Right To Information (RTI) - India

We all have heard of RTI, “Right to Information” which is a part fundamental rights of every Indian citizen. Right to information also became an “Act” on 13th October 2005. Time and again it has proved to be one of the most powerful way to extract information from any organization/department. Read on for some more information on RTI.

We, the citizens of this country, pay taxes. Even a beggar pays sales tax when he buys anything from the market. This money belongs to all of us.

How many of the below mentioned questions haunt us once in a while in our lives?

1) Where does the tax that we pay, go?  Why the Govt. is not accountable to the people? How can the Govt. be made accountable?
2) There is severe shortage of medicines in the Govt. hospitals. Govt. allocates medicines to almost all the hospitals, but many doctors, admin officials misuse these medicines for personal purposes. How can we make the Govt. to effectively monitor the distribution of medicines?
3) Why are people dying of starvation?
4) The roads are in pathetic conditions. Where do the funds allocated for the construction and maintenance of roads go? Are these funds not sufficient for proper maintenance?
5) People are deprived of the basic needs such as potable water. Why can’t Govt. take measures for increasing water storage and effective distribution?
6) Why does my gas connection take more than a month to be issued?
7) Why does the Transport Dept. show so much reluctance/negligence in issuing a Driving License to the citizens in spite of them passing the necessary tests?
8) Why does the Passport Authority take more than 45 days to issue a passport to a citizen?
9) Why does the Income Tax Dept, which is very enthusiastic in collecting all sorts of taxes from citizens, don’t refund taxes on time?
10) What to do when a Govt. officer doesn’t respond to my complaints?

Don’t you want answers to the above questions?

Please Read on, learn about RTI act and try to solve problems all by yourselves. Do Not encourage corruption by bribing brokers, agents or the government officials.

There are many good laws in this country but none of those laws might work as effectively as the RTI Act, in aiding the common man.

Why do you think this law would work?
This law is already working! This is because for the first time in the history of independent India, there is a law which casts a direct accountability on the officer for non-performance. If the concerned officer does not provide information in time, a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay can be imposed by the Information Commissioner. If the information provided is false, a penalty of a maximum of Rs 25000 can be imposed. A penalty can also be imposed for providing incomplete information or for rejecting your application for malafide reasons. This fine is deducted from the officer’s personal salary.

The RTI act has brought many changes. Listing a few of them:
1) Made judges to disclose their assets.
2) Made the DELHI Water Board to disclose the secrets behind the DELHI Water privatization w.r.t the use of World Bank funds.
3) Brought many rural scams in villages of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh out in the open.
4) Made the gas company to issue many gas connections in a week’s time which were pending for months.

What does Right to Information mean?
It includes the right to:
Inspect works, documents, and records.
Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
Take certified samples of material.
Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.

Who can file, how to file, how much to pay?
Any Indian citizen can file an RTI. We need to file an RTI with the questions we have for them, along with our correspondence address (for them to respond).
We only need to pay Rs 10 as RTI application fee. Some depts. accept cash. For some depts. you need to pay using Rs10 postal orders or Rs10 court stamps.
Can we post the application or need to submit personally to the officer?
You can submit personally if the office is near to you or you can send by registered post with acknowledgment.

For more information please visit the below links:
FAQ: http://www.righttoinformation.org/faqs.asp
Govt portal on RTI : http://rti.gov.in/   or http://rti.india.gov.in/
Discussion RTI portal : http://www.rtiindia.org
CIC of RTI (Delhi) : http://cic.gov.in/
SIC of RTI (Andhra Pradesh) : http://www.apic.gov.in
RTI foundation : http://www.rtiindia.in/
RTI blog (Daily Updates) : http://www.indiarti.blogspot.com/ 


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