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How does Right to Information Act work?

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What is the Application Procedure for requesting information?

  1. Apply in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area, to the PIO, specifying the particulars of the information sought for.
  2. Reason for seeking information are not required to be given;
  3. Pay fees (Rs.10/-) as may be prescribed (if not belonging to the below poverty line category).

What is the time limit to get the information?

  1. 30 days from the date of application
  2. 48 hours for information concerning the life or liberty of a person
  3. 5 days shall be added to the above response time, in case the application for information is given to Assistant Public Information Officer.
  4. If the interests of a third party are involved then time limit will be 40 days (maximum period + time given to the party to make representation).
  5. Failure to provide information within the specified period is a deemed refusal.

What is the fee?

  1. Application fees to be prescribed which must be reasonable.If further fees are required, then the same must be intimated in writing with calculation details of how the figure was arrived at;
  2. Applicant can seek review of the decision on fees charged by the PIO by applying to the appropriate Appellate Authority;
    No fees will be charged from people living below the poverty line
  3. Applicant must be provided information free of cost if the PIO fails to comply with the prescribed time limit.

What could be the ground for rejection?

  1. If it is covered by exemption from disclosure. (S.8)
  2. If it infringes copyright of any person other than the State. (S.9)

Appeal Process

  1. First Appeal: First appeal to the officer senior in rank to the PIO in the concerned Public Authority within 30 days from the expiry of the prescribed time limit or from the receipt of the decision (delay may be condoned by the Appellate Authority if sufficient cause is shown).
  2. Second Appeal: Second appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission as the case may be, within 90 days of the date on which the decision was given or should have been made by the First Appellate Authority. (delay may be condoned by the Commission if sufficient cause is shown).
  3. Third Party appeal against PIO's decision must be filed within 30 days before first Appellate Authority; and, within 90 days of the decision on the first appeal, before the appropriate Information Commission which is the second appellate authority.
  4. Burden of proving that denial of Information was justified lies with the PIO.
  5. First Appeal shall be disposed of within 30 days from the date of its receipt. Period extendable by 15 days if necessary. (S.19)

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