Q. Why is this in news?
An Online portal that will help citizens file and access applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in matters related to the court launched by Supreme Court.
Q. What is the online RTI portal?
- The online RTI portal has been initiated to make it convenient for people to access information about the Supreme Court.
- So far, RTI applications at the Supreme Court had to be filed only via post.
- Various public interest litigation (PILs) had been filed before the Supreme Court seeking an online RTI portal for the Court.
- The online portal is likely to streamline responses of the Supreme Court under the Right to Information Act.
Q. How does the online portal work?
- The online portal can be accessed at a dedicated url.
- Essentially, the process of filing an RTI in the Supreme Court is the same as how one normally files the application.
- This web portal can be used only by Indian citizens to file RTI applications, first appeals and to make payment for fees, and copying charges, under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act).
- An applicant must first register themselves in the web portal.
Q. What is the Fees prescribed?
- The applicant can pay the prescribed fee through internet banking, credit/debit card of Master/Visa or UPI.
- The fee per RTI application is ₹10.
- Any applicant who is Below Poverty Line (BPL) is exempted to pay the application fee under the RTI Rules, 2012.
Q. What is the Expected time for response?
- By law, RTIs must be replied to within 30 days.
- In fact, in life and death cases, RTIs must be responded to within 48 hours.
Q. What is Right to Information?
- RTI is an act of the parliament which sets out the rules and procedures regarding citizens’ right to information.
- It replaced the former Freedom of Information Act, 2002.
- Under the provisions of RTI Act, any citizen of India may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within 30.
- In case of the matter involving a petitioner’s life and liberty, the information has to be provided within 48 hours.
- The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.