It is welcome that Haryana government has reduced RTI fees to rupees ten from earlier rupees fifty in accordance with repeated advisories from Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) both in UPA and NDA regimes urging states and competent authorities to bring uniformity at least in respect of RTI fees. Earlier Delhi High Court subsequent to filing of a writ by some young law-graduates had also brought RTI fees in accordance with DoPT advisory.
All other states and competent authorities where RTI fees is other than that prescribed by DoPT should also ensure uniformity in RTI fees. DoPT should also accept repeated CIC-verdicts on introducing special RTI stamps (on lines of earlier radio and TV licence fees stamps) in denominations of rupees two, ten and fifty as convenient-most mode of payments under RTI Act, also to save huge annual expenses of tens of crores of rupees by Department of Posts in handling postal-orders which have high handling cost of rupees 37.45 per postal-order. It is not at all sensible to spend rupees 37.45 for recovery of rupees ten.
However DoPT for multiple benefits in interest of all concerned, should fix RTI fees uniformly at rupees fifty inclusive of copying charges of first twenty copied pages of documents. It will practically not affect genuine RTI petitioners but will rather save man-hours and postal-expenses for both petitioners and public-authorities apart from having a check on frivolous RTI petitions.
1775 Kucha Lattushah
Dariba DELHI 110006 (India)