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Right to Information: User Guide

Overview: How To Use This User's Guide

The right to information offers an invaluable tool, which every person in India can use to find out information that can make their lives better. This User's Guide has been designed to assist and guide the citizens of India to use the Right to Information Act 2005 (referred hereafter as the "Central Act") and to exercise this right more effectively.

2005 was a momentous year for right to information in India because it saw the enactment of a national right to information law. The Central Act was passed by the Indian Parliament on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. It came into force on 12 October 2005.

Prior to the passage of the Central Act, only 8 states and 1 Union Territory had right to information laws (see the CHRI Comparative Table of Indian RTI Laws, updated to the point at which the Central Act was passed). However, the new Central Act covers not only all Central Government public authorities, it also covers all State and local level public authorities (except Jammu & Kashmir which is not covered by Central legislation due to its special status). This means that citizens in every State of India will now be able to access information from the Central and State Governments under the Central Act, whether or not a separate State right to information law is in place.

Currently, the Central Act is in place, but some of the State/territory Acts also remain on the statute books. (As at the date this page was last updated, only the Maharastra and Karnataka RTI Acts have been formally repealed. However, the Delhi Government has also signalled its intentions to repeal its Acts).

Recognising that the Central Act will likely become the most used Act in the country, this User's Guide provides a step-by-step guide of how an application for information can be made under the Central Act. It also provides links to the relevant provisions in each of the State RTI Acts, which are currently in force.

- National - Right to Information Act 2005
- Assam - Right to Information 2002
- Delhi - Right to Information Act 2001
- Goa - Right to Information Act 1997
- Jammu and Kashmir - Right to Information Act 2004
- Madhya Pradesh - Jankari Ki Swatantrata Adhiniyam 2002
- Rajasthan - Right to Information Act 2000
- Tamil Nadu - Right to Information Act 1997

- Karnataka - Right to Information Act 2000 (repealed)
- Maharashtra - Right to Information Act 2002 (repealed)