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Don't pay 500/- for answer sheet now- Supreme Court says if Answer sheet is asked under RTI, RTI Fees will be governed

If a candidate seeks information under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, then payment has to be sought under the RTI Rules.
The question before the Supreme Court was which Guidelines/Rules will govern the prescription of fee for copies of answer sheets and their inspection.
The Court held that while the ICSI is governed by the Companies Secretaries Act, 1980 and the Examination Committee formed under the statute prescribes a certain fee, the RTI Rules also lay down a fee structure for procurement of answer sheets. The Court held,
“In our opinion, the existence of these two avenues is not mutually exclusive and it is up to the candidate to choose either of the routes. Thus, if a candidate seeks information under the provisions of the Right to Information, then payment has to be sought under the Rules therein, however, if the information is sought under the Guidelines of the appellant, then the appellant is at liberty to charge the candidates as per its guidelines.”
The decision was rendered by a Bench of Justices NV Ramana and S Abdul Nazeer, which made it clear that if there are other avenues to procure answer sheets, the applicant can choose which one to route her request through.
The RTI Rules entitle a student to seek inspection and certified copies of their answer scripts. When this right is exercised, Rule 4 will govern the levy of the required charges. This Rule stipulates a fee of Rs. 2 for each page of the answer script. For inspection, no fee is prescribed for the first hour. For every subsequent hour of inspection, the fee is Rs. 5 per hour.
The order came in an appeal filed by the Institute of Companies Secretaries of India (ICSI) against a decision of a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.
The respondent, Advocate Paras Jain, had sought from ICSI certified copies of answer sheets and their inspection under RTI. He was charged a fee for the same as per Guideline No. 3 notified by the Statutory Council of the ICSI. As per the ICSI Guidelines, the fee for the supply of certified copies was Rs. 500 per answer sheet, and the charge for inspection was Rs. 450 per answer book.
Download the decision here.15222_2014_Order_11-Apr-2019.pdf

3.65 crore per day ad spending by Government -RTI

According to information obtained under RTI by Desai, the central government has spent Rs 632.18 crore on print media, Rs 475.11 crore on electronic media and Rs 208.54 crore on outdoor media. The information on how much money spent on the advertisement on foreign media is not available with the Bureau of Outreach and Communication.

"It is shocking to see that central government spent almost Rs 1315.83 crore. Which means the government spends Rs 3.65 crore per day. That's a huge amount but they have given just Rs 600 crore to Kerala state which is in distress due to floods," said Desai.

Prime Minsiter’s ‘fitness challenge’ video costs Zero Rupees in making

‘No expenditure has been incurred on (the) filming of the video posted by Shri Narendra Modi. The video was filmed at the Prime Minister’s Residence. The videography was done by the PMO cameraman. Nothing has been procured for the video,’ the PMO said.

The 'Fitness Challenge' was started by Rathore on Twitter as part of the 'Hum Fit Toh India Fit' campaign on May 22.While taking up star cricketer Virat Kohli's 'Fitness Challenge', the Prime Minister on June 13 shared a video of him performing yoga on Twitter.
Later, some reports said that Rs 35 lakh were spent on making the video.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education soon!

Replying to an RTI query, ministry’s central public information officer (CPIO) Anand Prakash, also the deputy secretary, informed that he had directed the department of school education to take necessary action on the issues related to MHRD urgently, as directed by Madras HC. He also sent a copy of his reply to Dr Indrajit Khandekar, professor and in-charge of Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit (CFMU) at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram. 
In the order, justice N Kirubalan had directed the central government to take a decision to introduce free and compulsory comprehensive sexuality education at the high school level. It should be done to enable students to understand gender identity, sexuality, age-related physical changes and problems, and to protect themselves from sexual advances and abuses. “India has its commitment under United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Agenda 1994, affirming the sexual and reproductive rights (SRRs) of adolescents and young people as per Article 253 of the Constitution of India,” the judge had said. 
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    Can clerical mistake condone penalty?


    clerical mistake condone penaltyWhen Public Information officer of Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board apologized for the clerical mistake, CIC accepted the explanation and dropped the penalty proceedings. Not only PIO had earlier given wrong reply stating that stay is pending in the High Court when actually stay was already vacated and the writ petition was dismissed by the High Court but also had destroyed the copies of previous question booklets in respect of LDC & Steno examination in spite of the fact that High Court and the CIC were seized of the matter.


    However, when CIC issued show cause notice to the PIO to explain why penalty cannot be imposed for (a) destroying the question papers in spite of the fact that High Court and the CIC were seized of the matter and (b) giving wrong reply stating that stay is pending in the High Court when actually stay was already vacated and the writ petition was dismissed by the High Court, the PIO not only traced out the distorted copies of previous question booklets in respect of LDC & Steno examination but also apologized for the clerical mistake committed by the then PIO who stated that there was a stay was granted by the Delhi High Court when actually the stay was vacated.


    The PIO while hearing has also stated that "the Board has decided to upload the question booklet on the website a day after the completion of examination conducted by the Board "


    What are your views? Is it a success story of RTI that now the question booklet are being uploaded on the website a day after the completion of examination? Or do you think that PIO was let go by CIC easily? Post your views in the comments below or at the forum here!

    Can clerical mistake condone penalty?

    As per section 18 (1) (e)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information under this Act; and & under Section: 20 Penalties (1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer has, knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information, or destroyed information which was the subject of the request it shall impose a penalty.


    The decision can be downloaded from here! This article has been prepared from the decision posted by CIC on its website


    Kishan Lal Meena Vs Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board , CIC/AD/A/2012/003146­SA dated 16.6.2014

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    Section 21. Protection of action taken in good faith.—No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made there under. So if the mistake is genuine and there was no intention to hide the information, IC is right in accepting the explanation and dropping the proceedings under Section 20.

    However, if the attempt is deliberate to hide the information. the IC has erred. .

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