Filing RTI Application Online
Moving towards greater transparency, the Government of India has made filing RTI application online possible by launching an online web portal.
Indian Citizens inclusive of those who are residing abroad will be able to file RTI application through this Portal.
The prescribed fee of Rs.10 for RTI application can also be paid online through a payment gateway of State Bank of India by way of internet banking of State Bank of India and its associate banks and by using debit/credit cards of Master/Visa. This facility at present is available only for 37 Ministries/Departments of Government of India.
Few things to note about the RTI filing online:
– Registration: The website supports registration, but it isn’t mandatory
– Payment: As is the norm for RTI applications, Rs. 10 is being charged as fee for filing. However, payments can be made only through State Bank of India or associated bank’s internet banking services or using debit or credit cards.
– Characters limit: Strangely enough, the application form has been limited to 500 characters only. For longer forms, citizens will have to upload a PDF attachment in the “Supporting Document” column.
– Reference Number & Tracking: On submitting the application on the website, an unique registration number will be issued for future reference, which can be used to check the status of the RTI application. The application will then be electronically transmitted to the nodal officer of DoPT who will then forward it electronically to the concerned Central Public Information Officer. Note that every General Post Office (GPO) has an RTI desk
– SMS Alerts: Applicants will also get intimated about any additional charges through email. On registering their mobile numbers, applicants can also get SMS alerts.
– Limited Ministries: In the first phase, only applications for the “main ministries/departments of Central Govt”, located at New Delhi can be filed. RTI applications/first appeals cannot be filed for other Public authorities under Central/State Govt. through this portal, and citizens will have to file those with the GPO.
The Centre had last month started an online facility — eIPO (electronic Indian Postal Order) — for Non-Residential Indians to pay fee of Rs. 10 to access their Right to Information from abroad.
Note: Do not file RTI Applications for public authorities under State Government including Government of NCT Delhi through this portal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. To which Public Authority can I file a request?
An applicant who desires to obtain any information under the RTI Act 2005 can make a request through this RTI Online Portal to only the Central Public Authorities of main Ministries/Departments located at New Delhi initially. In the first phase, this facility is available to Ministries/Departments/Apex Bodies mentioned in the list available in ‘GUIDELINES’.
2. How do I write my application for seeking the information as per RTI Act 2005?
The text of the application may be written in the prescribed column of the form. At present, the text of the application is confined up to 500 characters only in the prescribed column of the form.
In case, the text of an application contains more than 500 characters, it can be uploaded as a PDF attachment in the “Supporting Document” column of the form.
3. How do I make the payment for RTI fee?
After filling the first page, a non-BPL applicant has to click on “Make Payment” button for remittance of the prescribed RTI fee.
The applicant can pay the prescribed RTI fee through the following modes:
- Internet banking through SBI and its associated banks.
- Using ATM-cum-Debit card of State Bank of India.
- Credit/Debit card.
It may be noted that no RTI fee is required to be paid by any citizen who is below poverty line, as per RTI Rules, 2012. However, the applicant must attach a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate government in this regard, along with the application.
4. Do I get any receipt for online filing of RTI application?
On submission of an application, a unique registration number will be issued, which may be referred by the applicant for any future reference.
It may be noted that the application filed through this RTI Online Portal will reach electronically to the “Nodal Officer” of the said Ministry/Department and “Not” to the CPIO of the concerned Ministry/Department.
The Nodal Officer will transmit the RTI application, either electronically or physically to the concerned CPIO.
5. What will happen to my application if I select a wrong Public Authority in the prescribed form?
In case the RTI application is not meant for the Ministry /Department which has been selected by the applicant, the “Nodal Officer” of the said Ministry/Department will transfer the application electronically to the “Nodal Officer” of the concerned main Ministry/Department located at New Delhi, under section 6(3) of the RTI Act.
6. Will I be informed about the additional fee (if any) is required to pay?
In case additional fee representing the cost is required for providing information, the Nodal Officer will intimate the same, which can be viewed by the applicant through ‘View Status’ option in the RTI Online Portal and an e-mail alert will be sent to the applicant for the same.
For submitting the additional fee online, the applicant needs to use the option ‘View Status’ in the RTI Online Portal and on providing the registration number of the request option for ‘Make Payment’ will provided.
7. How do I file an appeal with First Appellate Authority?
For making an appeal to the first Appellate Authority, the applicant has to select the option “Submit First Appeal” in the RTI Online Portal and fill up the form that will appear.
The registration number of original application may be used for the reference.
The appeal so filed through this RTI Online Portal will also reach electronically to the Nodal Officer of the concerned Ministry/Department and not to the first Appellate Authority.
The Nodal Officer will transmit the first appeal to the concerned First Appellate Authority (FAA), either electronically or physically.
8. Do I need to make any payment for filing an appeal?
As per RTI Act, no fee has to be paid for first appeal.
9. Do I get any SMS from RTI Online Portal?
Though optional, the mobile number can be provided by the applicant/ appellant in order to receive SMS alerts.