RTI Time Limit: Various time limit under RTI Act 2005

RTI Time Limit - Various time limit under RTI Act 2005There are various time limits specified under RTI Act 2005. Sometime we misinterpret RTI Time Limit because of lack of understanding. Let me explain RTI Time Limit in different situation with example for your understanding.

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit to get information under RTI Act, 2005:

Section 7(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 obliges PIO to provide information within 30 days (in normal case)/48 hours (in case the information sought for pertains to life and liberty of a person) of the receipt of request for information. Many of us interpret 30 days duration in wrong way. Time limit is calculated by counting number of calendar days, not number of working days. To understand how to calculate the time duration to receive information from PIO, go through the explanation with example below:

Suppose, you wrote RTI Application on 28-02-2016, and dated your application as 01-03-2016. But, you sent your application dated 01-03-2016 to the PIO through Registered/ Speed Post on 03-03-2016. This may take 2-7 days to reach your RTI application to PIO depending on the distance of PIO Address and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post). Suppose, PIO received your application on 09-03-2016.

In this case, PIO is obliged to dispatch Reply on or before 07-04-2016 (09-03-2016 to 07-04-2016 = 30 days). This means, your date of application or date of sending application to PIO doesn’t matter in calculating time limit. Calculation of time limit starts from the date when PIO receives your application.

There are various ways to submit RTI Application to the PIO, and there are different time limits for each way. I have explained the time limits under various ways of filing RTI Application in Time Limits to get Information under RTI. You must read that article to understand time limits completely.

To know the step by step procedures to File RTI Application, you must read below posts:

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit for filing First Appeal under 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 30 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.

There are various ways of filing RTI Application. Depending on the ways of filling RTI Applications, different time limits are there to submit First Appeal. I have explained the time limits for filing First Appeal in separate post Time Limit for filing First Appeal under RTI. You must read that article to understand first appeal time limits completely.

To know the step by step procedures to submit First Appeal, you may visit How to File First Appeal under RTI Act.

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit for disposal of First Appeal by the First Appellate Authority:

Under Section 19(6), an First Appeal under section 19(1) or section 19(2) of the RTI Act shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing.

Let us explain this with an example:

Suppose, you submitted First Appeal under section 19(1) or 19(2) of the RTI Act, 2005 on 07-05-2016, and First Appellate Authority received your appeal on 10-05-2016. In this case Appellate Authority shall give her decision on your appeal on or before 08-06-2016 (11-05-2016 + 30 days) in normal circumstances, and on or before 23-06-2016 (11-05-2016 + 45 days) in special circumstance, for which Appellate Authority shall record reasons in writing. This means, your date of appeal or date of sending first appeal to First Appellate Authority doesn’t matter in calculating time limit. Calculation of time limit starts since First Appellate Authority receives your appeal.

Next, suppose First Appellate Authority sends her decision on your appeal on 23-06-2016 through post office. This may take 2-7 days to reach decision of First Appellate Authority to your address depending on the distance of your Address from First Appellate Authority and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post). First Appellate Authority is not responsible for any postal delays. First Appellate Authority is only responsible for the duration between date of receipt of your appeal and date of dispatch of her decision on your appeal.

In this way, you should wait for around 59 days (2-7 days for First Appellate Authority to receive your appeal + 45 days for First Appellate Authority to give her decision + 2-7 days for decision of First Appellate Authority to reach you through post office) from date of sending First Appeal to First Appellate Authority. If you didn’t receive decision of First Appellate Authority within 59 days from sending First Appeal to First Appellate Authority, then you may proceed with Second Appeal under section 19(3) of the RTI Act, 2005, and/or with Complaint under section 18 of the RTI Act before Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be.

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit for Second Appeal under RTI Act:

Under Section 19(3), a Second Appeal against the decision on First Appeal shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be.

Let me explain this with example:

Suppose, First Appellate Authority received your appeal on 10-05-2016. In this case Appellate Authority shall give her decision on your appeal on or before 08-06-2016 (11-05-2016 + 30 days) in normal circumstances, and on or before 23-06-2016 (11-05-2016 + 45 days) in special circumstance, for which Appellate Authority shall record reasons in writing. You may receive decision of First Appellate Authority in 2-7 days after dispatch of decision by First Appellate Authority depending on the distance of your Address from First Appellate Authority and mode of dispatch (Registered/Speed Post); i.e. you may receive decision of First Appellate Authority by 30-06-2016.

Case-I: If First Appellate Authority gave her decision within 30 days or 45 days, for example on 20-06-2016, then you may receive decision by 27-06-2016 due to postal delay. If you are not satisfied with the decision of First Appellate Authority, then you may submit Second Appeal under section 19(3) of the RTI Act on or before 26-09-2016 (27-06-2016 + 90 days). This is what mean by “from the date on which the decision was actually received”.

Case-II: If First Appellate Authority didn’t give her decision within 30 days or 45 days, i.e. by 23-06-2016, then you may submit Second Appeal under section 19(3) of the RTI Act on or before 21-09-2016 (23-06-2016 +90 days). This is what mean by “from the date on which the decision should have been made”.

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit to lodge Complaint under Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005:

Under RTI Act, 2005 there is NO time limit to file Complaint under section 18. You may file complaint before Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, any time after expiry of the time limit specified (30 days) under section 7(1) of the RTI Act. But, you should file complaint within reasonable time.

To understand situations in which you may submit Second Appeal under Section 19 or Complaint under Section 18, you may visit Difference between Section 18 and Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005.

RTI Time Limit: Time Limit to receive decisions of the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission under the RTI Act, 2005:

Under RTI Act, 2005, there is NO time limit for Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission to give their decision. Depending on the number of Second Appeal or Complaint filed, you will receive decision of Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission.

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