Minister of State for personnel, public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh on Thursday said that the applications under Right to Information (RTI) Act can be filed orally.
“Section 6 (1) of the Act provides that where RTI request cannot be made in writing, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) or State Public Information Officer (SPIO), as the case may be, shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing,” he said in response to a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The Minister was asked whether the government has taken or proposes to take any measure for acceptance of RTI applications and providing their reply in Braille.
The transparency law has provisions for citizens to file RTI request orally but nodal departments for such matters in both the central and state governments have not yet come out with rules and regulations in this regard, say civil rights activists.
“Besides filing RTI requests orally, the law makes it mandatory for the CPIO or SPIO to provide all assistance to a sensorily disabled person in accessing the information is provided under the Act. But none of the nodal departments for RTI matters at the Centre and in state governments have come out with rules and regulations for this,” said Venkatesh Nayak, who works with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an NGO.
The RTI Act empowers citizens to seek time-bound response from government department on their query related to governance matters.