The Centre on Wednesday rejected media reports about a proposed hike in Right to Information application fees and word limit for queries, reported IANS. The government said the reports were “misleading” and that it was committed to proper implementation of the RTI Act.
“A factually incorrect and misleading news report appeared in a section of the media that a new set of RTI rules has been formulated, which creates difficulties and hurdles in the rights of the citizens to get information from the government,” said the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. “It has been alleged that the size of the RTI queries has been restricted to 500 words and a provision of fee increase has been unfairly introduced in the rules.”
The government said that it had only notified the comprehensive set of rules after the legality of the Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 2007, was challenged before the Delhi High Court. The matter, the government said, was still pending before the Supreme Court. The ministry said the new document was the consolidation of the key provisions of CIC (Management) Regulations and also the Rules of 2012.
“There is no change even in a comma or a full stop in the proposed amendment to the RTI rules relating to word limit and fee from the ones proposed by the Congress in 2012,” Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said. “Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Rules notified by the UPA government and those proposed now relate to word limit and fee to be paid and are the same, word by word.”
The Department of Personnel and Training has put out a notice on its website seeking suggestions from the public by April 15