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Ravi Ahuja

RTI Application filed by email

Question

Ravi Ahuja

1. Can a application be filed through email?

2. Can the E IPO filed alongwith the application be held to be valid?

3. Can the PIO be asked to supply information in digital format as attachments under the signature and seal of the public authority?

4. Can the pretext of shortage of staff, be ground to delay the supply of information sought?

5. Can the argument that the PIO is on leave be a reasonable ground to delay information.

6. Does the duty of the APIO or PIO fall in the gambit of Essential Services of a given Public Authority?

Thanks in advance

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Prasad GLN

1.Yes.  As RTI Act permits filing electronically, but should be followed by duly signed hardcopy and RTI fee.

2.Yes. Receipt of fees is fundamental. 

3.PIO has to provide information in that form in which it exists.  If the information is held in hard copy, he can not convert into digital copy through scanning and provide it.  If the information is in digital form, he can provide it.  Certified copies are one form of information, and if applicant requests, PIO should provide information in that form only. 

4.Absolutely No.   Several CIC decisions held that such denials are unknown in RTI Act.  Every denial should be as per sub section 8 (1) and justification for denying information under that clause.   There are no exemptions, if one can convince PIO of larger public interest.

5.No. The person to whom charge is handed over for performing regular duties, or to whom that application was entrusted can be considered as deemed PIO.  But the citizen's focus should be on getting information earliest without further appeals.  GIve and take policy and understanding the genuine problems if any PIO , if the PIO is sincere.   Many applicants do not take delay seriously, as further appeals on flimsy reasons takes minimum of two years and very rarely PIO gets fined. Getting information is important and PIO is not an enemy to citizen (But, several PIOs still consider citizens as enemies and treat that they are questioning his actions and targeting him to shoot problems)

6.There is no such "Essential Services"  and such "Gambit" word never finds a mention in RTI Act.  Providing information or denying information with that clause of exemption under sec.8 or 9, within 30 days is a statutory obligation.  In case of life or liberty information has to be furnished within 48 hours.

What is the exact issue that made well known member post these fundamental issues ?  One can purchase any authentic RTI book or search in the forum for such decisions/judgments on similar issues in the past.  In  one other forum RTI Authentic interpretation is available for free download.  The author is Sri Shailesh Gandhi.  Search in google with key words and down load the same and  teach others after studying and understanding..

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