Bring uniformity in RTI fee: Centre

The move comes as several public authorities like Delhi High Court were charging Rs 50 for giving information under the transparency law as against Rs 10 prescribed by the Centre under the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005.

In a recent circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training which is the nodal body for implementing the RTI Act in the country, it said that fee should not become a "disincentive for using the Right to Information."

"Section 27 and 28 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 empower the appropriate Governments and the Competent Authorities to make rules to prescribe, iter alia, the fees payable under the Act.

"In exercise of the powers, the Central Government, State Governments, High Courts etc have notified rules. It has been observed that the fee prescribed by different appropriate Governments/competent authorities is at great variance," the circular said.

It asked all the states and competent authorities to "review" their RTI fee rules and "prescribe fee in consonance" with the fee prescribed by the Centre and inform the DoPT with the action taken in this regard.

Recently, activist Subhash Agrawal has complained before the Central Information Commission about the hardships faced by RTI applicants because of variance in RTI fee rules and procedures.

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