Chandigarh, Mar 24 (UNI) The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the state governments of Punjab and Haryana to produce the relevant record wherein the decision to prescribe the scales of fee under the Right to Information act has been taken.
The order was issued by the division bench of the Chief Justice D K Jain and Justice Surya Kant on the public interest litigation (PIL) petition, filed by advocate H C Arora, seeking directions to quash the high fee prescribed by these government in violation of the law, which was primarily aimed at facilitating transparency in official working.
It has been pointed out that whereas the union government had prescribed a fee of Rs 10 for filing each application to seek any information from the authorities, the two state government have fixed the same at Rs 50 per application. Also, the rates for providing a photo-copy of a document fixed by the union government for its offices was Rs two per page, while in sharp contrast to this, the state governments of Punjab and Haryana have fixed this at Rs 10 per page and if the information was sought in a floppy or a diskette, the rate was Rs 100 per floppy etc as against Rs 50 fixed by the union government.
It was contended by the petitioner that prescription of exhorbitant rates for providing information to public in Punjab and Haryana would lead to corruption and encourage the tendency to procure the information without making an application and by giving bribe at lesser rates, thereby killing the very purpose to ensure transparency in official functioning.
UNI XC HS VD DB1906