In recent appeal with AA Panchayat Samiti Cum BDO Hingna Nagpur followings were discussed. PIO failed to give the details of further fees representing the cost of providing the information as determined by him, together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount in accordance with fee prescribed. PIO was required to carry all the information pertaining to the case, as mentioned in the notice issued by AA, but PIO was unable to provide the same during appeal proceeding. Ultimately he called employees during appeal proceeding who carried few information, but still couldn’t submit the calculations. What should be cost of information, what is the size of paper, what is per page cost couldn’t be ascertained. PIO demanded Rs 266O for approximately 600 pages which included search fee and postage.
PIO was of the opinion that he has powers to charge @ Rs. 5 per page information and RTI act allows him to decide the cost of information. Copies of resolutions by Gram Panchayat and date of such resolution couldn’t be ascertained as PIO failed to carry this information. AA was of the opinion that A4 page will cost Rs. 2 only. Order was not pronounced in appeal proceeding and order is awaited. Appellant prayed that since PIO failed to carry information and based on the documents available on record, PIO failed to provide calculations, information may please be supplied free of cost. Order is awaited!
RTI act 2005 has section 27 (appropriate Government) and section 28 (competent Authority). Definition of competent authority excludes PIO and Gram Sachiva of Gram Panchayat. If at all section 27 which relates to power to make rules by appropriate Government has to be considered my queries are.
Who can prescribe the fee payable under sub-section (1) of section 6 and the fee payable under sub-section (1) and (5) of section (7) The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act. How rules are notified in Official Gazette? Can PIO of GP make the rules as described above? Can PIO of GP apply two different fees to two different applicants?
Humbly requesting valuable inputs with case studies which will help me obtain information and/ or file further appeal with IC.
PIO does not have discretion to charge fee as per his own judgement /decision.He has to charge the fees as decided by the competent authority under relevant sections of RTU Act.Even AA does not have authority to decide upon quantum of fee to be cahrged.Yes AA can ask the pIO to supply the information free of cost and AA can hear an appeal against the PIO if fee has been charged in excess of provisions contained in the RTI Act meaning if excess is charged in the opinion ogf the applicant than he can go in for a appeal against such cahrges..For details the one can go to RTI portel ( FAQ).