Right to Information (RTI) is a fundamental right of citizens of India, enshrined in the Indian Constitution under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. It entitles all citizens to seek, access and receive information from any public authority. The Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI Act) is a transparency and accountability law that enables citizens to ask for information from the government and also enables the government to be more accountable to the citizens. The RTI Act came into effect in October 2005 and is applicable to all states and union territories of India. It is applicable to all public authorities, including government departments, local bodies, public sector undertakings, and non–governmental organizations that receive government funding.
Under the RTI Act, any Indian citizen can ask for any information from any public authority. The information sought should be related to the functions, activities, or decisions of the public authority. Any person can make an RTI request by submitting an application to the concerned public authority, which then has to provide the requested information within 30 days.
The RTI Act also provides for the appointment of a Central Information Commission (CIC) and State Information Commissions (SICs). The CIC and SICs are responsible for monitoring and ensuring that RTI requests are answered in a timely manner. They also have the power to penalize public authorities that do not provide information in a timely manner or provide incomplete or incorrect information.
The RTI Act is an important tool for citizens to hold the government accountable and ensure that public resources are used effectively. It has enabled citizens to access information from government departments and hold them accountable for their decisions and actions.