Centre refutes report on new RTI regulations

Centre refutes report on new RTI regulations

Statement says report was 'incorrect and misleading'

Centre refutes report on new RTI regulations

The government on Tuesday came out with a statement to refute what it called a “factually incorrect and misleading” report that a new set of Right to Information (RTI) rules has been formulated.

The facts are totally to the contrary, the statement said, adding that all provisions of the RTI rules that were notified on July 31, 2012, under Section 27 of the RTI Act, 2005, have been retained for bringing out a comprehensive set of rules.

Explaining the reasons for this move, the statement said, the legality of the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations of 2007 were challenged before the Delhi High Court and these were quashed.

The matter is pending before the Supreme Court. The government therefore decided that a comprehensive set of rules be notified by consolidating the key provisions of the CIC (Management) Regulations 2007 and also the Rules of 2012.

In public domain

“This has been put up in public domain for comments. The key provisions of the RTI Rules, 2012, have been identically incorporated verbatim. No change has been made in the RTI fee structure. The government is committed to ensuring a full and easy implementation of the Right to Information,” the statement said.

The existing RTI rules notified on July 31, 2012, specifically provide in Section 3 that an application shall ordinarily not contain more than 500 words, excluding annexure.

It further provides that no application shall be rejected solely on the grounds that it contains more than 500 words.

There is no change proposed in these provisions in the new set of rules.The provision with respect to charging rates is identical to that contained in the existing RTI Rules 2012, which provides for charging rates as per price fixed for a publication or Rs 2 per page of photocopy for extracts from the publication. 

There is a further provision in rule 5 that no fee under rule 3 and rule 4 shall be charged from any person who is below poverty line.

The proposed rules do not limit the filing of either complaint or appeal “online” only. Both rule 8 and rule 13 dealing with filing of appeals and complaints especially provide for filing offline as well as online.

The provision for withdrawal of appeal, which was earlier included in the CIC (Management) Regulations 2007, has been included in the new rules. Similarly, the provision for abatement of appeals/complaints on the death of the applicant/ complainant, which was earlier included in the CIC (Management) Regulations 2007, has also been included.