Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh state information commissioner imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 on an officer for refusing to accept Right to Information (RTI) application fee of Rs 10 in non judicial stamp, as per State Information Commission.
The officer KL Ahirwar is posted at Satna as an executive engineer of Madhya Pradesh Housing Infrastructure Development Board.
The applicant Rajeev Kumar Khare, a resident of Satna filed a complaint with the information commission that Ahirwar had informed him that the fee of Rs 10 would be accepted only in cash, at his office.
The state information commissioner Rahul Singh dubbed the order of the public information officer Ahirwar as illegal, clarifying in his order that the ‘RTI fee can be deposited by appellant using any of the multiple mediums available such as cash, demand draft, postal order, non judicial stamp or online challan’.
In his order Singh said that it was wrong to force the applicant to make the payment through only a particular medium.
KL Ahirwar in his defence informed the Commission that a 2008 department circular mandated that the RTI fee was supposed to be deposited only in cash.
State information commissioner, Rahul Singh while inquiring into the issue found that another circular issued by General Administration Department of the State in 2010 mandated that RTI fee could be accepted through cash, demand draft, postal order, non judicial stamp or online challan.
Singh ruled that the 2010 circular had an overriding effect on the 2008 circular.
Fact file: State Information Commissioner’s order states RTI fee can be deposited by an applicant using any of the multiple mediums available such as cash, demand draft, postal order, non judicial stamp or online challan. He can’t be forced to deposit fee only through any particular medium.