Wednesday, May 26, 2010

[rti_india] No extra fees for babu's work

Hello forum,

DoPT has issued new circular regarding Fees.

News Item in DNA
In a decision that will have far-reaching consequences, prime minister
Manmohan Singh has given a big relief to right to information (RTI)

He has directed that no fee be charged from an applicant on account of
postal expenses or deployment of manpower for supplying information.

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) works under the PM.
DoPT, which looks into RTI applications, has issued a directive saying
a public information officer (PIO) cannot charge any extra fee for
supplying information other than what has already been prescribed by

"It is hereby clarified that when a PIO takes a decision to provide
information on payment of fee in addition to the application fee, he
should determine the quantum of such fee in accordance with the fee
prescribed under the fee and cost rules and give details of such fee
to the applicant together with the calculation made to arrive at such
a fee," the department said in a late night order issued on May 24.

It said neither the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee & Cost)
Rules, 2005 nor the RTI Act give powers to the PIO to charge any fee
other than what has been prescribed in the fee and cost rules.

However, the order also clarified that wherever supply of information
in a particular form would disproportionately divert the resources of
the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or
preservation of the records, the PIO may refuse to supply the
information in that form.

Speaking to DNA, noted RTI activist and Magsaysay-winner Arvind
Kejriwal said: "This is a right decision in accordance with the Act
and is very encouraging. It will clarify the position for all as
different judgments were coming from across the contry."

As per the central government rules, an RTI applicant has to submit
Rs10 for an application, Rs2 per page for the information sought, and
Rs50 per floppy or disk and actual cost for sample of models. In case
an applicant goes for inspection of records, no fee is charged for the
first hour, but Rs5 is charged every 15 minutes thereafter.


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