Education dept seeks five times printing fee from RTI applicant

Education dept seeks five times printing fee from RTI applicant
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SRINAGAR: In violation of the Right to Information (RTI) act, the Education department has asked an activist to pay printing fee at the rate of Rs 10 per page, which is five times the notified rate of Rs 2.
The office of the Zonal Education Officer Khag in Budgam district has asked the applicant to pay Rs 690 for 69 copies as printing charges for the information sought.
The RTI activist Nazir Lone had sought information about the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers who had been deputed to other districts, total number of ReTs working in Khag zone, training programmes organised for these teachers, and revenue realised from schools operating in the zone.
“The information for which you have requested under RTI Act an amount of Rs 690 for 69 computer copies is required for the printing of the information, so you may submit the computer charges as early as possible so that we may provide the desired information to you in the stipulated time,” reads the response sent by the office.
Lone said that according to the act a person is supposed to pay Rs 2 per page only when the information in provided within 30 days.
“I filed an application on April 4, I was supposed to receive its response in May,” Lone said. “But I received information on June 21 more than two-and-half months after I had filed it.”
“As per the RTI law, I am supposed to pay Rs 2 only when the response is given in 30 days. If the office fails to produce the information within this time, I am not liable to pay anything,” he added.
Lone said the office’s response shows the intensity of their ignorance about the law.
“I have now filed another application before first appellate and will raise the issue their too,” he added.