The importance of Right to Information Act…
No law has empowered citizens as much as the RTI Act. The fact that over 7 Lakh applications were filed in the year 2014-15, proves the popularity of RTI among the masses. People have realized that RTI is a tool to demand accountability from the authorities.
The purposes for which RTI is employed varies. Many people want to solve personal problems connected with passport delays, provident fund, life insurance, land and property records, State and Central examinations, public sector banks etc. Some other shave a larger public interest in mind such as exposing corruption and scams, malpractices in education, land-grabbing, criminality in politics etc. Many businessmen also make use of the RTI to safeguard business interests.
Assistance to file and follow-up RTI applications…
Filing an RTI application may appear to be simple on the surface, but common people are not aware of the modalities. Assistance is needed in filling-up the form and thereafter to pursue the matter until the required information is made available. Rules are also not uniform and different State Governments follow different rules. The decision may have to be appealed if the applicant is not satisfied with the answer.
Often RTI applicants face hurdles from bureaucrats and vested interests, although the presence of Public Information Officers in Government Departments and Public Sector companies has solved the problem to a great extent. Receiving information sought, within 30 days from the date of filing RTI application along with fees, is crucial.
The Resources section below lists out organisations who are geared to help prospective RTI applicants with guidance, assistance in drafting the application, finding out the correct PIO’s address and support in following up.