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Banglore RTI Activist Asked To Pay Rs.75000.00 To Get Information… CIC Says After 30 Days Under The RTI Act “The PIO Should be Paying the Same”

27 March 2011 No Comment

Various attempts are made by various departments all over India for not providing Information to RTI Activist’s , by not providing the sought information in some way or other, In a recent incident the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has asked an RTI Activist to Shell out Rs.75000.00 for getting the information he had asked.

RTI Activist B.K Ramesh had filed RTI Application with the BBMP’s Road Department, but to their shock Ramesh has decided to pay the amount and get the information he has asked as he is sure that there are various irregularities in the BBMP and to cover the same they have demanded a huge some of Money from him for providing Information.

As per the  Right To Information Act, an applicant can only be asked to pay a maximum of Rs 2 for photocopy charges, for an A4 size page.

The BBMP is justifying the amount of Rs.75000.00 by stating that the information also contains photographs and the cost of printing each photograph is Rs 5. Ramesh is expecting that he would be provided five photographs for each project which will sum up to the total of Rs.75000.00,

Ramesh had asked information of the works under taken by the Roads department in  Rajarajeshwari Nagar Zone, asking copies of Tender documents ,News paper Advertisements etc. It seems that RTI Activist’s are not just digging out documents for finding out rampant corruption involved in Civic bodies around the country but also

In his  another RTI application Ramesh had asked the BBMP to provide details of major road works taken up by assistant engineer Swami, who has been on deputation from the PWD department since 2008. Ramesh sought details of the works completed, the names of the contractors who had undertaken the work, payment details and copies of the receipts. Ramesh was asked to pay Rs 25,000 for this information too.

In total Ramesh has been asked to Cough up Rs.75000.00 if he needs the information sought by him, without the BBMP Authorities specifying the number of documents he is going to be provided.

The  State Information Commissioner and Central Information Commissioner has taken a note of this matter and asked Ramesh to approach the Appellate  Authority and demand clarification of the same. As per Mr.Shailesh Gandhi “The officer should have mentioned the number of pages.   The applicant can approach the state information commission directly without approaching the appellate authority. The information should have been provided within 30 days. If it’s not provided within that time, the information must be provided free of cost as per the RTI Act 2005”.

It seems now the BBMP is in a Dock by sending out a payment notice in reply for the RTI Application, which can again back fire on their officials as they will be the ones to cough out the amounts, as the details were not provided within the mandatory 30 days clause.


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