Additional fee prescribed by the Public Authority
The appellant sought the details of journey performed by the some members of 15th Parliament (Sri Umashankar Singh, Sri Omprakash Yadav and Sri Rajiv Pratap Rudy) during the Financial Year 2009 - 10 and 2010 – 11, using Member of Parliament identity card cum railway passes. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the applicant that journey details can be obtained only by giving ticket number or pass number issued to the passenger, while also mentioning the fact that information sought by the applicant is personal to the third party which can be disclosed only when the third party concerned consents to its disclosure. He also made it clear that even if the third party gives its consent, the applicant would be required to pay an amount of Rs. 750/- for PNR verification of ticket particulars as per the existing policy of Railway Board.
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The Commission directed the PIO to follow the procedure laid down under Section 11(1) Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information: of the RTI Act by issuing a notice to the third party and then take a decision about the disclosure of the information. The Commission further held that if the PIO decides to disclose the information, the appellant would be required to pay an amount of Rs.750/- for PNR verification of ticket particulars as per the existing policy of Railway Board, while submitting either the ticket number or the pass number.
The quantum of further fees required to be paid for disclosure has been a matter of debate. Some benches of the Commission have held that as the RTI Act overrides anything which is inconsistent with it, the fees to be paid as per the RTI Act should be paid.
Citation: Dr. B.N.P. Singh v. Northern Railway Headquarters Office in File No. CIC/AD/A/2012/000369
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/162
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