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Hi all, I have a few questions: 1. How does one file an RTI application? Is there a set format? Is there a form that needs to be filled? Can somebody send me an application that you have filed so I can use it as an example to better understand? 2. Where is the office where the application needs to be filed in Pune? Where do I need to pay the fee? 3. The RTI site mentions that the application can be filed either in paper or electronically? Can you highlight the procedure of filing the application electronically? Can the payment also be made electronically? I really really really need to use this tool. Please help.
I am a RTI activist and assist those who want guidance in seeking information. I find that most of the PIOs are totally unaware of the provisions of the act. Most of the applications receive foolish and illegal answers thereby wasting precious time and efforts. On top of all, it becomes the public opinion that this is yet another law not meant to be implemented. I have seen that many of the replies to the applications have to be appealed against just for want of education of the PIOs. Therefore the need of the hour is to educate the PIOs about the wide provisions of the act and most important of all to create a mindset that they are there to release the information and not to block the same. It is important that each PIO must be accessible via email. It is a common experience that the email is an instant, inexpensive and effective means of communications. Therefore, it should be made mandatory for all PIOs to communicate through Email. My experience with Chief Information Commissioner was not much different. My mail was not answered for one week. When inquired the PA stated that the account has got blocked for some reason. However I respectfully urge the office of the CIC to fulfill in their primary purpose by opening more mailboxes or making arrangement s on the server. Further importance be awarded to completing the wbsite of the CEC and providing the links like this site would be most helpful. Further it is seen that an advance inspection before payment of charges meant for the certified copies. However the PIOs have not been responding to the same. It is not only the fundamental right of any consumer to examin what he is paying for but also would reduce the descents and appeals. Shekhar Pathare
Those who have read the RTI Act 2005 would have surely come across this and pondered over it:- What does the electronic means exactly refer to. Does it mean e-mail or does it stand for the fact that the application can be typed or printed from a computer. I live in Chandigarh and here we have a public facilitation center called Sampark. There are 5-6 Sampark centers evenly spread in this city. These centers are allowed to receive RTI applications from applicant along with the required fees. Upon receiving the application, they scan it and instantly email the scanned copy to the concerned C.P.I.O. After this the hard copy is also sent to the C.P.I.O. by courier. However, there have been certain discrepancies in the functioning of these Sampark centers. It resulted in me filing an RTI Application seeking information into the same. I Attach my RTI file along with the post for you to view and comment upon. So the question here is, whether receipt of the e-mailed copy of an RTI Application by the C.P.I.O. along with the RTI fee can be considered as the starting time for the 30day time period. Plz comment The present RTI application brings to light the fact that the administration is pumping money into implementation of design regarding which it has no policy. The lack of a policy in this regard is the reason behind the dilly dallying attitude of the PIO. Attached: 1. Entire correspondence including original RTI application. 2. A note on the case scan0001.pdf note.doc
The following appeared in "Hindustan Times", Published on May 23 2007. Colleagues would find it useful for future references. Comments invited. Title : INFORMATION IN INBOX NOW. THE RIGHT to Information is set to take its next big leap, into the Inter- net. Watchdog body Central lnfor- mation Commission will this week ask all departments to begin accept- ing applications via e-mail, and has proposed to the prime min- ister that government-relat- ed information of any kind that can be shared with citizens - possibly tens of millions of pages - be put on the Internet. In the future, citi- zens can even look for- ward to seeking informa- tion from the government sitting at home - like making pay- ments online through credit cards. "The idea is to ease things, so that right from the time of the first application, to the appeals, no pa- per activity is involved anywhere," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah told the Hin- dustan Times. At the commission's main office in New Delhi, paperless appeals are already possible. He said instructions will be sent out to all departments in a few days. "These are only recommenda- tory instructions, but departments usually follow them," he said. "The original application can be sent via e-mail, and the fee of Rs 10 can be sent through postal order whose number will be in the e-mail. The first and second appeals can be sent in a scanned version via e-mail," he said. The Right to Information Act, implemented in 2005, enables all citizens to seek any information from the government, with some riders related to national security and privacy concerns.
As reported by Varinder Bhatia in expressindia.com on 25 May 2008: In tech-savvy age, UT dept is handicapped - ExpressIndia.Com In tech-savvy age, UT dept is handicapped Chandigarh, May 24 The departments are depending on postal, courier and hand-delivered mails The ‘tech-savvy’ Chandigarh Administration is not actually what it claims to be’, The heads of more than 75 out of its 80 departments not even having an e-mail id even though crores of rupees have been spent on computers. All that the ‘tech-savvy’ UT Administration’s departments are depending onpostal, courier and hand- delivered mails. The facts came to light in the information given by as many as 80 departments of UT Administrati under the Right to Information Act. The information procured from various departments of UT Administration clearly say that though all the departments have computers and even provided internet connectivity, they neither have full-networking nor are making any use of the same. Irony of the situation is that the Administration’s departments neither use these computers for receiving or sending information to general public, nor maintain any record of communication made through these computers. Most of the departments, in reply to a question, replied that they never received any official e-mails from any outside agency. Even the ‘super-rich’ Chandigarh Housing Board, which is also the nodal agency for the ongoing multi-crore housing project in collaboration with Parsvnath, also has the same reply and maintained that “only postal/ courier/ hand delivered mails relating to this office, which are received in this office are properly recorded in the DAK receipt register”. This is the state of city administration, when UT Administration talks of e-Governance as the most significant aspect of its Information Technology Policy. If one looks at the tall-claims made by the UT Administration a few years ago, this is what the Administration had planned to achieve till 2005 - “e-Governance is the most significant aspect of the I.T. Policy of Chandigarh Administration. The vision of the Administration is to create a knowledge-based society, wherein every citizen of Chandigarh shall be able to excess the benefits of IT by the year 2005. Information Technology is to be used as a medium for effective interaction between the Administration and the public so that exchange of information and access to government departments is speedy and easy, leading to a better quality of life. As per Government of India guidelines, 1 to 3 per cent of each Department’s Budget is to be allocated for e-governance. The aim is to enable relevant information on a citizen’s portal which could be accessed either through the internet or through a chain of information centres by the public so that they are not required to visit government offices frequently”. The vision of the Administration is to create a knowledge-based society, wherein every citizen of Chandigarh shall be able to excess the benefits of IT by the year 2005”. However, with the present state of affairs, it could easily be assessed that how much on ground, the Chandigarh Administration has actually achieved when it comes to improving a “medium for effective interaction between the Administration and public”.
Is there a facility for submitting RTI applications, appeals, complaints and correspondence online via internet and by e-mail? Is there a directory of internet e-mail ids, urls of online application forms, and contact details of CIC, SIC, CPIO, PIO and various officers who can be contacted by e-mail and respond to the same.