Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said the procedures to file an RTI appeal have been simplified in the last five years and denounced rumours that an applicant will have to travel to Delhi to file an RTI after Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh formally come into existence as Union Territories on October 31, 2019.
Singh, who is Minister of State in-charge Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), said RTI can be filed locally in the two UTs.
He procedures to file an RTI appeal have been simplified in the last five years and definite timelines have been laid down and this will apply equally to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh after these become Union territories, he said.
According to an official release, Singh said that the first RTI application is made to the Public Information Officer (PIO) locally and in matters involving "life and liberty", the time limit for the PIO to provide the information is 48 hours.
For the PIO to reply to the application, a timeline of 30 days has been laid down from the date of receipt of the application.
For an applicant to make the first appeal after the receipt of PIO's reply, the first appellate authority in the form of the designated officer will also be available locally, whether it is the state or union territory.
Only in case of the second appeal, he elaborated, has the application to be submitted to the Information Commission and even if the Information Commissioner is not available locally, in case of Union territory, the second appeal can be sent to the Central Information Commission on-line within 90 days from the receipt of the first appeal orders or from the date the orders were to be received.
To make the procedure much simpler, Singh said the facility has been provided to make the second appeal before the Central Information Commission through the portal.
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