Moneylife RTI Workshop: Be specific; there is a method and discipline in filing a RTI application
The 117th workshop organised by Moneylife Foundation focused on how one can file a RTI application to get the best results
"There is a method and discipline to filing a RTI (Right to Information) application. The RTI Act is a very important one which can help our country become better" said Gaurang Damani, social and legal activist, who conducted this session on RTI, the eighth on the subject organised by Moneylife Foundation. He took up individual cases of the applicants and advised them on the best way they could frame their queries to get the details and avoid rejection.
In order to file a RTI application successfully one should be specific and concise, preferably keeping the description to a limit of 150 words. "Do not ask too many questions, especially if they are pertaining to different departments", said Mr Damani. This would delay the information even further and chances are one may get information that you may have not even asked for. The application should be grammatically and technically correct, he added.
Individual cases were also taken up and the applicants were informed how best they can go about to file their application. Cases are rejected for reasons as petty as using an expired notary stamp. Care should be taken that the stamp is dated less than six months ago. "Another way to get around this is to use a postal order", said Nagesh Kini, a chartered accountant and activist, who was a key resource person for this workshop.
Applicants were informed to do there ground research first to find if the information is available on the government sites. Even if it is not available, the process for searching for the information one may come across something that may be related and could make the RTI application stronger. This would help in filing the application and getting information that is not readily available.
In cases where the claims were rejected, the applicants were taken through the best way they can file the first appeal. One should by all means try to get the information here as a second appeal could stretch to two years. Many applications are rejected due to wrongly framed questions. Applicants were briefed to how to frame their questions to extract the required information. How the question is worded is of utmost importance.
Participants were able to draft and discuss their RTI application at the Moneylife Knowledge Centre. They participants were given a chance to clear their doubts after the seminar.
Moneylife Foundation has conducted several successful workshops to explain the RTI Act. Based on feedback from these workshops the foundation organised a RTI clinic to help people file RTI applications.
Format for RTI application:
Format for filing First Appeal:
Format for filing Second Appeal to state CIC:
Format for filing Second Appeal to Central IC:
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