Sunday, February 19, 2012

Re: [HumJanenge] Central Information Commission warns the public authorities against demanding proof of citizenship from RTI applicants .

As per the RTI Act plz address application to the Public Information Officer, office of the Education Minister with address.

Same goes for the Director of Education.

Best Regds - Mohammed Afzal.

Sent from my iPhone

On 19-Feb-2012, at 12:12 PM, Hari Goyal <> wrote:

Dear Mr. Gill,

My opinion in this case is as follows:

You may file a RTI application seeking information under Right to Information Act, 2005 to Minister of Education (by name) and to Director of Education
both of Delhi Government by sending an IPO as application fee of Rs. 10/- immediately.

2.   I do not know the practice in AP and MP and we don't need to know.   

3.   With all the publicity the CM of Delhi getting, you will certainly get an answer.

With best wishes,

Hari Goyal
(Dr. Hari Dev Goyal)
Indian Economic Service (1968 Batch)
Director, RTI & Consumer Protection Centre-Dwarka
Phones: 011- 2

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:22:20 +0530
Subject: Re: [HumJanenge] Central Information Commission warns the public authorities against demanding proof of citizenship from RTI applicants .

Dear Sir,

I wish to seek guidance for the following case:

a)   Can a private school (say DPS) is justified in asking parents for addmission fee from old students of school, when they get promoted from one class to the other? Can an indivisual seek information under RTI about their policy on taking 'addmission  fee'
from old students each year, when they get promoted in next class.

b) If answer to above is yes, then what should be the procedure say in AP or MP? Can stamps of INR 10.00 be attached with the application?

c) What could be a suggested FORMAT of the application & its wording.


IS Gill

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM, Pradip Pradhan <> wrote:
Central Information Commission warns the public authorities against
demanding proof of citizenship from RTI applicants .

Dear  friends,
While deciding  a Complaint Case ( File No; CIC/AD/C/2011/001736 on
11.1.2012,, Ms. Annapurna Dixit, Central Information Commissioner
observed,    "there is no provision in the RTI Act to seek
identification of a citizen who seeks information from any Public
Authority. The PIO of the Company is warned not to seek such
identification in future u/s 3 of the RTI Act, which stipulates that
all citizens shall have the Right to Information, as it would be
construed by the Commission as deemed denial". The fact of the case is
that an RTI Applicant Mr. M Rangarajan of Bangalore had sought
information about the   provision of retirement benefits of the
employees from the PIO,  M/s. Braithwaite and Company Ltd under
Ministry of Railways, 5, Hide Road, Kolkata - 700 043. But the said
PIO quoting Section 3 of the Act demanded the proof of citizenship
identity of the applicant before he would be able to disclose the
information sought. Then the aggrieved applicant approached the
Central Information Commission with a complaint against the said
illegal order of the PIO. Having heard the parties to the case, the
CIC Mrs.Dixit passed the above order quoted above.
Now, let us have a look at the procedure of submitting RTI Application
in Odisha. The  State Govt.  has made a provision  under  Odisha Right
to Information Rules 2005 for  submission of  proof of  identity of
citizenship  along with RTI application  being made to any Public
Authority. Besides   a Compulsory and a lengthy 11-column "Form-A" has
been prescribed by the State Govt.  wherein the Column No.4  requires
submission of  Proof of Citizenship in the shape of a copy of Voter's
Card or Passport.  If  an RTI Applicant  fails  to attach the said
proof of Citizenship,  the PIO has been  given absolute power in
Form-C ( Intimation of Rejection) to reject the application on the
ground that "your identity is not satisfactory'. . This queer
provision  contradicts the letter and spirit of Section 6 (2) of the
RTI Act, which says, "An applicant  making request  for information
shall not be required  to give  any reason  for requesting the
information  or any other personal details  except those  that may be
necessary  for  contacting him". This provision also deprives
millions of young people in Odisha and outside of their right to apply
for information to any public authority located in Odisha, for the
obvious reasons that they being underaged can't have a voter's card
and they, in absence of any compelling need, may not have any passport
either. Besides quite many adult persons may not have a voter's card
at all, since it is not a compulsory provision at all to have a voter
card.. Thus millions of people in and outside Odisha who are bonafide
citizens because of their domicile within territory of India and thus
entitled to apply for information under Section 3 of the Act are
defrauded of this statutory right due to the ultra vires RTI Rules of

Besides, the mode of payment of application fees is either through
Treasury Challan or through cash. It means that every person, wherever
he or she may be located, has to physically visit the concerned office
to remit the application fee to the PIO, no matter the amount to be
paid is a trifle. Alternatively, he or she may post the application
fee through Treasury Challan. But as everybody knows, for collecting a
Treasury Challan of Rs.10/-, one has to visit the nearest town where
the Treasury Office may be located, stand in the queue for as many
hours as is required and also remember the excessively long Treasury
Code of the RTI application fee which is humanly impossible. Every RTI
applicant in Odisha has thus to pass through a hell of hassles in
availing the Treasury Challan of Rs.10/- to be attached to his or her
RTI application. But still funniest is the predicament of a citizen
living outside Odisha, who can neither afford to visit Odisha simply
to pay in cash the application fee of Rs.10/- to the concerned PIO nor
can arrange a Treasury Challan of Rs.10/- for remittance by post for
the said purpose, for the simple reason that there is no Office of
Odisha Treasury located outside Odisha. For such prohibitive modes of
payment, no person from outside Odisha has yet applied for information
under RTI Act to any public authority located in Odisha, and most
common people living inside Odisha have stayed away from using RTI Act
during last 6 and half years. In a nutshell, the Orissa RTI Rules can
be called Odisha RTI Disentitlement Rules.

However, the tragedy is that in Odisha such anti-RTI and anti-citizens
 provisions are upheld   and justified  by Odisha information
commissioners  during hearing of the cases and as well in course of
their address in public meetings. The only lame excuse they
unabashedly proffer in defense of the above anti-citizen Rules is that
the State Govt. has framed it.  While saying so, the Commissioners
blissfully ignore Section 25(5) of the Act, which authorizes the
Commission   to recommend  to any public authority including the State
Govt.  to take steps  for removing any deviation and effecting
conformity to the letter and spirit of Act.  Though nearly six  and
half years has  passed since Odisha Information Commission started
functioning , it has not  made a single recommendation   to remove the
anti-citizen and  ultra vires Odisha RTI Rules 2005. Of all, the
Compulsory Application Form, proof of citizenship and prohibitive mode
of payment for application  is the greatest nuisance wrought against
every citizen's right to information, and woefully enough, Odisha
Information Commission has been sleeping over it at tandem with the
State Government.

Will the Central Information Commission's latest, eye-opening warning
against the proof of citizenship of an RTI applicant serve as a
wake-up call to Odisha Information Commission for taking a similar

Pradip Pradhan

No comments:

Post a Comment