Under the Act, all complying departments must appoint their Public Information Officer (PIO). Any citizen of India may submit a request to the PIO for information in any format, paper or electronic. It is the PIO's responsibility to ensure that the information is obtained from the appropriate department or section. If the request pertains to another public authority (in whole or part) it is the PIO's responsibility to transfer/forward the concerned portions of the request to a PIO of the other within 5 days. In addition, every public authority is required to designate Assistant Public Information Officers APIOs) to receive RTI requests and appeals for forwarding to the PIOs of their public authority.
The citizen making the request is not obliged to explain why the information is needed. The Act specifies time limits for replying to the request.
Since the information is to be paid for, the time between the reply of the PIO and the time taken to deposit the further fees for information is excluded from the time allowed.
If information is not provided within this period, it is treated as deemed refusal. Refusal with or without reasons may be ground for appeal. Further, once the period has transgressed, the information has to be provided free of charge.
For Central Departmentsas of 2006, there is a fee of Rs. 10 for filing the request, Rs. 2 per page of information and Rs. 5 for each hour of inspection after the first hour. If the applicant is a Below Poverty Card holder, then no fee shall apply. Such BPL Card holders have to provide a copy of their BPL card along with their application to the Public Authority. States Government and High Courts fix their own rules
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