Having noticed this huge lacuna in the general public’s understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, The Leaflet will be running a weekly column on it, in an attempt to make Indian citizens more aware about the myriad uses of the Act, thereby encouraging its wider application in holding various government departments accountable and transparent in their functioning as well as decision-making process.
CBSE has been frustrating the students’ right the access to answer sheets by charging exorbitant fee of Rs. 1200 for obtaining the copies of board examinations which is in contravention to the RTI Act, and Rules framed thereunder that provides for only Rs 2 per page for accessing the information.
All public authorities under the RTI Act, whether within the public or the non-government sector are prohibited from charging GST for providing information under the RTI Act. he GST Act's exemption will directly apply to the duties that PIOs perform under the RTI Act. This exemption will apply to First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) also who are government servants, wherever the State RTI Rules empower them to charge appeal fees. Therefore, it would be brazenly illegal to charge GST for providing access to information or deciding first appeals under the RTI Act.
The Petitioner has contended that in the Uttarakhand State Elections held in February 2017, not only the Election Commission officials and employees of Electronics Corporation Of India Limited(ECIL) were allowed access to the EVMs, but also several persons belonging to a private firm M/s T&M Services Consulting Private Limited engaged by the ECIL were allowed to access the EVMs — thereby raising serious concerns and apprehensions about the possibility of a security breach.
The RTI application was filed on July 5, 2014 which cited media report stating that Amit Shah, the national president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, would be provided Z-Plus security cover by the Government. This information was denied by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the MHA, citing exemption clause (g) & (j) of the Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, 2005, and has now been upheld by the CIC.