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Flow of a RTI application


Sunil Ahya

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The flow of a RTI application goes like this:

 

I - Flow A:

 

Step 1)
File a RTI application with the Public Information Officer - Section 6(1).

After filing the RTI, if you have:

 

> Not received a reply from PIO at all,

OR

> Received a reply from PIO but not satisfied with the PIO's reply/decision;

 

Step 2)
Then - File a first appeal with the First Appellant Authority - Section 19(1).

After filing a first appeal, if you have still not received the requested information, that is:

 

> Received a Decision from FAA but not satisfied with the FAA's reply/decision;

OR

> Not received a reply / decision from FAA at all.

 

 

Step 3)
Then - File a second appeal with the Information Commission - Section 19(3).

 

OR

II - Flow B:

 

Step 1)
File a RTI application with the Public Information Officer - Section 6(1).

After filing the RTI, if you have:

> Not received a reply from PIO at all,
OR

> Received a reply from PIO but not satisfied with the PIO's reply/decision;

 

 

Step 2)
File a Complaint with the Information Commission - Section 18(1).

 

III - Comparison between Flow A & B:

In Procedure A -
One goes through the First Appeal
level WHEREAS

 

In Procedure B
- One skips the First Appeal
level.

 

 

As far as possible procedure A is preferable to procedure B, because it has been generally experienced that Information Commissions have taken a view that a RTI applicant must go through the First Appeal level and thereby exhaust all the remedies available under the RTI Act before finally approaching an Information Commission.

 

 

IV - Recent Supreme Court Judgment in Chief Information Commr. and Anr v/s. State of Manipur and Anr in CIVIL APPEAL NOs.10787-10788 OF 2011, on Flow A [section 19(1)] v/s. Flow B (section 18(1)]:

Recently there has been a Supreme Court decision on the subject, which lays down, that if an aggrieved person intends to approach an Information Commission, he must do so as follows:

>
For Seeking Information
- Under section 19(3) of RTI Act.

 

 

>
For complaining on RTI matters
- Under section 18(1) of the RTI Act.

 

 

V - Time limit for filing first appeal before First Appellant Authority is as follows:

1) If the Public Information Officer has NOT REPLIED:

After 30 days from the date of receipt of RTI application by the Public Information Officer, upto 60 days from the same.

2) If the Public Information Officer HAS REPLIED:

But one is not satisfied / aggrieved with the Public Information Officer's reply: Within 30 days from the date of receipt of reply by the RTI applicant.

 

 

VI - RTI Act is a time bound one way track:

 

If the Public Information Officer has not replied OR you are not satisfied with the Public Information Officer's reply :-

Please do not go back to the Public Information Officer, but file a First Appeal with the First Appellant Authority.

 

 

Tip:

If the Public Information Officer's reply does not give the details of First Appellate Authority: -

 

Add the following at the bottom of the First Appeal
as postscript (P.S.)
and mail it to the same Public Information Officer
:

 

"P.S.

As per sec. 7(8)(iii) of the RTI Act, 2005 the Public Information Officer should have provided me with the details of the First Appellate Authority but because the Public Information Officer has not done so, it is his responsibility to forward this first appeal to the First Appellate Authority."

 

VI - TIME LIMIT FOR FILING SECOND APPEAL before Central / State Information Commission, as the case may be, is as follows:

 

1)
If the First Appellate Authority (First Appellate Authority) has given his/her decision, and if one is not satisfied / aggrieved with the decision of the First Appellate Authority:

 

90 days from the date of First Appellate Authority 's decision.

 

 

2)
If the First Appellate Authority has not given any decision at all:

 

After
the expiry of 30 day period from the date of receipt of the first appeal by the First Appellate Authority but within 120 days of the same (i.e. 30 + 90 = 120).

 

 

3)
If the First Appellate Authority has given a decision in the favour of a RTI applicant, asking the Public Information Officer to provide information, but the Public Information Officer still does not provide the requested information:

 

Within 90 days from the date of receipt of First Appellate Authority's decision.

 

Please Note:

 

Q: How much time should one wait after a FAA's positive decision whereby he has directed a PIO to provide the information?

 

Ans: It would depend upon a RTI applicant's subjective assessment of a PIO's intention to provide the information or not, despite the FAA's decision to disclose the same to the RTI applicant.

 

But having said that - 15 to 30 days would be a reasonable period to wait after a FAA's positive decision, before filing a second appeal.

 

Success is a struggle and I am sure you will achieve it.

 

 

1 Comment


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vijay_13

Posted

Sir such a nice explanation point to point. Thanks for such blog

 

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