What is RTI First Appeal and How to File it using the correct format


As we know, Right to Information Act of 2005 – RTI, allows for a way for the citizens of India to access information from governmental public authorities and Central/ State government. Also, RTI allows citizens to search quickly for detailed information on first Appellate Authorities, PIOs etc. It basically allows an individual to get the right answers by allowing them to ask the right questions.

Recommended Reading before this Post:

What is RTI? How it Started? Everything you should know about RTI

File RTI Online - How to Submit RTI Application Online

If you have some queries regarding RTI, our FAQs about RTI page can be found here. You will find answers to the most common RTI queries there.

The RTI Act makes it compulsory for Public Information Officers to provide the information within 30 days of RTI application receipt.

However, when an RTI is filed with the public authority, it is possible that the required answers are not obtained on the first time, and in some cases, information is not received at all.

In such cases, RTI First appeal is to be filed to receive the required information to the satisfaction of the citizen.

Who can file RTI First appeal?

  • Any citizen who has filed an RTI and is aggrieved by no response or unsatisfactory reply or incorrect information.

  • Third parties to whom the information is asked for, relates to or has been supplied as confidential.

When to apply for RTI First appeal?

RTI First Appeal is the statutory remedy available to any citizen who is a RTI Applicant, when:

  • there is no response from the Public Information Officer within time limit stipulated or

  • the response of PIO is unsatisfactory or

  • the PIO supplied incorrect information or

  • PIO demanded excess fee etc.

When to apply for RTI First Appeal?

Any person who has submitted an RTI application, and hasn’t received a response or is unsatisfied with the reply/ inadequate information can file RTI first appeal under RTI act 2005 within

  • 30 days from the date of expiration of the period prescribed or

  • A month from the receipt of communication from PIO.

RTI First Appeal Format

RTI First Appeal Format

  1. Short brief relating to RTI appeal format

    • Date of RTI Application submission before PIO

    • The required information

    • The provided information or denial by the PIO

    • The information that was not supplied or why the citizen is unsatisfied with the response

  2. Grounds for RTI first appeal:

    • Provide logical reasons indicating how and why the PIO has been wrong in his decision.

    • Also mention the provisions of rules supporting the stand of the citizen or expected course of action from PIO.

    • Each such point should be written separately.

  3. Personal Hearing:

    • FAA is required to grant personal hearing to Appellant in compliance of principles of natural justice.

    • Any citizen who wishes to be heard by FAA may mention it at the end of the RTI appeal format.

    • In case attending such a hearing is inconvenient, RTI first appeal format need not ask for one as it is not mandatory.

  4. Prayers: Appellant must clearly indicate the required response to be given by the FAA.

    • condone the delay in RTI first appeal submission;

    • ask to grant personal hearing before deciding the appeal;

    • direct the PIO to supply information within 10 days from the date of appeal;

    • direct the PIO to supply information free of cost, due to failure in supplying information;

    • direct PIO to supply full and correct information;

    • direct PIO to supply certified copies of information;

    • ask to supply reasons for declining to provide information asked for.

  5. The RTI first appeal format must be signed at right bottom with date.

  6. RTI appeal fee:

    • There is no fee for RTI first appeal to public authorities under Central Government.

    • However, in certain states, there is a prescribed fee for RTI first appeals. Click here to check the RTI websites of the required states for specific information about RTI appeal format and fee.

  7. Documents to be attached with RTI first appeal format: Self attested means that the photocopy must have ‘Attested’ written with full signature at the bottom of the sheet.

    • Self attested RTI Application photo copy

    • Self attested copy of PIO’s reply (if any) or any other documents in support

  8. RTI First appeal Submission - RTI First appeal should be filed before the First Appellate Authority (FAA), who is a higher ranked officer than PIO.

    1. By Speed Post or Registered Post - The delivery status can be checked online on the India Post website to be kept on record. See the delivery status on India Post - Track Consignments.

    2. Personal delivery can also be done, but it is not recommended. Never use Courier services for submitting RTI documents.

  9. One set of RTI first appeal format letter must be preserved with all of its enclosures, original postal receipt and delivery status print out together to avoid further inconvenience.

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You can also read OnlineRTI expert's answer on Quora for "What can be done if you do not get an RTI reply within one month?"

Read Aman Madan's answer to What can be done if you do not get an RTI reply within one month? on Quora

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