Writing RTI Application

Government Awareness

Good To Know : How To Write A Crisp And Clear RTI Application?

Pavan Manikanta Kumar

October 5th, 2016


Most Indian citizens are now aware of the tool called RTI. But how many of us have actually filed an RTI Application? It is observed that most of the people who need some significant public information are afraid to file an RTI application just because they do not know “How to start”. One must understand that an RTI application is actually a set of questions that we are asking the Public Information Officer.

According to RTI act there is no specific format mentioned “How should an RTI application should look like or any specific format for questions?”. One can file an RTI in whatever the language he/she is comfortable with but it is advised to write the application in local language or in English. According to RTI Act the information officer should not infer your questions and provide information, so it is always advisable to ask direct questions to get correct information.


Steps Involved In filing An RTI Request.

Step 1: Prepare a list of questions, number your question.

Step 2: Insert an introductory text which can be like a letter. It can contain some general text like -Respected Sir, kindly provide me the following information… followed by your questions.

Step 3: Specify the serial number of the Postal Order which you have used as application fee. Attach Below Poverty Line(BPL) certificate if you have one and get the exemption from payment of any type of fee which is applicable to others.

Step 4: Like any other letter, you can put a subject line stating ‘Request for information under Right to information act 2005’.

Step 5: Add the “from” and “to” fields appropriately.

Using a paper clip, attach the postal order with your letter and put it in an envelope. Needless to say, write the address of the addressee on the envelope. Your RTI Application format is ready.Postal Order


Tips For Writing A Good RTI Applications.

1A good RTI application is very simple. It is the list of questions for which you need answers/information. (The PIO is no one to question you the reason for applying the RTI application)

  • Write a draft RTI application.
  • No need of giving justification for the questions you asked in the application. Do not reason your questions in the application.
  • Mention only the relevant questions you need to know.  No need to mention what you will do with the information you  get through the RTI.
  • Do not mention your grievances in the RTI applications.

2If you need a lot of information, it is advisable to write the question in a crisp and clear manner for the PIO to understand. Also, it would be better to go with multiple RTI’s if you need a lot of information.

  • If the PIO fails to answer more than one of these applications, he feels the threat of being eligible to a larger fine (Rs 250 x days   of delay x no. of unanswered RTI applications).
  • Even if he escapes a penalty after denying information to one application, there is always the recurring chance that the other pending applications will get him penalized or reprimanded.

3Keep the period of information minimal.

  • For an RTI applicant, it is very easy to write a question like, “Provide the  copies of all borewell licenses issued from  1986- till date.” , this means searching 30 years of files and records for the PIO.
  • Always ask for the relevant data you needed. Say 1 year to 6 months.

4Check, recheck your RTI application before sending it to the PIO.

a. sample-rti-application-for-passport

b. sample-rti-application-roadwork

Disclaimer : *This information is subject to periodic government policy / process change. Kindly contact the concerned department to cross check for recent updates, if any.


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