i hail from Maharashtra and have been denied some information saying that i had not applied in prescribed format.
At times my other RTI application has been responded without prescribed format and also postal order sent as fees has been accepted though for RTI application site says only DD/ B.C. or cash is acceptable.
1.can government exercise discretion when to accept P.O. or accept application without prescribed format .
2.can't it be a gorund for appeal against refusal to accept application without prescribed format and refusal to accept P.O.as fees?
3.Has CIC given any guidelines/ decisions in this regard?
4.What is the remedy if first appeal is not made in presribed time limit? do i need to start over afresh once again?
Since you are in Maharashtra, I presume that your case pertains to a PA in Maharashtra.
I tried for some decision/citation from the Maharashtra SIC but unfortunately there is no search function on their website. Moreover, there are many decisions in Marathi, which I cannot read at all. Please go through some of the decisions made in the initial months of the RTI Act in Maharashtra and you might be able to get a citation.
However, I found a similar case under the CIC, pertaining to a Central Ministry. The second appeal under reference raises the same issues as raised by you in your post above and might be useful to you:
Please remember that under Central Rules, there is no prescribed form WHILE under Maharashtra Rules there are prescribed forms.
If the First Appeal is not made within the prescribed time limit, then the First Appellate Authority has the power to "condone" the delay in case you give good enough reasons.
Otherwise, the only other alternative is to apply afresh.
Even if a decision of State Commission is there to apply in prescribed format, RTI rules prevail as there was no prescribed format and the only information needed from RTI appliation is that applicant is an Indian Citizen and that information must be available in records. GO for first appeal also.