Central Government asks states, courts to adopt Central RTI rules
mutatis mutandis in order to bring uniformity in the implementation of RTI Act through out the country
On 10th July, 2015, the Govt. of India has written a letter to all the States, High Courts and Supreme Court to adopt Central RTI rules, 2012 mutatis mutandis, so that there might be uniformity, as far as possible, in the matter of implementation of the Act throughout the country. Similar letter was also sent by Central Govt. to all the States on 26.4.2011 to follow Central Rules while framing state RTI Rules and prescribe fee in consonance with the fees prescribed by Govt. of India.
It deserves to be mentioned here that the Rules framed by the State Governments does not have uniformity each other and many states charge exorbitant fees which are not all reasonable. Different type of fees charged by different states has created a lot of problem for the Citizens in their pursuit of exercising their Rights under RTI Act.
For example, Odisha has made appeal fee of Rs. 20/- and Rs. 25/- for first appeal and second appeal respectively going against the provision of the RTI Act. The Central Govt. and many state Govt. has not made any provision of appeal fee for first appeal and second appeal complying the RTI Act.
Similarly, as per section 7(5) of the RTI Act, a BPL Applicant need not pay any kind of fee under RTI Act. The Central Govt. and all the State Govt. do not charge any kind of fee from the BPL people. But the Govt. of Odisha which projects itself as champion of cause of the poor uses to collect fee for information from BPL people. The illegal collection of fee for information from the BPL people has dissuaded the BPL people of Odisha to exercise their right under RTI Act.
It is also fact that many courts are also charging a whopping Rs 500 as application fee.
Pradip Pradhan,RTI Activist Odisha