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SC issues notice to Centre, states over online RTI portal
SC issues notice to Centre, states over online RTI portal

New Delhi, Aug 27 (TIWN): The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and state governments on a petition seeking to establish a Right to Information (RTI) portal to enable people to file online applications for information from any department.

 A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana issued the order while hearing the plea filed by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell through lawyer Jose Abraham.   The NGO, which seeks to empower migrant people including Non Resident Indians (NRIs) on the legal front, sought a direction to all state governments to provide the online RTI portal facility to obtain information through the electronic mode.   Describing the RTI Act as a powerful tool, advocate Abraham said the true objective of the legislation can be achieved only by timely response to citizens' request for government information when the process was made online.   

"One of the most effective provision in the RTI Act is section 7(1) which states that 'information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within 48 hours of the receipt of the request' is not effective under the existing system and it severely affects the life and liberty of citizens," the petition said.   The petitioner told the court that the Central government established an online RTI portal for any Indian citizen including NRIs to seek information under the RTI Act with the desired ministry or department.   The applicant can also pay the fee online and submit the RTI application.   The Central government then directed the state governments in December 2013 to explore the feasibility of implementing online RTIs in their respective states.   The Centre told the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to provide technical support such as software and source code to the state governments which desire to replicate the web portal for online filing of RTI applications.

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