As reported by Punjab Newsline Netwrok on punjabnewsline.com on 14 February 2008:
PunjabNewsline.com - Chandigarh Admin amends RTI Rules, 2005
Chandigarh Admin amends RTI Rules, 2005
CHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh Administration has amended the Union Territory, Chandigarh, Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005 which would now be called the Union Territory, Chandigarh, Right of Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) (Amendment) Rules, 2008.
Fee of Rupees fifty will be levied on an application for any request for obtaining information. This is already applicable in states of Punjab and Haryana.
As per the new amendments, now the Union Territory, Chandigarh, Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005, (here-in-after referred to as rules), Rule 3 would be substituted as "Rule 3 â€“ A request for obtaining information under sub-section (1) of Section 6, shall be accompanied by an application fee of rupees fifty by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or bankers cheque or by Indian Postal Order (IPO) payable to the Accounts Officer of the Public Authority".
Rule 4 shall be substituted as "Rule 4 â€“ For providing the information under sub-section (1) of Section 7, the fee shall be charged by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or bankers cheque or by Indian Postal Order (IPO) payable to the Accounts officer of the Public Authority at Rupee ten for each page created or copied, actual cost or price for samples or models and for inspection of record, Rs. 20 per 15 minutes or a fraction thereof."
Rule 5 will be substituted as "Rule 5 â€“ For providing the information under sub-section (5) of Section 7, the fee shall be charged by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or bankers cheque or Indian Postal Order (IPO) payable to the Accounts Officer of the Public Authority at Rs. 100 per floppy and Rs. 200 per CD and for information provided in printed form, at the price fixed for such publication or rupees ten per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication."
In a recent order, the CIC hs ruled that any RTI Rules cannot be in direct conflict with the main RTI Act.
Applicant asked for the following information from the Delhi High Court:
1. “Who are the class III and class IV employees recruited / employed
by the High Court from 1990 to date?
2. Were any advertisements issued for the recruitment of these
persons mentioned in Q. 2?
3. Whether any tests / interviews / selections were conducted for
these persons mentioned in Q. 2?
Period for which information asked for: 1990 to Sept. 2006.”
Delhi High Court denied the information citing the following RTI rules formulated by the Delhi High Court:
“Rule 4(iv). In so far as decisions which are taken administratively
or quasi judicially, information therefore, shall be available
only to the affected persons1.
5. Exemption from disclosure of information. The information
specified under Section 8 of the Act shall not be disclosed
and made available and in particular the following
information shall not be disclosed.
a. Such information which is not in the public domain or
does not relate to judicial functions and duties of the
Court and matters incidental and ancillary thereto.
First appeal was rejected and applicant approached the CIC with Second Appeal under Sec 19(3).
Appellant argued that:
a) The rules framed by the Delhi High Court are inconsistent with the RTI Act 2005 and therefore contravene Sec 22 of the RTI Act:
The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything
inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923,
and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument
having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
b) Under Sec 6(1) applicant is not supposed to give any reason for seeking information
c) Information can only be denied only under exemptions listed in Sec 8 or 9
d) Therefore RTI Rules framed by the High Court are ultravires of the Act
e) Only CIC has the powers under the RTI Act to decide whether information can be disclosed or not
Delhi High Court responded:
a) The High Court was a constitutional authority while CIC was a statutory authority
b) The Chief Justice of the High Court was a competent authority as defined in Sec 2(e)(iii) and therefore empowered to frame rules under the RTI Act
In its order, CIC invoked Sec 19(8)(a) and Sec 25(5) of the RTI Act and ruled that:
It is, therefore, clear that rule 4(iv) and
5(a) are inconsistent with the RTI Act and, therefore, the provisions of this Act
shall have effect not withstanding the content of the inconsistent rules.
and further ordered:
1) The Registrar Delhi High Court will take such steps as may
be necessary to provide access to the information
sought under sec. 19(a)(i) to appellant Ms Jaiswal in the
form in which it had been sought. This will be done within
ten working days of the date of receipt of this Decision
2) We find u/s 25(5) of the RI Act, 2005 that the practice of the
High Court in relation to providing access to information
under this Act in terms of sec. 4(iv) and sec. 5(a) of the Delhi
High Court (Right to Information) Rules does not conform
expressly with the provisions of the Act. It is recommended
to the Delhi High Court, therefore, that such steps may
be taken to amend these rules as would make them
consistent with the sec. 6 and sec. 7 of the RTI Act.
Full decision is attached to this post.