Wednesday, January 14, 2015
POSTAL STAMPS AS RTI FEE/COST - SEEKING COMMENTS FROM PUBLIC
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated 14th January, 2015
Subject: Introduction of postal stamps as RTI fee/cost - seeking comments from public regarding
RTI Rules, 2012 prescribe payment of RTI application fee/Cost through four Modes i.e. IPO, Demand Draft, Bankers Cheque and Cash against receipt. Apart from regular modes of payments, Information seekers can use the facility of e-IPO and also use Debit/Credit Card for filing online RTI application.
2. CIC in its full bench decision in the case No. CIC/BS/C/2013/000149/LS dated 27.08.2013 had inter-alia urged DoPT to consider acceptance of RTI stamps as a mode of payment of RTI Fee and Costs. The issue was examined in consultation with Department of Posts and the latter expressed its inability to print exclusive RTI stamps. Subsequently, Department of Posts recommended use of definitive series of postal stamps which are ubiquitously available in the Post Offices across the country in different denominations. It further added that, the RTI applicants would also need to affix the said stamp(s) on the RTI application. The RTI applicant(s) by putting his signature or thumb impression shall cancel the said postage stamp(s) to prevent it from misuse/re-use.
3. It was decided with the approval of the then MoS (PP) that acceptance of postal stamps as mode of payment of RTI fee and cost would require amendment in the RTI Rules notified on 31.7.2012 only, the recommendations of CIC may be noted and considered as and when amendment to RTI Rules are considered.
4. The CIC in its recent decision dated 12.12.2014 in File No.CIC/SA/C/2014/000038 has again recommended to DoPT to adopt the proposal of the Deptt. of Posts of use of ordinary Postal Stamps for payment of RTI fee.
5. Introduction of Stamps as one of modes of payment for RTI application fee would require amendment to the RTI Rules, 2012. In addition, the following issues need to be sorted out before taking any decision.
i. Use of ordinary postal stamps for the purpose of RTI may lead to accounting problem, as it would not be possible to account amount collected for RTI through ordinary stamps. Section 25(3)(e) of the RTI Act lays down that each public authority is required to communicate to CIC/SIC, as the case may be, the amount of charges collected under this Act for incorporation in their Annual Report.
ii. There is apprehension of misuse of ordinary stamps for the purpose of RTI, in the absence of specific procedure for crossing such stamps.
iii. Whether postal stamps may be considered for initial RTI fees only or for payment of additional fee also.
6. A Committee has been formed to look into the above and other related issues. It has been decided to invite views/suggestions from the citizens in the subject matter, for the consideration of the Committee. The views/suggestions, preferably not exceeding more than one page, may be sent latest by 7.2.2015 through email only to Shri R.K. Girdhar, Under Secretary (RTI), North Block at usrti-dopt@nic. in.
Director - IR
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