Pay RTI fee through postal orders

Pay RTI fee through postal orders


 Rules were so rigid that the Public Information officer would not accept the fee in any other mode such as Money Order (MO), Indian Postal Order (IPO) or Demand Draft (DD). Imagine, an applicant from Bidar, who would have to travel 750 kms only to pay a fee of Rs 10 at a counter in the High Court.

An RTI activist in Gulbarga, through persistent efforts has finally succeeded in changing the rules, thereby making it convenient for the applicants.

Shaikh Shafi Ahmed had filed an application to the State PIO and Deputy Registrar of HC seeking certain information and paid the application fee of Rs 10 through IPO.

He was taken aback when he received a letter from the SPIO after a few days stating that his application could not be considered as the fee was not paid in accordance with the HC rules vis-a-vis RTI Act, which specifies that the fee to be remitted in the Accounts Branch-1 of the HC in the name of the Registrar General, High Court of Kanrataka, Bangalore, and the receipt should be annexed to the application. Even the applicants from Bangalore city may find it difficult to comply with the rule, let alone applicants from far off places.

 Ahmed filed an application before the First Appellate Authority stating that the said rule was not convenient to information seekers from remote areas of the State, and requested to accept the fee through IPO. He contended that any rule framed under the RTI by any public authority should be convenient to both information seekers and information providers. In a couple of other cases the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) had recommended to the SPIO to consider the suggestion to accept IPOs and DDs as alternate mode of fee payment.

Admitting the appeal the Appellate Authority, who is also the Registrar (Judicial) of the HC, opined that the KIC recommendation merits consideration. He directed the SPIO to accept the application fee through MO also till the rules are amended, and also to arrange for the MO remittance in the registry of HC.

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