Inspection of Records under Right to Information Act 2005 is another way of accessing information. Right to information is defined under Section 2(j) of the Right to Information Act as: “right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to—
(i) inspection of work, documents, records;
(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
(iii) taking certified samples of material;
(iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;
As you can see from section 2(j)(i), right to information includes right to inspect. Thus, when you file RTI Application, you should be clear about whether you want information at your home by paying fees for the information, or want to get information at the office of PIO through inspection.
When to prefer Inspection of Records under RTI Act 2005?
It is not always wise to get the information at home. If the information sought by you is voluminous, i.e. information is in number of pages, then you may have to pay huge amount for getting information. In this case, it is wise to prefer inspection. You can visit office of PIO, and inspect the documents or records. During inspection, you are free to take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
What can you inspect under Inspection of Records under RTI Act 2005?
(1) All work done or being done by public authority;
(2) All documents or records held by or under the control of public authority;
(3) All samples of material used or being used in any work by public authority.
Procedure for Inspection of Records under RTI Act 2005
You can inspect materials mentioned above by simply filing RTI Application, online or offline, under section 6(1) of the RTI Act. To know how to file RTI Application, you may visit:
In the procedure provided in above articles, you only need to change the RTI Application for Inspection. All other process is same for both information and inspection. You can get the RTI Application format for inspection of record at RTI Application Template for Inspection.
What should PIO do after he receives application for Inspection of Records under RTI Act 2005?
In several cases, applicants who have applied for getting information, are intimated by the PIO to come and inspect the documents. In few cases, the Information Commissioner has objected to this. If an applicant has not applied for inspection of documents & the information he has requested is not voluminous, he should not be asked to come for inspection of documents. In such cases number of pages should be counted & the applicant should be informed to pay the prescribed charges.
In cases in which the information requested by the applicant is voluminous, he may be given a chance to inspect the documents and take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records by paying the prescribed fees.
In cases in which the applicant has requested the inspection of the documents or the information he has requested is voluminous, an index of all documents should be prepared before the applicant is called to inspect the documents. In addition, each page of the file must be numbered. Three dates and times should be informed to the applicant before being called. If these dates are not convenient for the applicant, he should be asked to contact the PIO. The file numbers of the files in which the information requested by the applicant is available, should be intimated.
If, on the date the applicant is arriving, the concerned PIO has to leave the office due to important work, he should hand over the responsibility of giving documents for examination, to his colleague or assistant.
The PIO shall intimate to the applicant his office telephone no. as well as the e-mail address while calling him for inspection.