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Govt proposes new RTI rule: Ask,but only in 250 words,on only one subject

The government has proposed new rules that require a Right to Information (RTI) application to be restricted to 250 words and only one subject

Written by Ravi Bajpai | New Delhi |
December 12, 2010 2:33:21 am

The government has proposed new rules that require a Right to Information (RTI) application to be restricted to 250 words and only one subject. There’s no word cap currently,and applicants can seek information on any number of subjects in a single application.

The 250 words do not include addresses of the Central Public Information Officer and the applicant. The proposed rules require the applicant to pay postal charges above Rs 10 incurred by authorities in replying to the application.

Applicants do not currently pay postal charges. They pay Rs 10 when filing the application.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has uploaded a 10-page draft of the Right to Information Rules,2010,on its website and has invited comments from the public by December 27,which is a procedural requirement before the rules can be enforced. Comments are invited to usrti-dopt@nic.in.

RTI activists said the proposed rules will dilute the landmark legislation.

“By restricting the application to 250 words the government will make it difficult for the common man to seek information,” said Noida-based RTI activist Lokesh Batra. “This act is meant even for illiterates,how can you expect people to follow such a tight word limit? Everyone is not capable of summarising thoughts so well.”

Delhi-based Anil Sood said the proposal was a “clear attempt to create grey areas in a transparent law and allow scope for harassment of applicants”.

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