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Rs 62000/- demanded as Xerox fee by BDO to dissuade appellant: SIC
10/15/2018 10:40:49 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Oct 15: With an aim of demoralizing an RTI information seeker, a Block Development Officer (BDO) asked the RTI applicant to deposit Rs 62000/- on account of Xerox fees without making the actual calculations. State Information Commission (SIC) has called this an attempt to dissuade the appellant by the BDO.
Details available with Early Times reveal that an RTI application was filed by one Kashmir Singh R/O Matta , district Kishtwar on 27.10.2017 before PIO/BDO, Kishtwar seeking information regarding mode of payment, cheque, invoice, cash payment alongwith receipt relating to Model Village and functioning of all schemes being implemented in the block. He also sought details of material bill form, V.M.C. report, measurement book, approved annual plans, Muster Sheets under MGNREGA, SDRF, BRGF from 2011 to 2017 October.
The PIO vide his communication dated: 13.11.2017 asked RTI applicant to deposit a sum of Rs. 62,000/- on account of xerox charges. The appellant vide his communication dated: 14.12.2017 requested the PIO to allow inspection of records to the appellant as the amount projected by the PIO was huge and has been demanded without specifying the exact number of pages of information to be supplied.
SIC in its order said, "Though the information sought by the appellant is very huge and voluminous, but the then PIO had not specified as to how he calculated Rs. 62,000/- as photocopying charges. The demand, on the face of it, looks unreasonable and perhaps an attempt on the part of the then PIO to dissuade the appellant from seeking information. The PIO is directed to fix a mutually convenient date with the appellant and facilitate inspection of records by providing access to all the relevant records sought by the appellant through his RTI request. In case after having inspection, the appellant seeks copies of certain documents/records, the same shall be provided by the PIO on payment of requisite charges, provided the appellant seeks reasonable amount of information."
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