The Right to Information Act (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India “to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens” and replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act, 2002.
The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India except Jammu & Kashmir.
Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to pro-actively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 12 October 2005, which was Vijayadashami. The first application was given to a Pune police station. Information disclosure in India was restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act relaxes.
It codifies a fundamental right of citizens.