Know more about Right to Information and the Ways to File an RTI?

Often times, most people hesitate in getting into anything that includes government offices or officials these days. Because they are aware of the fact that their path will be blocked by corrupt government officials, delayed post services, and responses from the officers. Consequently, they drop the thought of looking for the information that they want to know about from the government. The same goes for RTI, cases of defense, dowry, market rights, education, business, nearly anything that comes under the RTI act. Although the Indian government has its own website particularly for the RTI Act and also provides the form to file RTI’s.

However, there are various types of cases that the website doesn’t accept or cover, such as public authorities under the state governments and many more. Not to mention, the government site is pretty boring and not exactly user-friendly.

Thankfully, there are various private firms that give you the ability to file RTI, just by filling out the RTI application online form. Moreover, these services also provide solutions for appealing to RTI and other legal consultations without any hassle.
So, you do not have to run to the post office or make demand drafts or go through other meaningless bands.

But, What Exactly is RTI?

RTI stands for Right to Information. The Right to Information is a part of fundamental rights, that comes under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19 (1) states that every citizen has freedom of speech and expression.

In early 1976, in the case of Raj Narain vs the State of UP, the Supreme Court stated that people can’t speak or express themselves unless they know. Hence, the right to information is embedded in article 19. In this same case, Supreme Court additionally said that India is a democracy, so people are the masters. Consequently, the masters have every right to know how the governments are meant to serve them, or how they are functioning. Also, every citizen pays taxes.

So, this makes the Right to Information vital to any democracy. Basically, the Right to Information covers access to information that is held by or comes under the control of any public authority, and it also includes the right to examine the work, records, document, take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents and certified samples of the materials and attain information which is stored in electronic form as well.

This can be quite complex because, while there are several laws preventing or prohibiting the giving of information, there is no clear permit legislation for the public’s right to access information held by the government. And making the Right to Information Act, 2005 is a considerable improvement over the Freedom of Information Act [2] and an important step in the Democratic Republic of India. It is the result of a long fight by democratic authorities that began with a people’s movement like Mazdoor Kisan Sakthi Sanghatan, an organisation of agricultural labour, which was created for information about development activities, and Jan Sunvai, which is a public hearing in Rajasthan, and several continuous campaigns by the human rights activists around the country.

The Right to Information Act is certainly expected to enhance the quality of decision-making by public authorities, and the government, by removing barriers in the path of knowing information concerning numerous ongoing and present programs.

What Rights are Available Under the RTI Act 2005?

The Right to Information Act 2005 enables every citizen to:

  • Ask any questions from the government or inquire for any information
  • Take copies of any government documents or materials
  • Examine any government documents
  • Survey any government work
  • Take samples of materials from any kind of government work

The Main Question that Arises here is, Why Does an Ordinary Person Go to File an RTI?

Each and every person pays taxes, whether directly or indirectly. As a matter of fact, it is everybody who pays the tax that runs the government. From a beggar to an IAS officer, everyone pays sales tax whenever there is a purchase and this money belongs to all the citizens. So, this is the right of every citizen to know where this money is going and for what purpose it is being used? And how much is being spent?

Therefore, every citizen has a right to question the government. The Right to Information Act allows citizens to question the government, examine their files, and take copies of government documents and also the government works.

So, Now Another Question is, Who Can File an RTI and When to File an RTI?

A person who is a citizen of India can file an RTI application. They can file an RTI at any point in time whenever they want to look for any information with regard to any government organisation, or an ongoing program, any public authority, etc.

So, next time whenever you want to file an RTI, you can directly go to private firms to make this procedure easy for you.