Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority refunds excess charge for document
As per a circular dated 21st December, 2009 issued by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), a fee of Rs 2,00 was to be charged stated that if a person wanted photocopy of a part of a building or a layout and if the document's dimension is less than A3. The circular categorically stated that if such documents were sought under RTI the charges would remain the same. The circular also fixed a fee of Rs 1,000 for an ammonia print of a building or a layout.
An applicant was made to pay Rs 1,000 for obtaining the building plan which was made by joining four A4 papers. The applicant submitted a quotation by a photocopy centre mentioning the rates for photocopy of documents of various sizes. He submitted that MHADA had not incurred a cost of more than Rs 10 in providing him the plan and sought excess amount charged from him. The Nagpur office of MHADA has refunded him the excess charged amount and has issued him a cheque of Rs 990. The applicant now wants the quashing the controversial circular.
This episode points to the need of aligning the rates charged for various photocopy works with those chargeable as fee under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.