Appeal can be Filed in case of no Reply under RTI

No reply from SPIO amounts to refusal of information

The failure of the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of a Public Authority to provide information to the applicant within the specified period of 30 days under Section 7 (1) of the Right to Information Act (RTI) shall be deemed to be a refusal of request. The Section 7(1) of the RTI provides for disposal of the request for information within 30 days of the request by either providing it or rejecting the application.

No order of refusal needed to file an appeal

The Section 7 (2) of the RTI provides that if SPIO fails to give information within time cost it shall be deemed to have refused the request. There need not be a formal order for refusing the request, in order to avail the statutory remedy of filing an appeal under the RTI.

The Section 19 (1) of the RTI says that a person, who does not receive a decision within 30 days after filing his request for information under section 7 (1) of the act, can prefer an appeal to the appellate authority. The appeal should be filed within the next 30 days starting from the expiry of the day on which he is entitled to receive the information.

That means, the aggrieved applicant can file an appeal on three occasions: one is when there is deemed refusal of request, another is when he gets an order of rejection of request for information, and the third is when he is aggrieved in regard to the information, he received.

Appeal can be filed when there is deemed refusal

In short, if an applicant does not receive any response from the State or Central Public Information Officer within 30 days of receipt of his application in the Public Authority, he can file an appeal as it is a deemed refusal of request for information.

Further reading

  1. Jayaprakash KK v State of Kerala & Others [ 2022 (5) KHC 705
  2. The Right to Information Act, 2005