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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
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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
rtiindia posted a post in Ministry of RailwaysIn a Central Information Commission hearing it was advised to Railways Recruitment Board advised not to destroy examination copy during the pendency of a RTI appeal. It was advised by CIC to Change their record retention policy so that a marksheet which is under consideration in an appeal under RTI Act is not destroyed. It was also advised to put on Railway website basic details about every examination after the results are declared e.g. copy of question paper, key answersheet, cut off marks etc. The RTI Applicant has south information on the total marks obtained, copies of question paper and key answersheet, copy of OMR answer sheet and cutoff marks merit of General, OBC & SC/ST categories in the above examination. Railways Recruitment Board advised not to destroy examination copy It was stated by the Railways that a policy decision have taken in the Ministry of Railway that the records pertaining to any examination should be destroyed after one year. Accordingly, in this case, the records have been destroyed and the information in the instant RTI application cannot be provided to the appellant now. CIC came heavily on CPIO and stated that The first appellate authority did not perform his duties as prescribed in the RTI Act. It was noted that CPIO has not furnished all the required information and by now the records have been destroyed. The decision can be read from here!
rtiindia posted a post in Section 2 (f)Can a citizen who is an ineligible candidate and had agitated his grievance before Hon’ble Minister and the CAT but failed to get any relief is disqualified from getting information under RTI? The answer is NO. Can CPIO introduce new reasons for Denial of Information under RTI? Guess what! The CPIO thinks so, but thankfully not the CIC. Once an applicant seeks information as defined in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, the same cannot be denied to the information seeker except on any of the grounds mentioned in Section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act, the Public Information Officer or the First Appellate Authority cannot add or introduce new reasons for Denial or grounds for rejecting furnishing of information. An RTI Applicant who is officiating SDI(P) East Gurgaon and a qualified Postmaster Grade-1 have taken the promotional Departmental exam of IPO-2011 on 15 and 16 October 2011 and reexamination for Paper-III on 29/01/2012 from Haryana Circle, Ambala. He wanted following information related to this: 1- No. of marks obtained by me in each paper. 2- OMR Copy of answer sheets of each papers with key. In nutshell he had appeared in a departmental examination and needed copies of his answer sheets and the marks obtained by him in each of the papers. The CPIO denied the information stating that the he is an ineligible candidate and had agitated his grievance before Hon’ble Minister and the CAT but failed to get any relief. Introduce new reasons for Denial When the matter came before CIC for hearing, a simple query from the Commission under which clause of the RTI Act exemption is being claimed for denying the information the CPIO could not give any satisfactory response. The Commission stated that: The appellant is seeking his own answer sheets and the marks obtained by him in a departmental examination in which he had participated. The CPIO is unable to show any exemption under the stated provisions of Section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act under which the information can be withheld. It being so, there is no ground for denying the information and the CPIO should furnish the same to the appellant within 7 days from the date of receipt of this order. Here are the discussion threads at Forum containing the information about Denial of Information and you can read into many such discussion how CPIO sometimes introduce new reasons for Denial.
rtiindia posted a post in CIC DecisionsCentral Information Commission has directed UPSC to allow inspection of evaluated answer sheet of Civil Service Exams. CIC has also allowed obtaining the certified photocopies of evaluated answer sheet of Civil Service Exams to the candidates. The decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Aditya Bandopadyay v/s CBSE is very clear and a candidate has a right to inspect/obtain a photocopy of his evaluated answer sheet. However, UPSC contended that it is the stand of the public authority i.e. UPSC that the information is denied u/s 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act, notwithstanding the orders of the Supreme Court in the case of Aditya Bandopadhyay. It was submitted by UPSC that the orders of the Supreme Court are applicable to CBSE and not to the UPSC. However, CIC in it's decision observed that the stand taken by the UPSC is in clear violation of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Commission did not concur the decision of the CPIO/Appellate Authority of UPSC to not provide the information to the candidate and in terms of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, instead the Commission directed CPIO, UPSC to provide certified photocopies of answer sheets of Civil Services 2012 Mains Examination, sought by the applicant in his RTI, within two weeks from date of receipt of the order. Evaluated answer sheet of Civil Service Exams During the hearing Public Authority from UPSC was represented by Dr Kulbir Singh, Jt Director/CPIO and Shri Imran Farid, Under Secretary(CSM), UPSC. Earlier Shri Gorav, of Distt. Fatehgarh, Haryana Vide his RTI dt 21.5.13, had sought information on 7 points relating to Civil Services Mains Exam 2011 and 2012 as also seeking photocopies of his answer sheets for the two exams. CPIO vide letter dt 25.6.13, provided a point wise response and informed the appellant that evaluated answer sheets for 2011 has outlived their retention period and the answer sheet for 2012 was denied u/s 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act. An appeal was filed on 9.7.13 questioning the denial of photocopy. AA vide order dt 12.8.13, upheld the decision of the CPIO. Submissions made by the public authority were heard. CPIO submitted that in respect of query no. ©(ii) where the appellant has sought photocopies of answer sheet in respect of 2012 Main Examination, it is the stand of the public authority that the information is denied u/s 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act, notwithstanding the orders of the Supreme Court in the case of Aditya Bandopadhyay. It is his submission that the orders of the Supreme Court are applicable to CBSE and not to the UPSC. In the absence of the appellant, his views could not be ascertained. DECISION (Quoted verbatim from the decision) The Commission does not concur with the decision of the CPIO/AA. The decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Aditya Bandopadyay v/s CBSE is very clear and a candidate has a right to inspect/obtain a photocopy of his evaluated answer sheet. The stand taken by the UPSC is in clear violation of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. In terms of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Commission directs CPIO to provide certified photocopies of answer sheets of Civil Services 2012 Mains Examination, sought by the appellant in para 2©(ii) of his RTI, within two weeks from date of receipt of the order. As the matter has been unduly delayed, the photocopies shall be provided free of cost. If you have queries on the above, you may post it at our forums here. Do you have anything to add to this decision? Please post it in the comments below.
rtiindia posted a post in RTI Act 2005After his son not getting good marks in the MBBS exam, father filed RTI to obtain copy of question paper and answer keys and disclosure of marks from the University. RTI Applicant stated that supply of the documents after completion of the admission process would be embarrassing, humiliating and prejudice to the life and liberty of his son, therefore if he is given a speedy access to the said documents, then his ranking is likely to move up. However, Central Information Commission did not agree to this and recorded that "Complainant has failed to prove how the non disclosure of information affects the life and liberty of his son. (If you want to file RTI Online, do read our guide on how to file RTI online here) His son getting poor marks and his son’s belief in having done well in Botany and Zoology is not good enough to invoke the ‘life and liberty’ clause. It is not proper and correct to treat every application for disclosure of marks sheet or key etc, as life and liberty related application. Hence that plea was rejected by CIC. Urgency Clause On the issue of urgency clause, CIC stated that if the disclosure as sought reveals increase in marks of appellant’s son, and admissions get closed, he might lose one year which could be irreparable. This is the only ground on which the urgency plea could be accepted and priority in hearing could be granted. But, because the appellant sought compensation of Rs 5 lac and penalty be imposed on the public authority, CIC observed that there is no justification for hearing it on priority. Immediate imposition of penalty The Commission further observed that if complainant wanted to treat this complaint as complaint only, there is no need for urgent hearing because, heavens do not fall if there is no immediate imposition of penalty and grant of compensation which can wait for the other side to present their case. Thus CIC finds that there is no urgency in the complaint and directs the matter to be listed for hearing as per its turn. Statutory rules prescribed by any Public Authority do not get overridden by the provisions of the RTI Act The RTI application also raised the following issue before the commission "Whether the University or for that matter any Public Authority has to supply the documents as per the fees prescribed under the RTI Act when the Complainant/Appellant seeks information under RTI Act or according to the fees prescribed by the Public Authority." In case Sh. Deepak Agnihotri Vs. State Bank of India F. no. CIC/SM/A/2009/001883AT, by the Information Commissioner Shri A.N. Tiwari: In my understanding it would be entirely fallacious to hold that because of the presence of the RTI Act and the Rules , public authorities are completely barred from fixing the charges at which they would try to sell or disclose information. RTI Act enjoins that Public Authority could progressively bring more and more information into the public domain and authorize their disclosure. RTI Act, does not , at any place, say that such public authorities would be barred from placing any fee or price or a charge on the disclosure of the information brought by them into the public domain. In Registrar of Companies & Ors. versus Dharmendra Kumar Garg & Ors. in WP © No. 11271/2009, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court discussed in his decision dated 01.06.2012 as follows: The said rules being statutory in nature and specific in their application, do not get overridden by the rules framed under the RTI Act with regard to prescription of fee for supply of information, which is general in nature, and apply to all kinds of applications made under the RTI Act to seek information. Therefore, commission decided that the statutory rules prescribed by any Public Authority do not get overridden by the provisions of the RTI Act and accordingly dismisses the instant Appeal while upholding the CPIO and AA’s decision. The Appellant was advised to pay the charges laid down for verification of details of PNR and obtain the information which may be provided by the PIO. Citation: CIC/SA/C/2014/000268 dated 07.07.2014 Dr. Jeet Singh Mann Vs Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website or from here!
[caption id=attachment_47" align="alignright" width="300] Obtaining evaluated answer sheets Under RTI[/caption] There are many decisions and discussions on obtaining evaluated answer sheets under RTI. Not only answer keys, but you will also be given copies of your evaluated answer sheets / OMR sheets for departmental exams. See these decisions on the links: CIC Decision 1 & CIC Decision 2. If you want to read details of the court decisions regarding the evaluated answer sheets under RTI, here are the abstract of the details available at our site which details about JUDGEMENTS & DECISIONS WHICH HAVE PERMITTED DISCLOSURE OF EVALUATED ANSWER SHEETS UNDER RTI. The original blog post may be read here posted by J.P. Shah Here is the summary on what you can obtain information regarding evaluated answer sheets under RTI: Mark list and selection list as per the order of merit A copy of evaluated answer sheets of all the pages of all the subjects. A copy of test key answer sheets of all the pages of all the subjects The court decision are as under i]. University Exams: 49 page judgement dated 05-02-2009 of divisional bench of Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta headed by Chief Justice in M.A.T. No. 275 of 2008-University of Calcutta & ors. Vs Pritam Rooj. This is judgement of divisional bench of a High Court headed by Chief Justice and is available on website of High Court of Calcutta. ii]Departmental Promotion Exams: High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam in WP©.No. 6532 of 2006© Treesa Irish Vs CPIO Dept of Post, Govt. of India and others dated 30-08-2010 [27 pages] iii] Public Service Com Exam: In CWJC NO. 160665 of 2008 (Bihar Public Service Commission Vs. State Information Commission and others) decided on 11.12.2008, the High Court of Judicature at Patna upheld the order passed by the State Information Commission directing supply of photocopy of the answer books of two papers to the information seeker, of an examination conducted by Bihar Public Service Commission. The Hon’ble High Court directed that, “…..the BPSC shall supply a certified copy of the answer books demanded by the petitioner, as undertaken by the learned Advocate General on its behalf, within a period of three weeks from today.” iv] Professional Exams: High Court of Delhi on 30.04.2009 in W.P.© 8529/2009 Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, v/s. Central Information Commission, New Delhi. v] Departmental Exams: WP © No.30963 of 2006 (J), (V.B.Santosh vs. CPIO o/o the Post Master General, Kerala Circle) of Hon’ble High Court of Kerala vide order dated 29.2.2008. vi] University Exams: W.P.(MD)NO.4815 of 2008 of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on 13/09/2010 - R.Ramasamy v/s 1.The Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Chennai, 2.The Registrar, T.N. Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai and others. vii] All types of answer sheets: STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION, PUNJAB, Chandigadh .dated 27-05-2010 CC No. 3033 of 2009:Sh. Surinder Kumar Vs Public Information Officer, O/o Commissioner, Excise & Taxation Punjab, [iMPORTANT]. Viii] Rajasthan Information Commission decisions: A.)RIC decision dated 26.7.2010 for Appeal no.398/2010 for Nivedita Chandravat v/s Exam Controller, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. B.)RIC decision dated 08.02.2011 for Appeal no.2483/2010 for Kumari Taramani Agarwal v/s Exam Controller, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. C.)RIC decision dated 22.4.2009 for Appeal no.235/2009 for Kumari Taramani Agrawal v/s Chief Exam controller, University of Rajasthan. IX] Judgement dated 09-08-2011 of 2 Judge bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in CIVIL APPEAL NO.6454 OF 2011 Obtaining evaluated answer sheets under RTI Here is the summary on what you can get regarding evaluated answer sheets under RTI: Mark list and selection list as per the order of merit A copy of evaluated answer sheets of all the pages of all the subjects. A copy of test key answer sheets of all the pages of all the subjects And here is our format posted by our team member Sh. J.P. Shah here to obtain information regarding evaluated answer sheets under RTI. Please go through the news reported and aggregated by our team regarding the evaluated answer sheet under rti