The Election Commission of India on June 6, 2018 launched an online RTI Portal to help applicants seeking information under the Right to Information Act.
Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat, Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa were present on the occasion.
• The portal can be accessed by the general public on the home page of the commission's website 'eci.nic.in'.
• There is also online payment gateway for making payment of requisite fees under the RTI Act.
• The portal also facilitates online reply to applications and also for making the first appeal and replying to the same.
• Timely notification alerts will also be sent to RTI applicant through SMS and E-Mail.
• The online RTI applications made in the past in the portal of DOPT were downloaded and all such applications barring a few have been disposed of by giving a suitable reply to the applicants.
• The remaining applications and first appeals will be disposed of shortly.
The portal would be helpful for applicants seeking information from the Commission under the RTI Act.
Though the online portal has been introduced, the offline mode of applications will continue like before.
The Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.
Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information from a government body and the public authority would be required to reply within a stipulated time period.
The Act also requires every public authorssity to computerise their records for wide dissemination of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
When was the law passed?
This law was passed by the Parliament on June 15, 2005 and it came into effect on October 12, 2005.
Since then, every day, over 4800 RTI applications are filed. In the first ten years of the commencement of the act over 17,500,000 applications were filed.
Which Government Organisations are obliged to give RTI information under the Act?
All government agencies, whether they are under a state government or the Centre, come under the purview of the Act.
However, entities related to country’s defence and intelligence such as RAW, BSF, CRPF, CISF, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard are exempted from the Act.
How many days does it take to get an RTI response?
• As per the Act, the RTI information should be provided in 30 days.
• However, sometimes government records are misplaced or missing or the agency that the citizen has written to needs to coordinate with another department to provide the information requested.
• In such situations, the information may take more than 30 days to arrive. However, in such case, the concerned public information officer will be required to send the citizen a written intimation about the possible delay and the reason.
• If the PIO fails to do so and the citizen doesn’t receive the information within 30 days then, a penalty can be levied on the PIO if the matter is taken up with the appellate authorities.