A NGO, Common Cause, has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the rules framed by the Allahabad High Court for disclosing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
It has been claimed in the petition that “If the rules drafted by the Allahabad High Court are allowed to stand, it would negate the citizen’s right to information under the RTI Act and frustrate the implementation of the latter. The RTI Act is a reflection of the will of the citizens of India that has been codified by Parliament, and accepting rules repugnant to the provisions and object of the Act would render the RTI Act redundant,”
The Allahabad High Court has prescribed charging Rs. 500/- as application fee which has been criticized as being against the RTI Act which prescribes for reasonable fee to be charged from information seekers. The fee prescribed by the central government for filing a application is just Rs. 10/- and the HC rules have been claimed to be violation of the RTI Act as they prescribe exorbitant charges. Moreover, the rule prescribing a fee of Rs 15 per page of information to be supplied has been challenged for putting undue and prohibitive restrictions on obtaining information.
Repeated recommendations by Central Information Commission (CIC) to modify these RTI rules has not met with any success at the hands of the Allahabad High Court.