Photo ID for filing a RTI application in Odisha
The state of Odisha has made it compulsory for a person filing an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to supply a proof of citizenship that is also a photo-ID. The set of rules adopted by the Odisha government makes it obligatory to submit a valid proof of citizenship, like a voter card or passport copy, along with a RTI application seeking inforamtion. An application not accompanied by the specified documents may be summarily rejected as per the new Right to Information rules adopted by Odisha.
The new provisions have received criticism as it limits access to information for those under the age of 18 and not holding passports as minors are not eligible for voter ID cards. The ID card of the school or college is left to the discretion of a PIO for admission as ID proof.
The RTI Act, 2005 requires an applicant to provide merely the contact details, while the documents sought by the state government render details like the permanent address of the applicant. The state rules cannot travel beyond the RTI Act and further, this could lead to harassment and intimidation of the applicants.