A guide on how to file a First Appeal under RTI Act 2005
A First Appeal is the remedy specified in the Section 19(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 that can be used in case:
The PIO fails to furnish the requested information within a period of 30 days.
The information provided is incorrect or deemed unsatisfactory by the citizen.
You are a 3rd party consulted by PIO during the process of an application as the information might relate to you, but wish to appeal against the information disclosure due to privacy concerns.
The PIO acts in a manner that goes against the spirit of the RTI Act. For e.g charging excessive fee for disclosing the information.
A First Appeal is submitted to a FAA or First Appellate Authority who is a designated officer higher in rank to the PIO.
Time Limits to file First Appeal
30 days from the date you received or should have received the reply of the RTI application from the PIO.
Address of FAA
If you received some form of a response from the PIO, the name and address of the First Appellate Authority is usually provided at the end of the reply.
If the address is not provided in the PIO’s response or you never received a response in the first place, visit the website of the Public Authority your application refers to and search for the RTI section. Every Public Authority provide the details of the PIOs and FAAs on their websites.
Note that you should use the designation & not the name of the FAA while addressing the application i.e Use First Appellate Authority & not Mr. Mukesh Sharma.
Fee for First Appeal
There is no fee for filing a First Appeal with any Central Public Authority & most of the States. However some states like Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh have set a fee for First Appeals in contravention with the RTI Act. The fees for the respective states can be found out by visiting the RTI portals of the states as given here.
The fee can be paid by IPO/Demand Draft/Banker’s Cheque or as specified in the state RTI rules.
Format of First Appeal
There is no specific format provided for First Appeal applications to Central Public Authorities & most of the State Public Authorities. A few key guidelines are provided which we have included in the format given below
For state specific formats visit the appropriate state’s RTI website as given here.
Process for First Appeal
Fill the appeal application as per the format provided above. As specified in the format you can also request a personal hearing before the FAA if needed. Make sure to sign the appeal as requested at the bottom of the application.
Attach self-attested copies of the original RTI application, PIO reply if any, postal receipts, delivery proof, supporting documents to the First Appeal application. Self attested means to sign the pages.
Address the Appeal to the correct First Appellate Authority and make a copy of the Appeal application and keep it safe for future reference.
Post the Appeal application either by Speed Post or by Registered Post only. Keep the postal receipt safe for future reference.
You should hear from the FAA within 30 days of him/her receiving your First Appeal. If you don’t receive a reply or you are unsatisfied with the decision of FAA, you can then file a Second Appeal with State Information Commission or Central Information Commission.
If you have any doubts & additional queries regarding the filing of First Appeal applications feel free to contact us on Twitter.