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Monday, May 31, 2010

No postage can be charged by Public Authorities for providing information under the RTI Act : Govt of India

There was a tendency on the part of some public authorities, including PIOs of the military establishment, to charge postal charges from RTI Applicants while providing information under the RTI Act. These charges were levied by such PIOs over and above the ones already provided under the Statutory RTI (Regulation of fee and cost) Rules, 2005, promulgated by the Govt of India.

While many RTI Applicants thought the said charges to be arbitrary and knew these to be illegal, not many protested, ostensibly to avoid further delay in dissemination of information. Even way back, in the case of Dr Mohd Naved Khan Vs Aligarh Muslim University decided on 03 August 2007, the CIC had held demand of postal charges to be unreasonable. Further, in some cases, the CIC had again ruled that it was not permissible to charge any fee over and above already provided by the rules. The CIC had further advised the govt to include in the rules any other charges such as postal charges if the govt so desired, but in the present form and structure of the rules, any demand of the same was not legal, the CIC had held.

Keeping in view the above observations and advice of the CIC, the govt has finally decided to apprise its public authorities that no charges apart from the ones provided in the ibid rules can be made applicable to RTI Applicants by public authorities. The govt has further decided not to make any rule by which postal charges can be sought from applicants. Public Information Officers have also been directed not to seek any amount towards postal charges.

The Govt decision can be accessed by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

just a query. consider i am looking for a information under rti act. The information that i receive from the authorities, should it be:-

1. in q&a format?
2. copy of letters or part of file?
3. i know this has been asked earlier. can it be in the form of notings?

can i ask for a copy of file and noting without justifying the reason for asking the same??

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

Anony @ 11.29 / 31 May

1. The query can be in Q&A format only if it is objective. You cannot ask subjective questions in the form of seeking explanation. Explanation or opinion can only be sought if it is recorded in any form.

2. Of course, copy of letters or any part of any file can be sought under RTI.

3. File notings can be sought under RTI

There is no requirement for providing any reason for seeking information under the RTI Act.

Anonymous said...

@ Navdeep. Thanks for taking time to answer query. Just taking a bit more of your time...

1. one puts in a query asking for explanation and opinion and the reply is given as a text format. However, the reply doesnot cite any references. how will the person putting forward a query will know if reply exists in letter or notings?

2. In above case, lets say, one asks for reference letters and notings and gets it. On scrutiny (s)he feels that the reply (s)he received is either partial or incomplete which actually hides facts rather than revealing it in toto. what should be the next course of action?

Pied Piper said...

@ Anonymous

1. If you are not satisfied with the reply the go in for 1st appeal with the Appelate authority within 30 days of your reciving the reply from PIO.

2. The information should be provided within 90 days from the date the information should have been given.

3. If still not satisfied you may prefer a 2nd appeal with the Central Information Commission.

Anonymous said...

MRP said....
Anony @ 1.53 PM/O1 June

The 1st Appellate Authority has to supply the required information within 30 days and if you are not satisfied, then you may prefer an appeal before CIC within 90 days in prescribed format.

Anonymous said...

lets take inspiration as to how retired people should be treated by its organisation..

Anonymous said...

trivial issues.out of steam with issues that matter.review ,or forget .

Brig Anil Nanda said...

Caution:Hidden Risk: Defence Discount on Spicejet. Spicejet offers a defence discount of 50 percent of base fare for defence pers,exservicemen and their families. However,in case you are not able to travel, you stand to lose the complete cost of the ticket since they have clubbed it under promo fare and do not allow cancellation/ change. Though this rider is indicated during the process of booking the ticket, one is likely to miss it . The unfairness of this business practice, especialy since its the soldier's itinerary which gets changed frequently due to reasons beyond his control, has been taken up with them but it has been like water off a duck's back.Hence this caution to all defence personnel. The discount may not be worth it. To put it in perspective, I lost approx Rs 15000/- against a total discount of approx Rs1700/-,due to change in leave dates. Indigo and GOAIR offer similar discount without denying the facility of cancellation or change on same terms as a normal ticket, hence may be preferred. Also, I wonder if there is a way, this practice by spicejet of pretending to benefit the defence personnel on one hand is actually discouraging the use of the facility on the other. Brig Anil Nanda