The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice N V Ramana on Monday issued notice to governments of Centre and States on a Public Interest Petition (PIL) seeking to direct all States establish online web portals for filing of online RTI applications.
The bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, was hearing the PIL filed by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell through Advocate Jose Abraham.
Appearing for the petitioner NGO, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde submitted that by having this online filing facility, the RTI regime can go one step further.
According to the plea, the Central Act was for all the citizens residing in India and also outside the country.
At present, only states - Delhi and Maharashtra have the online filing facilities of RTI applications.
The NRIs have to file physically the applications for any information they required from governments, the plea also said.
The NGO says "Right to Information Act provides a legal mechanism to enforce and implement the citizen's right to information guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The present system of submitting RTI applications andthe corresponding reply from the concerned information officer in physical form take more time which in turn reduces the efficiency of the entire RTI mechanism thus defeating the very purpose of the legislation."
It is pointed out in the petition that Central Government has established an online RTI portal, which can be availed by NRI persons. As early as in December 2013, the Centre had urged the States to establish similar online portals, and had directed the NIC to extend necessary technical support.
Click Here To Download Petition