if you pay via a Postal Order/Demand Draft, however cash is also accepted. Based on the effort required in compiling the response, some additional fees might be charged to you later on, but its nominal.

Step 5: Submit the application
a. In person. Just walk into the office and file it in person. Usually there is hardly any waiting queue and the process should not take long.
b. Speed/registered post: Avoid Couriers because its not recognized by GoI.
c. Electronically: Although it is permitted, there is often a problem in sending the fees etc via this mode.

Step 6: Acknowledgement:
This is the most crucial step. All RTI applications have to be answered in 30 days. Hence please preserve the application number and date of filing.

I will be writing another post soon explaining how to respond to the possible reply/inaction on the RTI.

21 replies on “Steps to file an RTI”

In Mumbai, the Regional Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants conducts a weekend course on 4 Saturdays and Sundays on RTI. They may be doing it at other major centres also.

I have not done it. My dad recently gave one to check on which contractor has taken the license to repair the panchayat roads at my home town.
The road was fixed in 10 days after filing the RTI.

Hi, I want to file an RTI application to the Haryana Board of School Education but don’t know where to file or where to post it. Please help me in this matter

Hi. I want to file an RTI on the Ration Card office in Mira Rd, Thane E because an officer there refused to make a ration card in my name. He said I have to be either a widow or my name should be under my Father’s /Husband’s name in a Ration card. I find this absurd because if I can have a flat registered in my name, can adopt a child independantly, getting a Ration Card should not be difficult. Could someone please help me, I want to know whom the fees should be made payable to on the DD.

I had sent 8th class exams fees of my friends son by speed post on 14/9/2009 f/n, from chamba (H.P.) to Secy. School education board Dharamshala (H.P.) . The distance from chamba to dharamshala is approx. 150 km and as per post office record the same post was dispatched from chamba to dharamshala at 2:00 pm & assured the 2nd day delievery at the destination. But as per school education board the post received on dated 17/9/2009, as the last date was 15/9/2009 and they demand Rs 1000/- more as late fee. As my friend was not so literate and also poor. So please suggest me that whather the problem may be sought out by rti act. if yes then is the candidate can file petition himself.

thanks man for this comment. Sure this will help someone or the other. Thanks a lot even i was look for the same. Actually i need to file and RTI since its been one year i filed for duplicate mark sheet. but still i didn’t received yet. I query is i completed all my education in Coimbatore, can i file an RTI in Bangalore? as my current stay is Bangalore. Thanks in Advance. Lets show light for the others

“As per law, all government organizations need to have a designated Information officer”. What about a non government running trust/society that runs schools” Many trusts are there in India that run schools and are exempted from taxes etc.

This is very helpful to us and i want to tell you that you language and word is very clear so that every body can understand easily. Now i m suggesting you that please rights on various topics so that indian people got information easily by these types of sources. Thnx

Hi Ankur, thanks for the step by step precise information. I’m wondering whether an RTI will help in my case, which is as such……….my father along with his brothers have sold an inherited piece of land from their father to a builder who will be constructing a building and alloting a flat to each of the brothers. The problem here is that 2 of the brothers are doing separate underhand dealings with the builder over compensation for the delay in building the project and my father has no clue as to what underhand dealings are being made. Can my father file an RTI with the Registration office to find out if his brothers have registered agreements of the underhand dealings?

i doubt if that would work because registration office simply records the transaction and not the motivation behind it. You could however file a case against the builder seeking compensation for the delay

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