State Level RTI : Tamilnadu

What We do

State Level RTI : Tamilnadu


Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to enact an access law, namely the Tamil Nadu Right to Information Act 1997. The Act was passed by the Legislative Assembly in the first half of 1997, received the assent of the Governor on 4 May 1997 and was notified the following day. It is notable that the government initiated the process of developing a law. There was no civil society movement advocating for the right to information in the State.

Though it was positive that Tamil Nadu was the first state to pass an access to information law, in fact the law is weak and has been widely criticised by civil society. Most problematically, the Act has 21 exemptions, including 12 sub-clauses, many of which are unclear in their application. Appeals are available, but only internally rather than to an independent body. The Act also fails to require proactive information disclosure by the Government.

In May 2005, the national Right to Information Act 2005 was passed by Parliament. The RTI Act 2005 received Presidential assent on 15 June and came fully into force on 12 October 2005. (For more information on the passage of the Act and implementation at the national level, click here.) The RTI Act 2005 covers all Central, State and local government bodies.

It is not clear at this time as to whether the Tamil Nadu RTI Act will be repealed. Notably though, the Tamil Nadu Government has already taken some initial steps to implement the new national RTI Act. The government has issued Right to Information (Fees) Rules 2005.

The Tamil Nadu Government issued the Tamil Nadu Right to Information (Fees) Rules, (Amendment) 2006.

For a list of Public Information Officers and Appellate Authorities designated by the State Government, click here.

Details of Fee & Costs


Rs 10

Mode of payment

Cash, Demand draft or bankers cheque

Additional Fees:


A-4 / A-3 paper

Rs 2 per page

Large size paper

Actual cost

Publication and printed form

At price so fixed of publication or at Rs 2 per page per page photocopy or in printed form

Samples and Models

Actual cost

Floppy/CD/diskette or any other electronic mode


Inspection of records

Free for first hour and Rs 5 for each 1 hour or a fraction thereof;


Second Appeals and complaints against non-disclosure of information may be filed with the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission.

State Information Commission Contact Details

Tamil Nadu Information Commission

No.2, Theagaraya Salai, Near Aalai Amman Koil, Teynampet

Chennai - 600 018
Phone: 044- 24312841- 48

Fax: 044 - 24357580

E-mail :


Newsupdates, Activities & Advocacy

  • The Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRARF) works on right to information in Tamil Nadu and has published a resource book on the topic (see below in Resources and Articles). 
    For Further Information: Contact HRARF at No.10, Thomas Nagar, Little Mount, Saidapet, Chennai-600015. Tel: 91-44-2353503. Fax: 91-44-2355905. E-Mail: ,
  • The Catalyst Trust works on right to information and electoral reform in Tamil Nadu. 
    For Further Information: Contact the Catalyst Trust at H-1/8, TNHB Complex, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai- 600 041.


Resources & Articles