DU asks the applicant to seek answer scripts as per their guidelines
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the University of Delhi seeking copies of answer sheets of the five papers of LLB first year and a copy of his representation. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the University had issued two notifications giving guidelines for obtaining copy of evaluated answer script. The appellant was advised to contact OSD, Controller of Examinations for obtaining copy of the evaluated answer sheets. The PIO also asked the appellant to deposit Rs.12/- for providing the rest of the information.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant questioned the legality of Rs. 750/- per answer script when as per the RTI Act the fee prescribed is Rs 2/- per page.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that as per the section 2(j) “right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to- (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; (iii) taking certified samples of material; (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device; of the RTI Act, the Right to Information means the Right of Information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to information. The CIC also referred to another case which has been dealt with by the High Court of Delhi (in the case of Registrar of Companies and Others Vs Dharmendra Kumar Garg) wherein it was held that information in respect of which there is a statutory mechanism evolved (independent of the RTI Act) which obliges the public authority to share the same with the citizenry by following the prescribed procedures and upon fulfillment of the prescribed conditions, cannot be said to be information which is held by or under the control of any public authority. The CIC rejected the appeal.
As per section 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. of the RTI Act, the provisions of the RTI Act shall have effect if there is any inconsistency between the RTI Act and any other law. Can a huge difference in the fee demanded not be termed as an ‘inconsistency’? Giving freedom to different public authorities to fix the fee is bound to give rise to confusion and appears to be against the spirit of transparency for which the RTI Act stands.
Citation: Mr. Maneesh Kumar v. University of Delhi in File No. CIC/RM/A/2012/000573
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1321
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