FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ON RTI ACT, 2005
AS ON JUNE 2013

Q.1. When did the Right to Information Act, 2005 come into force?
Ans: The Right to Information Act, 2005 came into force on 12th October, 2005.

Q. 2. Who are covered under the Act?
Ans: All citizens of India are covered under the Act. The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Q.3. When was the State Information Commission of Tripura set up?
Ans: The Tripura Information Commission was set up on 19th January, 2006.

Q.4. Is there any Rule made by the State of Tripura to facilitate implementation of the RTI Act, 2005?
Ans: The Tripura Right to Information Rules was formulated in 2006. Subsequently, it was revised and the Rules, as had been revised came into force with effect from 4th February, 2008.

Q.5. Where is the State of Information Commission of Tripura located?

Ans: The Tripura Information Commission is located at Secretariat Annexe Building, Pandit Nehru Complex,
Agartala- 799 006. Telephone numbers:- (0381) 231- 8021/232-6561/232-4146; Fax – (0381) 231-8021
E-mail: tripura[dot]info123[at]gmail[dot]com and website: www.rtitripura.nic.in.

Q.6. What is information?
Ans: Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005 defines ‘information’, which means any material in any form. It includes records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force.

Q. 7. What are the rights guaranteed to a citizen under the RTI Act, 2005?
Ans: It includes the right to:– 1. Inspect works, documents, records. 
2. take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records. 3. take certified samples of material. 4. obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, videos cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.

Q.8. Is partial disclosure allowed?
Ans: Sec. 10 of the RTI Act allows an SPIO to disclose information partially providing only that part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from any part of the document that contains information that can be disclosed.

Q.9. What is a Public Authority?
Ans: A “Public Authority” is any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the State Government. The bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the State Government and non-Government organizations substantially financed by the State Government also fall within the definition of public authority. The financing of the body or the NGO by the Government may be direct or indirect.

Q.10. What is a Public Information Officer?
Ans: All Public authorities are required to designate some of their officers as Public Information Officers. They are responsible to give information to the citizens who seek information under the Act.

Q.11. What is an Assistant Public Information Officer?
Ans: The Public authorities also designate some of their officers as Assistant Public Information Officer to receive the applications from the citizens seeking information under the Act or appeal petitions for forwarding them forthwith to the Public Information Officers/FAA/State Information Commission. All public authorities have designated State APIOs at each sub-divisional level, apart from ASPIOs placed at different levels under the public authorities. The Assistant Public Information Officers, however, are not responsible to supply the information.

Q. 12. What is the fee for seeking information from the State Government Public Authorities?
Ans: A person who desires to receive information from a State Government Public Authority is required to send an application with a fee of Rs. 10/- in cash or in the form of Indian Postal Order or by Treasury Challan along with the written application seeking information against proper receipt. This is the fee charged and mode of payment for seeking information under the RTI Act in Tripura. However, the fee for applying for information and the mode of payment may vary from State to State. As under section 27 and section 28 of the RTI Act, 2005, the appropriate Government and the competent authority respectively by notification in the Official Gazette may make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Q.13. What is the fee for the BPL applicant for seeking information?
Ans: If the applicant belongs to below poverty line (BPL) category, he/she is not required to pay any fee. However, he/she should submit a proof in support of his/her claim to belong to the below poverty line.

Q.14. Is there any specific format of application?
Ans: The application can be made on plain paper. However, it may be ensured that the application contains the name, complete postal address and contact number of the applicant. Considering this aspect Form No-3 has been designed and placed in the Tripura Right to Information Rules, 2008 to guide the information seekers.

Q.15. Is it required to give educational qualification/employment status/official position of the applicant under the Act? 
Ans: No.

Q. 16. Is it required to give reasons for seeking the particular information from the public authority or stating the purpose for requiring the information?
Ans: No.

Q. 17. Is it possible to seek more than one item of information under one application or only one item of information is sought in one application?
Ans: In one application one or more than one item of information may be sought.

Q.18. What could be the ground for rejection?
Ans: If it is covered under the provision for exemption from disclosure under Sec.8 or 9 of the Act or as contained under Second Schedule of the Act. 

Q. 19. Who will bear the postal charges of dispatching information at the information seeker’s address through ordinary/registered post?
Ans: The public authority would bear the postal charges to send the information at the address provided by the citizens in their petitions seeking information.

Q.20. Is there any provision for exemption from disclosure of certain information?
Ans: Sub-section (1) of section 8 and section 9 of the Act enumerate the types of information which is exempt from disclosure. Sub-Section (2) of section 8 however, provides that information exempted under sub-section (1) or exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 can be disclosed if public interest in disclosure overweighs the harm to the protected interest.

Q.21. Is there any assistance available to the applicant for filing RTI application?
Ans: If a person is unable to make a request in writing, he/she may seek the help of the Public Information Officer to write his/her application and the Public Information Officer should render him/her reasonable assistance. Where a decision is taken to give access to a sensorily disabled person to any document, the Public Information Officer shall provide such assistance to the person as may be appropriate for inspection.

Q.22. What is the time period for supply of information?
Ans: In normal course, information to an applicant shall be supplied within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority. If information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be supplied within 48 hours. In case, the application is sent through the Assistant Public Information Officer, five days shall be added to the period of thirty days. If the application is sent to a public authority it shall be forwarded to the public authority concerned within a period of five days of receipt of the application and the public authority who is custodian of the information sought would provide the information within the statutory period of 30 days to the information seeker.

Q.23. Is there any provision of appeal under the Act?
Ans: If an applicant does not receive the information within the prescribed time of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him/her, he/she may prefer an appeal to the First Appellate Authority who is an officer senior in rank to the Public Information Officer. Such an appeal should be filed within a period of thirty days from the date on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the date on which the information or decision of the Public Information Officer is received. The appellate authority of the public authority shall dispose of the appeal within a period of thirty days or in exceptional cases within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal.

Q.24. What is the scope for second appeal under the Act?
Ans: If the First Appellate Authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the First Appellate Authority, he/she may prefer a second appeal with the State Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the First Appellate Authority or was actually received by the appellant.

Q.25. Can any citizen lodge complaint under this Act? If yes, under what conditions?
Ans: If any person is unable to submit a request to a Public Information Officer either by reason that such an officer has not been appointed by the concerned public authority; or the Assistant Public Information Officer has refused to accept his or her application or appeal for forwarding the same to the Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be; or he/she has been refused access to any information requested by him/her under the Act; or he/she has not been given a response to a request for information within the time limit specified in the Act; or he/she has been required to pay an amount of fee which he/she considers unreasonable; or he/she believes that he/she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information, he/she can make a complaint to the Information Commission.

Q.26. What is third party information?
Ans: Third party in relation to the Act means a person other than the citizen who has made request for information.

Q.27. What is the method of seeking information?
Ans: A citizen who desires to obtain any information under the Act, should make an application to the Public Information Officer of the concerned public authority in writing in English or Hindi or in Bangla or in the official language of the area in which the application is allowed to be made. The application should be precise and specific. He/she should make payment of application fee at the time of submitting the application as prescribed in the fee rules.

Q.28. Is there any organization/organizations which are exempted from providing information under the Act?
Ans: Yes, certain intelligence and security organizations specified in the Second Schedule are exempted from providing information excepting the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and violation of human rights. 

Q. 29. Other than the fees, what are the charges for receiving information from the public authority?
Ans: The charges may vary from State to State, based on decisions of the State Government. However, charges fixed in Tripura are as under:
Fee for any information provided in A 4 or A 3 size paper or part thereof is Rs. 2/- per page or actual charge/cost price of a copy in larger paper. Fee for samples or models is actual cost or price for samples or models. For inspection of records, no fee for the first hour and a fee of Rs. 5/- for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof. For information to be provided in computer diskette or floppy, a fee of Rs. 50/- per diskette or floppy has been fixed and for information in printed publication, price fixed for such publication or Rs. 2/- per page of photocopy of extracts of the publication is changed.

Q.30. What is the fee for filing the first appeal before public authority or second appeal and complaint before the Information Commission?
Ans: No fee is charged for preferring the first appeal before the public authority or second appeal/complaint before the Commission.

 
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Related Links
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