Earlier, there was no word limit in seeking information. However,
the rules said that "no application shall be rejected on the ground
that it contains more than five hundred words".
According to a notification by the Department of Personnel and
Training under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and
Pensions, an applicant will have to pay additional postal charges
"involved in supply of information that exceeds Rs 50".
There will be no fee charged from a person below the poverty line
for providing a copy of the certificate issued by the appropriate
government in this regard, it said.
The RTI Act, which was enacted in 2005, covers disclosure of
information on almost all matters of governance.
The appeal filed by an aggrieved person has to be accompanied with a
copy of the application submitted to the Central Public Information
Officer, a copy of reply received, if any, from the CPIO, a copy of
the appeal made to the First Appellate Authority, a copy of the
order received, if any, from the FAA, copies of other documents
relied upon by the appellant and referred to in his appeal and an
index of documents referred to in the appeal.
"An appeal may be returned to the appellant, if it is not
accompanied by the documents as specified," the rules said. The
transparency watchdog can dismiss an appeal after hearing the
appellant or recording its reason in case it is not satisfied that
it is a fit case to proceed with.
"The Commission shall not consider an appeal unless it is satisfied
that the appellant has availed of all the remedies available to him
under the Act," the notification said.
However, no appeal shall be dismissed only on the ground that it has
not been made in the specified format, it said.
As per the notified rules, fee can be paid in cash or by demand
draft, bankers cheque, postal order or by electronic means in case
such facility is available with the public authority.
The activists, however, are not happy over the new RTI rules.
[Indraneel Sen Gupta is a Global Business Strategist & Global
Macro Economic Researcher. ]