RTI fee rules: Will there be a common fee rule in the country?
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the registrar general of the Allahabad High Court has informed that the RTI rules of the court are proposed to be amended. As per the rule 4 of the Allahabad High Court RTI rules, currently the fee for seeking information is Rs. 500/-. As per the central fee rules, an application fee of merely Rs. 10/- is required to be paid along with the RTI application. Under the proposed amendment to the High Court fee rules, the amount of RTI application fee charged by the court shall be reduced to Rs 10/-.
RTI activists all over the country had voiced their opposition to the high fee structure. Even the Central Information Commission (CIC), had noted the extraordinary quantum of application fee charged from the applicants and had asked for a revision in the fees. In April 2011, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had taken up the matter with the chief secretaries of all the states, registrars of all high courts and registrar of the Supreme Court to adopt a uniform practice and charge a fee of Rs. 10/- from the RTI applicants.
The Allahabad High Court has informed the CIC about the modification of the RTI rules which have been sent to the government for publication in the official gazette. The amended rules, officers said, are pending with the state government for notification in the official gazette. The earlier Allahabad High Court (Right to Information) Rules, 2006 were notified by the UP government on September 20, 2006.
Would the other High Courts adopt a common fee rule?