I on date 05-11-2007, through Registered A/D Post had sent the first appeal to my RTI Application to the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Department addressed to The First Appellate Authority (As per RTI Act 2005). The letter returned back to me with a note “Not Known”, being struck through and “Refused 20/11/07” scribbled on it.
What should be my next course of action?
One colleague who had earlier filed an RTI request against SEBI in Bombay claimed that to be absolutely sure the request could not be ignored, one needed to go to the General Post Office's special RTI window, with 3 copies of the request, and apparently at that wndow they stamp each page of even what goes inside the envelope with some "RTI Matter" stamp. One copy is sent on to the addressee, another retained by the GPO, and the last returned to the sender as acknowledgment.
I realize it seems a little crazy that one has to go to such lengths to even secure acknowledgment of an initial RTI request. But if a Public Authority is stubborn, there may be no other choice.
My own experience has been that sending by email (at least to SEBI and RBI, and via the Indian consulate in NYC) has elicited acknowledgment. My problems have all been after that stage.:-):-):-) I had to try this as my location prevents me from going to a GPO, and I couldn't bring myself to trouble friends in Bombay over something like this, given they have very busy lives of their own.
I don't know whether this "RTI Matter" stamp is available only from the GPO, or from any post office in India. My colleague did go to the Bombay GPO. Best,