PIO asks RTI applicant to pay a further fee of Rs. 1.34 crore
An application was filed with the office of the Inspector General of the Revenue Department, Bihar under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about land deals of agricultural land near cities. The applicant aimed to learn about how the land sharks were buying agricultural lands and then using them for commercial purposes.
The applicant received the requested information from 16 districts, but the reply from the public information officer of the Begusarai registration office demanded Rs. 1.34 crore for getting access to the documents. The reply said that the applicant could get copies of the documents only after depositing the demanded fee. The PIO further asked the applicant to pay a fee of Rs. 2,338 for another piece of information on his query, while the other districts had provided the same information free of cost.
The applicant has alleged a nexus between the corrupt officials and the land mafia to obstruct the free flow of information. An internal review has also revealed that in past five years, the state registration department has suffered a revenue loss of Rs. 527.25 crore indicating some sort of anomalies. This is to be noted that the value of agricultural land in Bihar is much lower than that of commercial land.