The PIO is well within his rights to ask for proof that you are a citizen of India because as per Sec 3 of the Act as well as the preamble only Citizens have the right.
Thanks for correcting me.
If that was the case, then the RTI Act would have expressly included "applicant must provide proof of Indian Citizenship such as....along with the application".
Many states have a specific form or format for submitting RTI application. But none of them include the words "proof of citizenship to be attached".
I do not know the exact figures, but I am sure that many Indians do not have any proof of citzenship because the law in India does not require a ID card or a inclusion in something called the "citizenship register".
There are many other points specifically included in the RTI Act or Rules and Regulations, so why not this one ?
One solution (to preempt any such move) is to start the RTI application as:
"I,......................., a citizen of India, would like to have the following information under the RTI Act 2005:.................."
The sections and clauses of the RTI Act are "expansive" in nature and may have been intentionally drafted to to allow a "liberal" interpretation.
Hello Taurous,PIO is well within his rights to ask for proof that you are a citizen of India ...
The issue here is not about the Rights of PIO. I am well aware of Sec. 3.
This thread is about the 30 days starts from which date?
My point is whether the PIO can delay information under this pretext?
Are you suggesting that without citizenship proof the RTI Application is incomlete & invalid, as in the case of RTI Fee discussed above?
And whether it can be delayed or rejected without a citizenship proof?
Please remember that there's no specific forms prescribed for seeking information.
The standard wordings regarding citizenship suggested by KaRiRa was given.
'I hereby State that I am a citizen of India and I don't belong to BPL Category.'
I have come across the following decisions. But they are not helpful to me.
Reference to any other decisions on this issue shall be highly appreciated.
I cannot find any reference to a decision where the information was delayed beyond 30 days, due to proof of citizenship but here is a decision of the CIC containing a observation that:
Whereas the information could have been provided only on payment of fees as required u/s 7(1), the date of receipt of fees cannot be taken as the date of initiating processing of applications
By the same argument, the PIO should have informed the applicant to produce his proof of citizenship and handed over the information before the expiry of 30 days, if the proof was provided before the expiry of that period.
Therefore the information became due on 5th February 2008.
Best is to make a First Appeal under Section 19 and clearly state in the First Appeal that the applicant would like to approach the CIc/SIC for imposition of penalty under Section 20 for the delay beyond the stipulated time of 30 days.
Another point to be considered is as to why did the PIO have a doubt about the applicants citizenship so close to the last date for giving reply ?