Supreme Court gives States, UTs and High Courts three months to set up online RTI portals

‘Though the Act was enacted in October 2005, after a lapse of 17 years, online web portals are still to be operationalised by some of the High Courts,’ the apex court noted in its order

Updated - March 26, 2023 12:54 am IST

Published - March 25, 2023 05:04 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Supreme Court of India.

Supreme Court of India. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court has directed States and Union Territories to set up and operationalise online Right to Information (RTI) portals within three months to ensure transparency in governance.

The court gave the same three months' time to Registrar Generals of State High Courts to establish and run online RTI portals in their respective High Courts and district courts.

Also read: RTI portal to help people access information about Supreme Court operationalised

The recent order by a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud came in a petition filed by the Pravasi Legal Cell, represented by advocate Jose Abraham.

Mr. Abraham argued that Section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 stipulated that an information seeker had a statutory right to move an application through electronic means. However, several High Courts and most district courts entertain only physical RTI applications.

Also read: Seven years which saw the Supreme Court embrace live-streaming, online RTI portal

"The Supreme Court of India has recently set up an online portal facilitating requests for the supply of information. Online facilities would considerably facilitate the fulfilment of the objects of the Act. Though the Act was enacted in October 2005, after a lapse of 17 years, online web portals are still to be operationalised by some of the High Courts," the apex court recorded in its order.

.The Bench noted that some of the High Courts, as in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Delhi, have set up online RTI portals. The Karnataka High Court uses the web portal set up by the State government.

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