A PIO cannot asked for additional fee after 30 days of receipt of application
The appellant sought the photocopies of certain forms and annexure submitted to the Ministry of Environment for seeking environmental clearance in a matter along with the name and address of the person who executed the application for environmental clearance. He also asked about the copy of the environmental clearance and the licence issued by the Director Country and Town Planning, Chandigarh. The PIO informed the appellant that the total number of pages requested is 58 and necessary information will be provided after the receipt of the amount of Rs. 126 [@ Rs.2/-per page].
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The Central Information Commission noted that the PIO had asked for a fee of Rs. 126/- after the lapse of a period of 30 days of receipt of application. Further, no information was provided for some of the queries. The Commission observed that this was clearly an error since the information should have been supplied within 30 days and in the event of information being provided after 30 days, the PIO should have provided it free of cost as per the provisions of Section 7(6) of the RTI Act. Holding that the appellant has been unnecessarily harassed in filing the appeal and paying additional fees, the Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 2000/- to the appellant as per the provisions of Section 19(8) (b) of the RTI Act. The PIO was directed to give the information as per the above mentioned queries.
Citation: Mr. Vijay Gupta v. Ministry of Environment & Forest in file no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003729
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/151
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