Of late I am receiving messages seeking clarification as to how to calculate period within which information should be received, where other charges are payable. I clarify as under:
Suppose an RTI application contains following types of queries:
a. Queries which require no other charges:
Information should be mailed within 30 days from the date of receipt by PIO. These queries should not be delayed for other charges payment.
b. Queries pertaining to other public authorities:
They should be transferred within 5 days of receipt by PIO to other public authorities.
c. Queries which require payment of other charges:
Following calculation has to be worked out to know if the information is supplied within the stipulated time of 30 days.
No. of days from the date of receipt by PIO to date of dispatch of information minus no. of days from the date of dispatch of intimation to pay other charges to date of receipt of other charges = should not exceed 30 days.
If this period exceeds 30 days, then applicant can claim refund of other charges through first appeal.
This issue is clarified in section 7.3.a of RTI Act.
Date of letter may differ from date of dispatch and hence envelopes should be preserved.