The Indian government has announced that applications that fall under the Right to Information (RTI) Act can now be filed orally. The Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh noted this through a written reply in response to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The RTI Act, which was passed in 2005, is a transparency law that allows citizens to demand certain information from the government of India. The Act is applicable for all states in the country except for Jammu and Kashmir. It also calls for the government as well as public authorities to computerise their documents.
Once an RTI application is filed, the government is given a time frame of 30 days to respond to the original applicant with the information required.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
The minister gave details on the Section 6 (1) of the Act, that has provisions on how best to proceed if someone who wants to file an RTI request is unable to do so in writing. He said that in that case, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) or State Public Information Officer (SPIO) will not only assist the person seeking information, they will also take the request down in writing once it has been verbalised.
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The RTI Act has proved popular among activists and citizens. It has been reported that between 2015 and 2016, 9.76 lakh applications were filed under the Act. This is a 20% increase from the year before.
To know more about the RTI Act and to also file an application, you can head to the official website here