BMO charged fees of Rs 1500 for 272 xerox copies, CIC seeks explanation

Avinash Azad. Updated: 11/24/2022 11:45:39 AM Front Page

Jammu: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has sought explanation from Block Medical Officer (BMO) Kalakote, district Rajouri for charging excessive fees from information seekers under RTI Act 2005.
The Bench of Chief Information Commissioner, CIC New Delhi Y K Sinha during a hearing held through video conferencing on 21st November 2022 has directed the BMO Kalakote Dr Mohd Ashfaq Chaudhary to explain the reasons for overcharging by 15th December 2022.
The applicant Sahil Koul had approached the CIC after disregarding the RTI Act on the part of Public Information Officer (PIO) Sub District Hospital Kalakote, on 22.03.2021.
The applicant filed an RTI in the office of PIO, Sub District Hospital, Kalakote seeking a written reply to several queries.
“The Appellant participated in the hearing through video conference. He alleged that he was overcharged for the information as only 273 pages were provided to him for which a fee of only Rs 546 should have been charged. Instead, the Respondent charged him Rs 1500 which is in contravention of the RTI Rules, 2012. He also stated that registration forms submitted by NRHM staff members were not provided till date,” order passed by the CIC read.
The order further read, “The Respondent represented by Dr Mohd Ashfaq Chaudhary, BMO and
Vishal Kapoor, BMEO participated in the hearing through video conference. BMO stated that the fee charged to the Appellant was inclusive of the cost of cover files chargeable @ Rs 5 per file. Furthermore, 2 copies of the documents were provided from their end. The Appellant however vehemently denied the receipt of the second copy of documents,” the order read.
The CIC, Y. K. Sinha in his decision said that instead of Rs 2 a prescribed fee for per copy of reply under the RTI Act, the PIO has charged around Rs 5.5 for each copy. “In the light of the facts of the case and the arguments made by both the parties, the Commission observes that the provisions of the RTI Rules, 2012 do not prescribe for any fee @ Rs 5 per file for providing cover files. A fee of only Rs 2 per page is chargeable for paper size A-3 and below”, the CIC observed, considering the RTI Act 2005.

“The Commission therefore directs Dr Mohd Ashfaq Chaudhary, BMO to explain to the Commission the reasons for charging an excessive fee from the Appellant by 15.12.2022”, the CIC disposed of the case seeking explanation from erring PIO.
Updated On 11/24/2022 11:46:16 AM

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