Moneylife Events
How to use the RTI Act to Empower Yourself
RTI is the only act that allows  you to enforce your rights without moving out of your home, says Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC)

Sometimes, simple Right to Information (RTI) applications lead to significant results, said Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) addressing Moneylife Foundation members today. The key is to keep trying different things, you never know what may work, he said, giving the example of how his simple RTI request seeking information led to decisive action agaisnt a police official who was accused of rape.

Mr Gandhi went though the key provisions of the act and provided important tips on how to file effective applications and carry forward the demand for information through first and second appeals. He explained at length the rationale behind various provisions as well as what information can be provided under the act and what cannot. For intance, he said, the RTI act is only meant to provide information to a citizen as her right, but one cannot demand an explanation for various actions or decisions. Similarly, information that is already available on record can be provided, but a citizen cannot ask for information to be gathered or collated under the act.

Mr Gandhi pointed out that the RTI Act derived its power from the short and succint Section 3 which states, “Subject to the provisions of this Act, all Citizens shall have the Right to Information.” He explained how Section 4 gives a person to right to inspection of documents and was “the heart of the RTI Act” . Mr Gandhi, who evangelises the use of RTI by ordinary people, firmly believes that when a larger number of citizens demand information, the government will be under pressure to put out a lot more information out in the public domain and on their website, leading to a substantial reduction in inefficiency and corruption.

Mr Gandhi also explained what sort of information cannot be obtained under the act and the exemptions to disclosure of information  set out in section 8 and section 9 of the act which allows some applications to be rejected.

This time, Mr Gandhi also informed his audience about another important statute in Maharashtra that could empower citizens tremendously, when used in conjunction with the RTI Act. He said most people were not even aware of the existence of this legislation called the ‘Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act (Act 21 of 2006)’, whose strict provisions of action could lead to better governance and delivery of timely services if citizens filed application under its provisions.

In case if any RTI application is not taken, false information is given, there is non-compliance with section 4,  excessive fees are asked for etc a first appeal to the First appellate authority can be made within 30 days and the second appeal within 90 days of the order.  

According to Mr Gandhi, certain bottlenecks which impede the effectiveness of this act are lack of a culture of transperancy, awareness of the law and the slow pace of  the Information Commission mainly.

RTI is an act which provides public information and brings transparency and efficiency in the system. It leads to  SWARAJ- a true participatory democracy. It is a tool which can be used to bring about a difference sitting at home. So its time that enough of us try and make democracy more meaningful.

At the closing, Mr Shailesh Gandhi emphasised that we all need  to work together to make our nation a perfect place. He said, "Mera Bharat mahan nahi hai, Per yeh dosh mera hai!"  inspiring the audience to start taking action.




3 years ago

RTI applicant if denied information is entitled compensation under Consumer Protection Act

praveen sakhuja

3 years ago

i fully agree with Gandhi,"Mera Bharat mahan nahi hai, Per yeh dosh mera hai!" We cater to service of those who do not deserve respect, it is our ill fate. Chronology given by Gandhi to get information fails in the hands of CIC, when you are ill treated by those occupying the posts with their past sins.They do not hesitate in harassing citizens to please the Respondents. until or unless transparency travels from CIC first, respondnats cannot be blamed as they enjoy protection from CIC.

Nifty, Sensex will keep making attempts to hit a new high

While Nifty will likely hit a new high, caution is warranted

The BSE 30-share Sensex closed the week that ended on 18th April, at 22,628.84 (down 0.12 points), while the NSE’s 50-share Nifty closed at 6,779.40 (up 3 points or 0.05%) for the week. Last week we had mentioned that the indices would be weak this week. The benchmark edged lower on two out of three trading session this week, although it made up for the losses on the third day.

On Monday the market were closed on account of Ambedkar Jayanti. On Tuesday the market witnessed weak trading throughout the session and closed in the negative. Nifty closed at 6,733 (down 43 points or 0.64%).

Infosys reported a good fourth quarter result and has forecast revenue growth of 7% to 9% in dollar terms for the year ending 31 March 2015. The company has forecast revenue growth of 5.6% to 7.6% in rupee terms for FY 2015.

Snapping its declining trend, wholesale price index (WPI) in March rose to a three-month high of 5.7% mainly on a spurt in the prices of food items such as potatoes, onions and fruits. March CPI inflation rose to 8.31% on higher food prices.

On Wednesday indices witness a range bound session until noon after which it slipped into negative and continued to move lower. Nifty closed, in the negative for the third consecutive session, at 6,675 (down 58 points or 0.86%).

US economic data showed manufacturing in the New York region grew at a slower pace in April while the cost of living in the US rose more than projected in March as food and rents became more expensive. Confidence among US homebuilders rose less than forecast in April.

On Thursday market regained its lost strength and closed in the positive snapping three days of negative move. Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said it may upgrade India's rating outlook if the government that is elected next month address some of the country's fiscal and economic challenges through steps such as passing a goods and services tax. Nifty closed at 6,779 (up 104 points or 1.56%).

For the week, among the other indices on the NSE, the top two performers were FMCG (2%) and I T (1%) while the worst two performers were Realty (4%) and Media (3%).

Among the Nifty stocks, the top five stocks for the week were United Spirits (12%); Wipro (3%); Cairn (3%); I T C (3%) and TCS (3%) while the top five losers were D L F (9%); HDFC (4%); I D F C (4%); Tata Power (3%) and H D F C Bank (3%).

Of the 1,435 companies on the NSE, 617 companies closed in the green, 781 companies closed in the red while 37 companies closed flat.

Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:


ML Top sector

ML Worst sector

Lifestyle & Leisure


Real Estate


Software & IT Services






Farm & Farm Inputs












Sahara Group's public apology for aggressive advertisements against SEBI

Supreme Court admonished Sahara Group for its aggressive advertisements criticising SEBI

Sahara Group made a public apology in newspapers today saying its “earlier advertisements were put out under most unwilling compulsions.” This has been done just before the next Supreme Court hearing.


Supreme Court had admonished the company for placing aggressive advertisements against Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and even some media houses.


The advertisement said, “…the major point which went against us was our repeated communication through the elaborated newspaper advertisement for clarifying to around 34% of Indian population which has been closely associated with our advertisement.”


For non-compliance of Supreme Court orders, Sahara's Subrata Roy was taken into judicial custody in early March, and remains in custody for his inability to secure bail. The Supreme Court had asked Roy to furnish Rs5,000 crore in cash and another Rs5,000 crore of bank guarantee to secure bail, but so far that amount has not been generated.


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