Should government introduce RTI stamps for payment of fee under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) seeking information pertaining to the resignation of the former Union Finance Minister from the post of Chairman of ISI. The Public Information Officer (PIO) returned the IPO attached with the RTI application to the appellant stating that it was not drawn in favour of ISI and requested to resubmit fresh IPO/DD drawn in favour of Indian Statistical Institute. The appellant filed a complaint under section 18 of RTI Act with the Central Information Commission (CIC).
During the hearing the before the CIC, the appellant objected to the non-acceptance of the IPO by the public authority and stated that as per the rules, the public authorities were bound to accept all IPOs in the name of the accounts officer of the public authority. The appellant further submitted that he has already received the requested information through another RTI application and wishes to close the matter by recommending the CIC, department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and Department of Posts, Government of India to examine the proposal to introduce RTI stamps (like revenue stamps) which will remove the harassment to RTI petitioners as well as heavy handling cost on postal orders.
View of CIC
The Commission held that they could only forward a copy of the order to the Secretary, DoPT and Secretary, Department of Posts so that the suggestion made by the appellant can be examined.
Unconfirmed reports have pointed to the fact that the government incurs a cost of nearly Rs 25 to 30 for ensuring that a postal order of Rs 10/- is cleared. A TI stamp or even a regular postal stamp would be a useful alternative mode for the payment of fees.
Citation: Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Indian Statistical Institute in Complaint: No. CIC/DS/C/2012/000952
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1297
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission