Right to Information
Bringing Information to the citizens
Right to Information Act 2005 mandate timely
response to citizen requests for government
information. This attempts to provide a– RTI
Gateway to the citizens for Quick search of
information, web published by various departments in
What is RTI ?
What is Right to Information?
Right to Information is a fundamental right under
Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19 (1)
says that every citizen has freedom of speech and
expression. As early as in 1976, the Supreme Court
said in the case of Raj Narain vs State of UP, that
people cannot speak or express themselves unless
they know. Therefore, right to information is
embedded in article 19 and is a fundamental right.
In the same case, Supreme Court further said that
India is a democracy. People are the masters.
Therefore, the masters have a right to know how the
governments, meant to serve them, are functioning.
Further, every citizen pays taxes. The citizens
therefore, have a right to know how their money was
being spent. These three principles were laid down
by the Supreme Court while saying that RTI is a
fundamental right of the people of India.
If RTI is a fundamental right, then why do we
need an Act?
This is because if you went to any Government
Department and told the officer there, “RTI is my
fundamental right, and that I am the master of this
country. Therefore, please show me all your files”,
he would not do that. In all probability, he would
throw you out of his room. Therefore, we need a
machinery or a process through which we can exercise
this fundamental right. Right to Information Act
2005, which became effective on 13th October 2005,
provides that machinery. It lays down the process on
how to apply for information, where to apply, how
much fees etc.
Important provisions of RTI Act 2005
Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen
- Ask any questions from the Government or
seek any information
- Take copies of any government documents
- Inspect any government documents.
- Inspect any Government works
- Take samples of materials of any Government
One or more officers in every Government
Department have been designated as Public
Information Officers (PIO). These are the nodal
officers, who are supposed to accept any application
under RTI, collect information from that Department
and provide it to the applicant. If the desired
information is not provided within 30 days of
application or if the information provided is
incomplete, the concerned officer becomes liable for
a penalty of Rs 250 per day of default upto a
maximum of Rs 25,000 per application. And if wrong
information is provided, a penalty upto a maximum of
Rs 25,000 can be imposed on the officer.