RTI First Appeal Time Limit: Time Limit for filing First Appeal

RTI First Appeal Time Limit - Time Limit for filing First AppealIf we do not get information under RTI Act within specified time time, we may submit First Appeal within specified time period. The RTI First Appeal Time Limit is specified under section 19 of the RTI Act. Under Section 19(1) of the RTI Act, 2005, a citizen who either has not received reply from PIO within time period specified under section 7(1) of the RTI Act, explained above, or is aggrieved at the reply of PIO may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the PIO in each public authority.

Let me explain RTI First Appeal Time Limit for various cases with examples:

RTI First Appeal Time Limit in various Cases:

1. You submitted your RTI Application directly to PIO:

Suppose, PIO received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, either personally or through post office. In this case, PIO shall either provide information or reject request for information on or before 07-04-2014 (09-03-2016 + 30 days). You may receive Reply of PIO in 2-7 days after dispatch of reply by PIO depending on the distance of your Address from the PIO and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post); i.e. you may receive Reply of PIO by 14-04-2016.

Case-I: PIO replied within specified time limit of 30 days:

Suppose, PIO replied on 27-03-2016, and you received his Reply on 03-04-2016 due to postal delay. If you are not satisfied with the Reply of PIO, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 02-05-2016 (03-04-2016 + 30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the receipt of such a decision”.

Case-II: PIO didn’t reply within specified time limit of 30 days:

If PIO received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, then he shall reply on or before 07-04-2016 (09-03-2016 + 30 days). Considering postal delay of 2-7 days, you may receive reply of PIO by 14-04-2016. If you didn’t receive reply of PIO by 14-04-2016, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 07-05-2016 (07-04-2016 +30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the expiry of such period”.

2. You submitted your RTI Application to the PIO through APIO:

Suppose, APIO received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, either personally or through post office. In this case, PIO shall either provide information or reject request for information on or before 12-04-2014 (09-03-2016 + 30 days + 5 days, as per section 5(2) of the RTI Act). You may receive Reply of PIO in 2-7 days after dispatch of reply by PIO depending on the distance of your Address from PIO and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post); i.e. you may receive Reply of PIO by 19-04-2016.

Case-I: PIO replied within specified time limit of 35 days:

Suppose, PIO replied on 30-03-2016, and you received his Reply on 06-04-2016 due to postal delay. If you are not satisfied with the Reply of PIO, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 05-05-2016 (06-04-2016 + 30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the receipt of such a decision”.

Case-II: PIO didn’t reply within specified time limit of 35 days:

If APIO received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, then PIO shall reply on or before 12-04-2016 (09-03-2016 + 30 days + 5 days, as per section 5(2) of the RTI Act). Considering postal delay of 2-7 days, you may receive reply of PIO by 19-04-2016. If you didn’t receive reply of PIO by 19-04-2016, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 12-05-2016 (12-04-2016 +30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the expiry of such period”.

3. You submitted your RTI Application to the PIO through other Public Authority:

Suppose you submitted your RTI Application to the PIO of unconcerned Public Authority on 25-02-2016 through Post Office. Unconcerned PIO received your application on 01-03-2016 due to postal delays. In this case, the PIO whe receives your application shall forward application to the PIO of the concerned Public Authority within 5 days under section 6(3) of the RTI Act and acknowledge you about such forwardal. Suppose, unconcerned PIO forwarded your application on 05-03-2003 to the PIO of concerned Public Authority, and the concerned PIO received your application on 09-03-2016. In this case, PIO shall either provide information or reject request for information on or before 07-04-2014 (09-03-2016 + 30 days). You may receive Reply of PIO in 2-7 days after dispatch of reply by PIO depending on the distance of your Address from PIO and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post); i.e. you may receive Reply of PIO by 14-04-2016.

Case-I: PIO of the concerned Public Authority replied within specified time limit of 30 days:

Suppose, PIO of the concerned Public Authority replied on 27-03-2016, and you received his Reply on 03-04-2016 due to postal delay. If you are not satisfied with the Reply of the PIO of the concerned Public Authority, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 02-05-2016 (03-04-2016 + 30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the receipt of such a decision”.

Case-II: PIO of the concerned Public Authority didn’t reply within specified time limit of 30 days:

If PIO of the concerned Public Authority received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, then he shall reply on or before 07-04-2016 (09-03-2016 + 30 days). Considering postal delay of 2-7 days, you may receive reply of PIO of the concerned Public Authority by 14-04-2016. If you didn’t receive reply from him by 14-04-2016, then you may submit First Appeal under section 19(1) of the RTI Act on or before 07-05-2016 (08-04-2016 +30 days). This is what mean by “may within thirty days from the expiry of such period”.

NOTE: The purpose of explaing this case is that if you have submitted RTI Application to the PIO through unconcerned Public Authority, then you should start counting RTI First Appeal Time Limit only from date when the concerned PIO receives your application, rather than from the date when unconcerned PIO receives your application.

RTI Act provides different RTI First Appeal Time Limit for special cases. Now, let me explain RTI First Appeal Time Limit in special cases.

Special Case-1( Information pertaining to Life and Liberty of a person):

As per proviso to section 7(1) of the RTI Act, if information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the PIO shall provide information within 48 hours of the receipt of the request, rather than within 30 days. Thus, in such situation replace 30 days with 48 hours in calculating time limit.

Special Case-2 (Additional Fees to be paid by Applicant):

Suppose you have asked through RTI copies of some documents, for which you need to pay additional fees to the PIO. In this case, under section 7(3) PIO shall intimate to the applicant the details of additional fees with break up to be paid for information, and under section 7(5) applicant shall pay additional fees to the PIO, provided fees asked by PIO is as per provision of RTI. The period intervening between the despatch of the said intimation by PIO and payment of fees by the applicant shall be excluded for the purpose of calculating the period of 30 days referred to in that section 7(1). Let me explain this with example: Suppose, PIO received your RTI Application on 09-03-2016, either personally or through post office. In this case, PIO shall either provide information or reject request for information on or before 07-04-2016 (09-03-2016 + 30 days). But after receiving application, PIO found that you nee to pay additional fees of Rs. 50/- to provide information.Suppose, PIO sends intimation to you under section 7(3) of the RTI Act to pay additional fees on 20-03-2016. You receive intimation on 25-03-2016. You pay additional fees to the PIO on 05-04-2016. PIO receives fees on 10-04-2016. In this case, the time duration between 20-03-2016 and 10-04-2016 shall be excuded for the purpose of calculating the period of 30 days referred to in that section 7(1). Thus, now PIO shall reply to your RTI Application on or before 28-04-2016, rather than on or before 07-04-2016 ((09-03-2016 to 19-03-2016 = 11 days) + (10-04-2016 to 28-04-2016 = 19 days) = 30 days).

Special Case-3 (Third Party Information):

Your information sought for belong to third party (defined under section 2(n)) and is considered confidential by third party. If PIO intends to disclose the third party information to the applicant, then PIO shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the PIO intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed.If such notice has been issued by the PIO under section11(1) of the RTI Act, then PIO shall reply to the RTI Application within 40 days from receipt of application, rather than within 30 days.

If you do not submit First Appeal as per the time limits explained above, then First Appellate Authority may not admit your Appeal and you will lose opportunity to get information at this stage. You may submit your First Appeal along with compelling justification for delay after expiry of the RTI First Appeal Time Limit explained above. But, final decision to admit your appeal will lie with First Appellate Authority.

By now, you may have understood RTI First Appeal Time Limit for various cases. If you still have any doubt in RTI First Appeal Time Limit, you may ask through comment box below. To know the step by step procedure to submit First Appeal under section 19(1) or 19(2), you may visit How to file First Appeal under RTI.

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