Legal RTI

How to File RTI Online Application in India?

RTI online

Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI Act, 2005) helps the Indian citizens to access the government information in a timely manner. It helps to promote transparency in the working of the Government. As per the RTI 2005, the Government of India is liable to provide the information asked by the Citizens. However, in the case of failing to do so, the authority will be penalized. The RTI Act applies all over India except Jammu and Kashmir, as it has its own RTI Act.

In this blog, we will learn how to file an RTI online application and other aspects relating to it.

What Information can we seek through RTI online Application?

The objective of RTI online is to allow the citizens to demand the information from government authorities which includes contracts, circulars, records, reports, memos, papers, emails, documents and all other information consolidated in print or electronic form.

Even so, there are certain sections of administrative activities which do not come under the RTI Act. One of the highlights of the RTI Act 2005 is to empower the citizens to inspect the records physically that have been preserved by the government and its administrative bodies.

Who can seek Information through RTI?          

All Indian citizens can ask for information through RTI online. Citizens can ask for the inspection of the work and activities of the government or can simply exercise their right to know the information. To be the valid applicant to ask the information through RTI, you just need to be a citizen who wants to inspect records of governing and administrative bodies.

How to ask for Information through RTI?

To exercise your right to Information, you just need to fill an application with a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO). There is a CPIO with all the administrative levels of the government that provides all the required information to people who file an application or a query under the RTI Act. Online facility of filing the RTI application is available for Central Public Authorities and a limited number of State Public Authorities.

Exemption of information under the RTI

RTI (right to information) doesn’t provide the absolute right to the Indian citizen to seek information. The RTI Act, 2005 exempts a certain kind of information under the ambit of RTI. Such exemptions are provided in Section 8, Section 9 and the second schedule of Right to Information Act, 2005.

How can you file RTI online to central Public Authorities?

You can file the RTI online as well as offline. But, an online facility is limited to a few authorities only. Let’s take a look at the steps to be followed to file the application of RTI.

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STEP 1: Visit the Online RTI Portal

The first step is to visit the online portal of RTI. Once you click on the link, you will land on the following page, shown below-

RTI online portal

RTI online portal

Once you come across the above page, you will have two options. Either you can file the RTI without registering yourself or you can register yourself first. It is always advisable to register if you file frequent RTIs.

STEP 2: Filling the Personal Information:

RTI Personal information

RTI Personal information

Registration will also save you lots of time, as you are not required to fill your personal details such as name, address, contact information etc. You can also check the status of your RTI application by just filling in your credentials such as Username and Password.

STEP 3: Successful Registration

The moment you fill all the credentials asked in the above and click on the submit link. You will see the successful User Registration Page as shown below.

RTI online registration

RTI online registration

STEP 4: Verification and Activation of Account

RTI account verification and activation

RTI account verification and activation

Till now you are registration process is complete. After this, you just need to verify and activate the account as specified in the picture above.

STEP 5: Entering the Activation Key

The next step is to enter a username, password, and security code. And you just need to click on the Login button.

RTI activation key

STEP 6: Account Activation

On entering the Activation key and security code, you have to click on the Activate button for the activation your account. Once your account is activated, you will come across the following page-

RTI Account activation

RTI Account activation

Now, your account is active, you just need to go through the guidelines and tick on the read and understand box and submit it to move further.

STEP 7: Filing the RTI online Application

Filling RTI online Application

Filling RTI online Application

  • In the case of the registered user, you are required to fill only public Authority details. The following question is required to be answered – “Are you below the poverty line?”
  • You need to select the Department/Ministry/Public Authority and Apex body from the drop down. In case you are not able to find these options then you just need to type Public Authority in the search box.
  • Then pick the following option from the drop-down as per your understanding “Is the applicant below the poverty line?”
  • Either you can upload your RTI application in PDF format or you can directly ask your question here “Text for RTI Request application”
  • Once you have filled all the details, then you need to enter the security code and move further with the payments.
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In the case of offline RTI:

  • There is no specified or particular format available with the government. You can even write your application on a plain simple paper. You just need to make sure to mention your contact details including name and correspondence address clearly.
  • Address your application to the Central or State Public Information Officer (PIO) or Assistant PIO. In the application, the subject line should be “Seeking information under the RTI Act, 2005”. You should also write the name and full address of the office from which you are seeking information.

Charges to file RTI Application:

In accordance with the RTI Act, 2005, you need to pay the fees mentioned below and the fees may not be restricted to the following options-

1. Initial application fees

Initially, you need to submit the demand draft, banker’s cheque or cash with a receipt of Rs. 10

2. Charges for seeking the Information

  • You will be charged Rs. 2 per page printed, copied or created
  • Cost of paper or page using
  • Rs 50 will be charged, if the information is taken away in the form of Disk
  • Cost or actual price of sample or models requested under the RTI Act

3. Charges for the inspection of records

The first hour is free, and then you will be charged with fees of Rs. 5 per hour.

How long does it take to get a reply of RTI online?

As mentioned under the RTI 2005, you get a reply to your question or query asked through RTI within a period of 30 days. However, if the information is in relation to the “life and liberty of a person”, it will be furnished within a time period of 48 hours. Below is the table mentioning the time limits for getting the information of your RTI application-

ParticularsTime period
Time taken by PIO to reply to the application30 days from the date of filing the application
Time taken by PIO to transfer to another PA under sec 6(3)Within 5 days from the date of receipt of application
Time taken for PIO to issue a notice to 3rd partyWithin 5 days from the date of receipt of application
Time taken by the PIO to reply to the application if 3rd party is involvedWithin 10 days from the receipt of notice from PIO
In the case of the first appeal by the applicantAfter 30 days from the date of receipt of PIO’s reply
First appellate authority to pass an orderWithin 30 days from the receipt of the first appeal, or a maximum of 45 days, if the reasons are presented in writing
For making the second appeal before CIC/SICWithin 90 days from the date of receipt of first appeal orders
Deciding second appeal by CIC/SICNo specified time limit

What happens if you do not get the answer to your RTI?

  • There are guidelines and procedure for the applicants if they do not get the answer or not satisfied with it. Below is the appeal procedure-
  • An appeal must be filed with relevant first appellate authority within 30 days.
  • It takes around 30 days for the appeal to be reviewed and disposed of
  • You can file a second appeal to Central Information Commission if you are not satisfied, or your appeal is not disposed of. You can file a second appeal within 90 days from the last date of first appeal (i.e. 30 or 45 day time period of the first appeal).
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The right to Information is a very valuable and crucial medium. That allows you to put in queries and doubts regarding any government schemes and policies and helps you to get your answers. With digitalization of RTI applications, it has now become even easier and simpler to avail any government information.

RTI is a platform, where one can share their queries and doubts. A common man can involve in the government policies, by taking an active part in them.

For more information, please contact Enterslice.


Can I file an RTI application in India anonymously?

No, the Right to Information (RTI) Act in India requires the applicant to provide their personal details, including their name and contact information, when filing an RTI application. Anonymity is not permitted under the RTI Act.

Can I file an RTI application to obtain information from private companies or individuals?

No, the RTI Act applies to public authorities and government organizations. It does not extend to private companies or individuals.

Is there a specific format or template for filing an RTI application in India?

While there is no specific format mandated for RTI applications, it is important to include certain essential details. These include your name and contact information, a clear and concise statement of the information sought, the public authority or department to which the application is addressed, and the mode of receiving the response (email or physical copy).

Can I file an RTI application online?

Yes, in many states and central government departments, online portals have been established to facilitate the filing of RTI applications.

Can I withdraw or modify my RTI application once it has been filed?

No, once an RTI application has been filed, it cannot be withdrawn or modified. It is essential to carefully review and verify the information before submitting the application. If necessary, you can file a fresh application to seek additional information or make corrections to any errors in the initial application.

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