You can check the discussion points from first RTI (Right to Information) session on 20th March 2010 to know the basic information about filing an RTI application.
Any new points discussed are covered below.
Some of the real life examples discussed with regards to framing of RTI questions were:
- It was decided to fix the problem of unpainted speed breakers in L B Shastri Nagar. A complaint was filed with BBMP but no response has been received even after 1 week. So it was decided that the option is to file RTI to BBMP asking information about un-painted speed breakers. The possible ways to frame the questions could be:
Pls provide the budget for painting of speed breakers in FY 2011
Pls provide the plan regarding, and the date by which speed breakers will be painted in L B Shastri Nagar.
It was also discussed that only 282 speed breakers are authorized in whole of Bangalore as per reply to another RTI by BBMP. So an interesting RTI could ask for the following question:
Pls inform how many speed breakers are authorized in L B Shastri Nagar?
Though above question will not directly solve the immediate problem of getting the speed breakers painted, it will force the authorities to take into account the problems citizens face from authorized or unauthorized speed breakers. If this RTI does not solve the problem, then a subsequent RTI can ask pointed questions as given above.
Regarding RTI rules of Karnataka, it was found that the rules were amended in Oct 2008 to allow only 1 subject matter per RTI application, and more importantly, allow only 150 words in RTI questions! More information can be found below on above notification regarding change to RTI rules:
It is to be noted that the rules may or may not be strictly followed by a particular State department. So it is advisable to restrict RTI application under 150 words, but if the subject matter cannot be explained within 150 words then one can take a chance and submit the RTI application. Usually each department has its own level of strictness or even knowledge of the rules, and the rules may be interpreted with some latitude.
Also, in some real life cases, RTI applications have been filed giving an enclosed newspaper news story or such report to give the context for the information being asked in RTI application. Such enclosed information is usually not taken to be part of the word limit for information asked.
A very important point in RTI Act is that applicant need not give any reason for the RTI application. So one can simply ask for the relevant information without giving need, explanation, or reasoning behind the questions asked. An RTI application is not a grievance letter that one should give details of the problems faced by applicant or public.
Usually if there are more than 1 subject in RTI application, some PIOs have taken the stance of considering the first point only and giving reply on that point. One should keep in mind the urgency and priority of information required etc and file RTIs accordingly.
Nikhil Lad of Sarovar Aparments decided to file an RTI on BWSSB to seek information about status and progress of Cauvery water connections after collection of deposit from residents.
Vivek Deveshwar of Fern Saroj decided to file an RTI on BBMP to enquire about unpainted speed breakers in L B Shastri Nagar.