What powers does the RTI Act, 2005 provide?

Section 3 of the Act defines the purpose of the Act very succinctly as, “Subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.”

This Act vests every citizen the right of seeking and obtaining information. It includes the right to:

(i) Inspect works, documents, records, (including the office) of any public authority.

(ii) Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.

(iii) Take certified samples of material. This includes right to videography.

(iv) Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode.

It is a common misconception that the RTI Act is limited to merely filing an application and obtaining information. The RTI Act is much beyond that – It is about bringing transparency in a working of the public authorities.