Does the fee prescribed under Companies Act prevail over the fees prescribed by RTI Rules?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Office of the Registrar of Companies seeking certified copies of Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, share capital, registered office in respect of a company registered with Office of Registrar of Companies Rajasthan. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that the desired information is available in the public domain at Ministry’s website. The PIO also stated that there is an inbuilt mechanism within the provisions of section 610 of the Companies Act read with rules framed there under to make public inspection and get certified copies after deposit of requisite fee on-line. While filing the second appeal filed before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated that he has sought information under the provisions of the RTI Act and not under the Companies Act and that the respondent has ignored the provisions of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) referred to a judgment of High Court of Delhi [dated 1.6.2012 in W.P. (c) 11271/ 2009 in the matter of Registrar of Companies & Others Vs. Dharmendra Kumar Garg & another] wherein it was held that merely because a different charge is collected for providing information under Section 610 of the Companies Act than that prescribed as the fee for providing information under the RTI Act does not lead to an inconsistency in the provisions of these two enactments. The RTI Act is a general law which deals with the right of a citizen to access information available with a public authority, subject to the conditions and limitations prescribed in the said Act. On the other hand, Section 610 of the Companies Act is a piece of special legislation, which deals specifically with the right of any person to inspect and obtain records i.e. information from the ROC. Therefore, the later general law cannot be read or understood to have abrogated the earlier special law.
The Commission rejected the appeal stating that the fees prescribed under the Companies Act will prevail over the fees prescribed by the RTI Rules.
Citation: Mr. Om Prakash Agarwal v. Office of the Registrar of Companies Rajasthan in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/002739
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1371
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