The RTI Act prescribes a very simple procedure for obtaining information. It requires:
Step 1: An application specifying the particulars of the information sought.
Step 2: Submitting the evidence of payment of application fee along with the application. Rs 10 in cash/court fee amounting to Rs 10, if the information provider is an office of the state, or IPO worth Rs 10 if the information provider is an Central Government office. No fee is required for BPL applicant.
Step 3: Sending the application to the Public Information Officer/Assistant Public Information Officer concerned. Ordirily, an information seeker knows where the required information is available and the application should be filed to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the office concerned. As the RTI Act requires that the applicant should address the application to the PIO of the ‘public authority concerned’, the applicant should try to locate the organisation concerned and file an application. In cases where the applicant is not sure who the public authority is, some efforts may be required to find the public authority concerned.
If the information is available with more than one public authority, separate applications should be filed with the different PIOs.
In case the application is submitted to a PIO with whom the information is not available but the information is available with another PIO within the same Public Authority, he is duty bound to get the same from the PIO concerned in the public authority and supply the same to the applicant. If the information pertains to some other public authority, the PIO is required to transfer the application to such public authority within five days of the receipt of the application under intimation to the applicant.
A dated acknowledgement should be obtained from the receipt counter of the public authority. If it is sent by post, the proof of sending by post should be retained.
The department concerned should provide the information sought within 30 days, and if it has to send the matter to another department, the information sought should be provided within 45 days.
If the applicant is not satisfied with the information provided, he/she can move the first appellant authority. If he/she is not satisfied with that also, he/she can move the second appellant authority.
The essential requirements of an application filed under the RTI Act are:
(a) The applicant should be a citizen of India.
(b) The application should contain the particulars of information sought.
(c) The evidence of payment of application fee should be enclosed.
(d) The address of the applicant should be available for sending a reply.
Persol details except those necessary for contacting an applicant are neither required to be mentioned nor can be called for by the PIO.