Income Tax returns, PF and RTI

Does the government Owe you money like PF, Income tax returns, Pensions??
No one seems to be able to tell you when and how you will get this money.......

Well there seems to be some good news and the good news is in the form of "RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT".

What is RTI?

Well in the supreme courts words ""The “right to information” is defined in sec. 2(j) as a right to information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes a right to (i) inspection of work, documents, records, (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records, (iii) taking separate samples of material, (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.""

It basically means that the government Babu who earlier denied giving you any information about the whereabouts of your money has to now give you the same in written. That is the power of the RTI act.

Not many of us are aware of how to utilize this to our benefit and especially when there is money involved. Well i will try to explain in a few paras below...

1. Any application for the same needs to be submitted, although there is no format for the same but you can use a format prescribed by the State of Maharashtra as it is much more clear and cons ice.

2. The language of communication can be Hindi, English or any local language.

3. You need to file this application with Public Information Officer of the Government body, which they have to appoint as a compulsory thing.

4. You need to add a Rs. 10 Postal order stamp on the application.

5. Dont forget to add a photocopy of the necessary documents like the ITR form in case you are looking for your Income tax returns or a copy of the PF application in case of PF accounts or maybe just the PF number.

6. Always keep a copy of the application with you for records.

7. Never use complicated words or misleading words always try to keep your language as simple as possible and to the point.

After filing the application the PIO is bound to give you a reply within 30 days of filing the application. If you do not get your reply you can first send him a reminder and then escalate this issue to the CIC (Chief Information Commissioner). Also if the PIO is not able to justify the delay in giving response to your application or giving wrong information the CIC can fine him for Rs.250/ day.

I found this example of an application on the net maybe it can help

The Public Information Officer
Recognised Provident Fund Commissioner
New Delhi.
No. SV ghsds Road

Subject: Pending of provident fund transfer

Description of the information required: I had applied for transfer of my PF from account number xxx with company

abc to account number yyy in company pqr. Company abc tells me that the amount has been paid to you vide cheque
number 12345 dated 5th May 2007. However, the transfer has not been effected into my account number yyy. I want
the following information:
a. What is the progress of the file?
b. Which officer dealt with this file and with whom is the file pending?
Place: Delhi

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