Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bihar Govt. asked Rs.78 lakh for furnishing information

Man asked to pay Rs 78 lakh for information under RTI Act

Patna (PTI): An applicant in Bihar has been asked to pay over Rs 70 lakh for securing the information he sought under the Right to Information Act.

Gupteshwar Singh, a social worker from Agiyaw in Bihar's Bhojpur district, had on June five filed an application seeking date-wise information about the distribution of foodgrains and kerosene through the public distribution system (PDS) in Udvantnagar, Agiyaw, Tarai, Garhani, Sandesh and Saha panchayats of the district between 2000 and 2008.

Talking to PTI, Singh said that Bhojpur District Supply Officer Jawahar Prasad informed him that the desired information would be made available only when he would deposit Rs 78,21,252, estimated to be spent on photocopying of the documents.

"I have also been asked to deposit money in the Bhojpur collectorate by July 25," Singh said. "Otherwise it would be understood that you are no more interested for the information," he said quoting the letter of the official.

Under the RTI act, the applicants are required to pay Rs two for each document being photocopied.

Charging the district supply officer with being vindictive, Singh said he had never sought the photocopies of all the PDS documents for the last eight years. "I just sought information," he said.

Meanwhile, Bhojpur District Supply Officer Jawahar Prasad was not available for comment.


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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