How to File First Appeal under RTI?

You can file an appeal under the proper to Information Act whenever the PIO fails to reply to your application or once you are aggrieved by the response of the PIO. What this suggests is that whenever the PIO fails to offer you a reply or charges unreasonable fees for giving copies of documents or fails to offer a satisfactory reply or doesn't provide a reply within the stipulated time-frame etc., you've got the facility to file an appeal with the acceptable authority, as discussed below. Section 19 of the proper to Information Act lays down two stages of appeal, the First Appeal is to be made to the appellate authority and therefore the Second Appeal lies with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission because the case could also be. The appeals process under the RTI Act is aimed toward redressing any grievance suffered by the Applicants during a quicker and cheaper way instead of getting to the courts.

When can the appeal be made?

You can make an appeal to the Appellate Authority if:

You are aggrieved by the choice made;

If no decision was made within the right time limits;

You are the 3rd party consulted during the appliance process, and you're unhappy with the choice made by the PIO.

What is the time-frame for creating the First Appeal?

The Applicants who are aggrieved by a choice of a PIO can make an appeal to a departmental Appellate Authority within 30 days of receiving the reply from the PIO or at the expiry of the period of time within which information should are provided by the PIO. However, if you miss that deadline and therefore the Appellate Authority is convinced that you simply had justifiable cause for missing the deadline, he/she may allow you to submit an appeal even after the 30 days have expired.

Who can make the First Appeal?

Any person aggrieved by the order of the PIO can file the First Appeal. You’ll also request your friend or an RTI Activist or the other person to file a complaint on your behalf provided he features a copy of all the relevant documents like RTI Application, acknowledgment receipt, PIO reply, etc. The format of the Authorization Letter enclosed.

Whom should the First Appeal be made to?

In every public authority, a politician who is senior in rank to the PIO has been designated to listen to appeals and is mentioned because of the First Appellate Authority (FAA). Every first appeal shall be mentioned in the FAA of an equivalent public authority within which the RTI application was made. The first decision or rejection notice you receive from the PIO should include contact details for the relevant Appellate Authority in order that you recognize whom you'll attend get the choice reviewed. If the notice is deficient, you'll want to see the web site of the general public authority or contact the PIO directly and invite the Appellate Authority’s details.

How to draft your First Appeal?

Your appeal must be sent to the concerned Appellate Authority in writing. Usually, there's no fixed format for writing the First Appeal. However, some State Governments have prescribed forms for filing appeals. You want to check the principles in your particular state to ascertain what all are required for filing the appeal otherwise you can check directly with the Appellate Authority.

The components of the First Appeal are explained by way of the sample below:

How to file the First Appeal?

Directly by handing documents over face to face to the FAA

Send the set of appeal documents by speed post or RPAD to the FAA of the relevant public authority

Additionally, you'll also send the appeal to the APIO within the relevant public authority who then features a duty to forward it to the relevant Appellate Authority.

* Always retain one copy of your appeal set for your own record

**When you send your appeal by post, confirm that you simply collect the signed and dated postal/acknowledgment receipt of your appeal. Couriers should be avoided.

*** Avoid physical delivery of appeal as collecting acknowledgment receipt might consume tons of some time.

What is the prescribed fee for filing the First Appeal?

The Central Government has not prescribed any fee for filing an appeal with the Appellate Authority. Unfortunately, some State Governments, like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, have prescribed Rules which impose an appeal fee. Challenges are filed against such rules, stating that no appeal is often rejected or stalled on account of non-payment of fee towards an appeal. If your government has prescribed an appeal fee and you're unwilling or unable to pay it, you'll either move the relevant State Information Commission or the State Supreme Court to think about the difficulty of levy of fees.


Disposal of the First Appeal

The RTI Act doesn't provide for any procedure to be followed for deciding appeals. However, the Appellate Authority must provide you with a chance to be heard before a choice on your appeal is reached. In any appeal, it's the PIO who must convince the Appellate Authority that they made the proper decision. As long as they create a defensible case, do you have to be asked to elucidate why you think that they're wrong?

The Central Act requires that the interior Appellate Authority (FAA) eliminate your appeal within 30 days or 45 days if an extension is important.