RTI photocopy fee row: Mumbai IMD’s CPIO claims innocencehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/rti-photocopy-fee-row-mumbai-imds-cpio-claims-innocence-5077141/

RTI photocopy fee row: Mumbai IMD’s CPIO claims innocence

Says he sought only Rs 300 as charges for photocopying from RTI activist

After the Central Information Commission (CIC) issued a show-cause notice to the Mumbai India Meteorological Department’s Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) on the allegation of charging a sum of Rs 5,808 towards furnishing a Right To Information (RTI) response of150 pages, the official claims he was not connected with it. “The allegations against me are baseless. The said letter seeking fee towards the RTI query was not issued by me. There is no proof of any communication between the activist Chetan Kothari and me. If there is any evidence then let him produce it. If the money was sought without my consent then I am not at fault,” said Bishwombhar Singh, CPIO, RTI cell, RMC Mumbai.

According to a complaint filed by the activist before the Commission, Singh sought Rs 5,808, including Rs 886 as GST charges for information sought on warnings/red alerts issued by IMD, the reason of such warning/alerts for heavy rain, earthquake, cyclone, storm, etc, the place for which it was issued, and whether it turned to be true or false.

However, Singh claims he only sought Rs 300 from Kothari as photocopy charges. “I sought Rs 300 from him for photocopy charges of 150 pages and each page at Rs 2. I will make my stand clear in the next hearing,” he said. The next hearing will be on March 5 where Singh will be present before CIC M Sridhar Acharyulu through video conferencing.