Demand of a fee of Rs. 2 by spending Rs. 20 on registered letter
An application was filed with the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information about conferring of Padma Awards in 2013 and regarding certain other controversies related with the matter.
In the reply to the application, some information was provided to the applicant from both – the President’s Secretariat as well as the ministry of home affairs (MHA). The Public Information Officer (PIO) asked the applicant to visit the concerned websites to obtain the information. However, as the applicant sought to get information in hard copy, the PIO sent a letter to him asking him to deposit Rs. 2 for photocopying the information. In the process of this communication, the PIO spent Rs. 20 as charges for registered post.
The Central Information Commission said that though demanding charges for photocopying the information is valid under the RTI Act, such action on part of information officers cannot be approved as pragmatic. The PIOs must act prudently and should ensure that no extra public money is lost.