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Atul Patankar

CIC frames new rules for applications from abroad

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Atul Patankar

As reported at www.business-standard.com on 12 May 2009

 

In order to ease RTI application process from abroad, the Central Information Commission has framed new rules enabling NRIs to pay application fees and information costs at the Indian embassies and missions abroad.

 

NRIs will also be able to avail audio-video conference facilities in case of first and second appeals.

 

"We have finalised new rules and regulations which will help NRIs to easily process their applications while exercising their Right to Information. There will be an easy-to-follow procedure for paying fee against the information in Indian Embassies and audio-video conferencing facility in case of first and second appeals," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah told PTI.

 

As per the new procedure envisaged, Habibullah said, "Embassies may accept only the fee and information cost and provide e-receipts to applicants who can then directly file their RTIs to public authorities in India by email along with proof of payment."

 

The CIC said, "I will soon meet concerned officials at the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Personnel and Training other stake holders for this."

 

NRIs have often complained of a cumbersome process of fee-payment for seeking information.

 

"Till now, there is no definite procedure to deposit the fee of Rs 10 from outside to the public authority anywhere in India which is a big difficulty for accessing the information," RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra, who filed an RTI with Indian mission in Washington to assess the problems faced by NRIs in filing the applications, said.

 

According to the Indian Embassy website, people can submit applications along with documentary proof of Indian citizenship and send prescribed fee in local currency, equivalent to Indian Rs 10 in cheque or demand draft.

 

However, "they need to send the fee directly to public authority here in India for which the process is quiet vague. Also there is no provision of audio-video conferencing facility in case of first and second appeals," Batra said.

 

"From abroad, payment in India in Rupees for RTI Fee is a cumbersome process, especially when different modes of payment and amount being prescribed and accepted by Centre, State Governments and other Public Authorities like Courts.

 

"In Uttar Pradesh, one has to apply and paste treasury stamp for getting copy of State Information Commission's order. How can a person travel all the way from America to paste stamp and get the information?", he asked.

 

Source : CIC frames new rules for RTI applications from abroad

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karira

The heading seems to be incorrect.

CIC has no powers to modify, amend or make any new rules for RTI.

These powers are only vested in the "appropriate government" and the "competent authority" as per Sec 27 and Sec 28 of the RTI Act.

 

CIC has powers to recommend under Sec 19(8) and Sec 25(5) and that too limited to the Central Government.

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sandeepbaheti
The heading seems to be incorrect.

CIC has no powers to modify, amend or make any new rules for RTI.

These powers are only vested in the "appropriate government" and the "competent authority" as per Sec 27 and Sec 28 of the RTI Act.

 

CIC has powers to recommend under Sec 19(8) and Sec 25(5) and that too limited to the Central Government.

 

Even the news item says that the rules have been framed by CIC. Either the heading is correct or the entire news article has been misreported.

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colnrkurup

After hearing complete Ramayan," the doubt of Seethaji's relation to Rama remain". We have been fighting since last 2 years crying that CIC has no power to make Rules and the unlawful CIC's (Management) regulation 2007 is non-sustainable and our Hon'ble CIC is could'nt careless. Not only he keep on making Rules and now started issuing amendments to his Rules also (Review case). Let me repeat my oft repeated saying - 'As for as the CIC is concened, the queu starts from where he opt to stand". Till we succeed to bridle the wild CIC and SICs, making them accountable to their atrocious orders, we ourselves can see the doom of RTI Act.

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