You can file RTI application through designated post office as well

In case you are filing your RTI application to any of the central government departments, just head to the designated Post Office where the central assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO) is duty bound to not only accept but also help you out in filing the application

Recently, I filed a Right to Information (RTI) application to the union home ministry and the central public works department (CPWD) to get information on the new post-retirement home of Pratibha Patil (after she abandoned her palatial one which was on 2.6 lakh odd sq ft on prime defence land at Khadki in Pune, after a series of articles in Moneylife. Her new one is a modest one – an existing government bungalow of around 2,500 sq ft, which is being refurbished. Apparently, though, it has been extended to 6,000 sq ft as per newspaper reports. I wanted to have details of that through RTI, which I am still awaiting.


Instead of sending my RTI application through courier by attaching the Indian Postal Order (IPO), (last time I had quite stupidly made a DD of Rs10, which cost me Rs35 to make it, when I had sent my RTI to the Rashtrapati Bhavan). Therefore, this time I decided to try out the Post Office.


I headed for the Pune General Post Office (GPO). Remember that you may not be able to file your RTI in each post office. You need to ask the post office headquarters of your village/ town/ city to find out in which branch the assistant central public information officer (ACPIO) has been designated under the RTI Act. The Department of Post (DoP) has designated around 4,707 ACPIOs across the country as of 30 June 2011.The numbers may have increased by now.


As per the RTI rules, you can pay Rs10 as fees in cash, DD or IPO. When I went to GPO, Pune, the ACPIO argued that I should stand in the long queue and first buy an IPO of Rs10 IPO. I insisted that I have the right to pay in cash too. When he declined, I called up RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar to take his advice. He advised me to ask the ACPIO to show any central government order or amendment which says you cannot pay in cash. That did it. The ACPIO quickly accepted cash though in a few minutes, got the IPO himself.


Nevertheless, you need to know that the Post Office accepts your RTI application for the central government. Its website , states in its instructions regarding implementation of the Right To Information Act 2005: “The Central Government has entrusted the Department of Posts to assist other interested public authorities under the Central Government including Ministries, Departments, PSUs, and Autonomous Bodies etc. in implementation of the RTI Act by designating CAPIOs on their behalf. While the role of the Department in implementation of the Act stems directly from the provisions of the RTI Act, the latter role, and perhaps the more demanding one, arises out of a decision taken by the Prime Minister of India that the Department of Posts should provide its services to the Central Government as a collection point for request for information under the Act by designating its CAPIOs as CAPIOs for the Central Government.’’


Remember, that being a CAPIO, he is given five days to submit the RTI application to the PIO that you have addressed to. Over and above the Rs10 fee, for additional Re1, the CAPIO also sends your request online, there and then.


So, what does the CAPIO of the post office do after he accepts your request? He generates three copies of the forwarding letter. The first copy is addressed to the Nodal Officer/ Central Point of the concerned Central Public Authority, second is meant for the requestor/ appellant as intimation and the third is kept as an office copy by the Postal department. The onward transmission of the request/ appeal is done through registered post. It is wiser to carry two copies of your RTI application yourself, besides your original one so that you can get the acknowledgement immediately.

Remember, that the DoP has given specific instructions to the CAPIO while receiving a RTI application from you. This includes the ACPIO helping you to file the RTI application if you need such help; checking that your RTI application is rightly written and; helping you to find the public authority if you so require.


The instructions are as follows:

At the time of receiving a request, the ACPIO should ensure the following:-

Receive the request, personally, so far as possible and Check whether the application has the following details:

1. Name of the applicant

2. Contact details of the applicant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

3. Name of the public authority from whom the information is being requested

4. Nature and details of the information requested

5. Whether proof of payment of application fee is attached or not

If the applicant claims fee waiver whether proof of BPL status is attached or not.

Whether the applicant wishes to receive the information by post?

Date on which application is being submitted.


Besides, following are the guidelines for the ACPIO:

(a) If the application is not legible assist the applicant to write it clearly. If the applicant has not filled in one or more of the above details bring the same to his/her notice and request him/her to fill in the details. Make sure that the date mentioned on the application matches with the date on which the CAPIO is actually receiving the application. This is very important for calculating the deadline while forwarding the application to the CPIO. The applicant may have attached a bank draft or a Banker’s Cheque or UR Receipt or proof of payment of application fee by any other mode prescribed by the Government. All such payments are valid. The CAPIO may not insist on a particular mode of payment. If claiming fee waiver, the BPL applicant must attach a photocopy of a BPL/ Antyodaya ration card or any other valid proof of BPL identity that may be prescribed by the Government.

(b) The applicant may not always know the exact name and complete postal address of the public authority who has the information he/she wants. So please do not insist upon the applicant to furnish these details. It is the duty of the CAPIO to send the application to the concerned CPIO. (The CPIO directory published may be consulted for this purpose.)

(c) To check if the applicant has not already attached proof of payment of application fees or if the applicant has not attached proof of BPL identity in support of his/her claim for fee waiver please request the applicant to furnish the same.

(d) To issue receipt for receiving complete request along with fees/ exemption there from in the prescribed format with due authentication (signature, stamp and date of receipt). The receipt cum acknowledgement may be issued to the requestor. The cash collected for the entire day may be deposited under ACG-67 receipt in the Post Office on the same day/next morning under clear records maintained separately for department of Posts and other public authorities.

(e) Record the particulars of the request received including date of receipt, identification number, name of the applicant with contact details, subject matter of the request, name of Ministry/Department/public authority to whom it is related, name and address of the CPIO, date of forwarding the application to the CPIO, particulars of mode of dispatch like RL No. date etc. The entries in the concerned register are to be made on the same day. Despatch should be made at the first available opportunity thereafter. The particulars in respect of the request received for the Department of Posts may be entered separately. A format has already been prescribed and available on the website.

If the application is not addressed to a specific CPIO or a public authority the CAPIO may read through the nature of information being requested. This will help the CAPIO to identify the public authority that is most likely to possess the information requested. The CAPIO may then dispatch the complete application to the concerned CPIO using the CPIO directory. The CAPIO need not maintain a copy of the application for their records.

(f) In certain cases, the application may be received by the CAPIO by post also. In such cases, the checks to be applied by the CAPIO would be the same as in cases where the application is received personally. If the request is complete in all respects and proof of payment of fees is also enclosed, the request should be entered in the register as in other cases and forwarded to the CPIO concerned.


Receipt of appeals by the CAPIO

7. The CAPIO may also be required to receive appeals made to various departmental appellate authorities or to the Central Information Commission in cases where the citizen is not satisfied with the response of the CPIO. No fee is applicable in appeal cases.

(a) In such cases, subject to the checks mentioned above, the following particulars should be available in all appeal applications.
Name of the appellant
Contact details of the appellant including complete postal address, telephone numbers and email address (if any)

Authority to which appeal is being sent (whether DAA or the CIC)
Details of the authority against whose decision the appeal is being made (whether CPIO or DAA)

Nature and details of the information requested originally
Copy of the information request submitted to the CPIO/appeal letter sent to the DAA (whichever is applicable)

Nature and details of the information requested originally
Rejection letter issued by the CPIO against the appellant’s information request (if any)

Copy of the order issued by the DAA (if any)

Date on which appeal is being submitted.

(b) No receipt would be required in such cases but an acknowledgement for receiving the application along with date of application will be necessary.

(c) The entries required in case of original applications to CPIOs will also be required to be made in case of appeals along with dispatch particulars of the appeals received. A separate register for recording the details related to appeals should be maintained. A format has been prescribed in the regard and available on the website.


Last month, all Indians abroad have the facility of filing RTI applications online. Now, Indian citizens too can file RTI applications online but only to issues related to Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT) ()

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Following are instructions on it: “This is a portal to file RTI applications/first appeals online along with payment gateway. Payment can be made through internet banking of SBI & its associate banks and debit/credit cards of Master/Visa. Through this portal, RTI applications/first appeals can be filed by Indian Citizens only for the main ministries/departments of Central Govt., located at New Delhi. RTI applications/first appeals should not be filed for other Public authorities under Central/State Govt. through this portal.’’


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

4 years ago
Namaste. Though this being a dated article, I have a query. Would like to know whether this provision of submitting RTI applications can be used to procure information from PSBs thru postal dept without charges? Kindly suggest the relevant orders (if any) in this regard.
thrishul h
5 years ago
list of central assistant Public Information Officer in bangalore can u provide?
kishore mvs
7 years ago
Nice article has posted here for RTI, to track your bluedart courier here
8 years ago
for giving reply to my RTI one office is aksing me to pay money for regisetred post through which they are going to send me the reply is it right or wrong practice?
9 years ago
Dear Madam,
I want to ask information from Gram Panchayat of my village regarding improvements done(such as school buildings, road etc)since last 2 years. to whome should i ask? From Gram Panchayat of my village or from any other address??
9 years ago
Dear Madam,
I want to ask information from Gram Panchayat of my village regarding improvements made in village(such as govt. buildings, roads etc) since last 2 year. from whome should i ask? gram panchayat ofmy village or any other address???

thank you

santosh, BE(cs)
9 years ago
what is the max duration to get a response .
Braj Sah
Replied to USha comment 5 years ago
30 Day
9 years ago
Dear Madam,

My grand father had some lands still undivided among their 5 sons and 5 daughters. the exact details of the lands and their property is not known even to my father. Being a grand son of my grandfather, i feel its my right to get my part of traditional resources. kindly guide me how to obtain the property details through RTI.
ved prakash mittal
9 years ago
If the name of recipient authority is not known whether column may be left blank i.e."Pay to" with the request to fill up at their end. Please advise. My RTI applications have been returned V.P. Mittal e-mail [email protected]
Vaidya Dattatraya Vasudeo
10 years ago
Can I have PDF of this article.
[email protected]
10 years ago
hemant charya
10 years ago
I want to file an RTI application at the Gram Panchayat of village Varsoli, Taluka Alibag, District Raigad. But I don't know whether it should be addressed to the Sarpanch or the PIO at the Collectorate? I will be deeply grateful if any expert here will guide me.
nagesh kini
10 years ago
I've always filed all my RTI applications from Mahim Head PO.
They only want to satisfy themselves that that the addressee is a "Central Govt. organization." They wanted to know this for the PSU United India Insurance and the Institute of CAs.
Three copies of the RTI applications one with Rs.10 PO to be submitted,one copy returned duly stamped another for their file.
I get a copy of the letter forwarding the application.
It is as simple as that!
Vinay Joshi
Replied to nagesh kini comment 10 years ago
Dear Nahesh Anna,

Oh! as simple then Vinitas post is dud!? She should have consulted you! I know Mahim Post office when half the time there's no soul around.

What is the outcome of your RTI? you've to post it.What's the subject?

Can you talk on ICAI president swindling money & if it was your application.

At the same time ICAI has ousted a member, removed him for bigamy, a landmark judgement. It was official gazette publication in '10.

Moral turpitude.

[If ICAI can why parliament can't? Diff sub.]

The April 30, Madras HC judgement [W.A No 1662 of 2010]
P. Mohanasundarm v. ICAI Prez.
[in spite of criminal SPL in SC - it was dismissed.]

Such is the ethics & morality of ICAI.

Members should be hanged for wrong doing!

You're an upright a person, you should always pursue RTI be ALM.


nagesh kini
Replied to Vinay Joshi comment 10 years ago
Mr. Joshi can you please cut off this "Anna" business.
I only supplemented what Vinita wrote. She is doing an excellent job. Your snide remark is unwarranted and needs to be withdrawn unconditionally.
I don't know which Mahim PO you are talking about. The PO at Kataria Marg is full and staff extremely co-operative.
You seem to be having a score to settle with the ICAI, including keen interest in its members' bigamous affairs. They can't be 'hanged' as demanded by you.
That anyway is not my cup of tea.
Your compliments for uprightedness noted.

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