Berhampur, November 27 (LocalWire): While the Right to Information (RTI) does help one seek information from public authorities in India, but at times it may prove to be a very costly affair too, as N Damburu Reddy of Kotharsingh found out recently.
According to sources, Reddy has been asked to deposit Rs 2.63 lakh by the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the office of the Kanishi sub-registrar in Ganjam district towards furnishing information about the sale deeds executed with an owner of a private construction company.
The cost includes 751 certified copies.
Reddy of Kotharsingh, an ex-member of Ganjam Zilla Parishad, had filed an RTI application on 16 September seeking information regarding details of sale deeds made with the person on behalf of the construction company in Tatadapalli and Manikapur mouza of Kanishi tahasil during 2013-19.
The PIO has informed Reddy that unless the fee is deposited, the copies can’t be accessed through the computer system.
He further said that since the Kanishi sub-registrar office did not have a copier, it was not possible to provide copies of the documents as the documents cannot be photo-copied from outside due to security concerns of the public records.
The PIO, however, suggested the applicant use form 23/24 and apply for search and inspect to know about the particular sale deeds executed between the particular buyer and seller and issue of a copy of such document by depositing requisite fees before the concerned sub-register.
Reddy, however, has alleged that the office was trying to suppress the information by demanding such a huge fee and using security concern as a reason to avoid photocopying from outside, adding that he would approach the State Information Commission to get the required information under the RTI.