The Right To Information Act passed by the Government of India empowers all citizens of India with the right to inspect official documents and ask questions about the working of the government and its various departments at the Centre, as well as in the States, down to every level of official function. This includes Parliament and State Legislatures, the Judiciary, Police, security forces, and all entities substantially funded by the government.

To file a RTI Petition here is what you need to do:

  1. Write or type out your application within 500 words (not counting address), in English, Hindi, or official language of your area. You can also include annexures beyond the word limit.
  2. Make a payment of Rs. 10 (Rupees Ten Only) by Cheque, Postal Order, or Demand Draft, in the name of the Accounts Officer of the relevant department, payable where it is located. Further fees for specific information may apply, but not at this stage.
  3. Send it via email, Indian post, or hand delivery to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the relevant department or office. You can also apply online, for information from Central Ministries and Departments, at http://rtionline.gov.in
  4. Please include proof of your payment of application fee (photocopy of cheque, postal order, or demand draft, with details clearly visible), along with your application.
  5. Don’t forget to include your full name, address and contact details.

What can you seek information about?

You can ask for copies of records, documents, memos, press releases, circulars, orders, contracts, reports, opinions, and advices on record, computer generated material, or electronic data.

How long will it take?

In cases where risk to life is involved, you will get a reply within 48 hours. In other cases, you will get a reply as follows:

  • 30 days when given to a PIO
  • 35 days when given to an Assistant PIO
  • 40 days when a 3rd Party is involved
  • 45 days when the petition is about human rights abuse and requested from security and other intelligence agencies

To download and read the complete Right To Information Act, please click here.

To read the RTI Act in other languages, please click here.