RTI Rules – Denial of information due to absence of postal envelop
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the follow-up and compliance done by the authority with respect to sections 2, 4 and 5 of the RTI Act. The public information officer (PIO), in his reply to the application, stated that information could not be provided to the applicant as he had not attached the postal envelope as per the rules. According to the Maharashtra district court, Right to Information (Revised) Rules 2009, an applicant has to provide a self-addressed postal envelope with postal stamps equivalent to the rate for registered post with acknowledgment due (RPAD).
However, as the matter reached the first appellate authority and additional chief metropolitan magistrate, he contended that the order from the PIO was illegal as non-availability of self-addressed envelope cannot be the basis for denying information. The decision from the FAA also stated that the PIO should inform the applicant of the cost involved before he makes payment.
Many authorities have made rules which are in contravention of the RTI Act, 2005. When the authority is somebody with a legal background, it seems strange and leaves one exasperated.