Study RTI properly, HDMC told

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By Sangamesh Menasinakai, ENS – HUBLI

22nd October 2012 11:57 AM

Considering seriously that the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been misinterpreted by the Hubli-Dharwad Municipality Corporation (HDMC), the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) has instructed it to study the Rule 14 of the Act properly and provide information to applicants free of cost.

According to a copy of letter dated October 11, 2012, available with Express, Under Secretary of DPAR L Venkatagiriyappa stated that the HDMC has mistaken Rule 14 of the RTI Act 2005.

According to the rule, applicants can ask many questions related to any particular issue, but  the number of words should not exceed 150. However, the HDMC had rejected the RTI applications filed by activists Santosh Nargund for asking more than one question.

Santosh told Express that the Assistant Commissioner (Administration) of the HDMC, in a letter dated August 22, 2012, had denied information for asking more than one question.

“When I filed an appeal with the Appellate Authority, he also upheld the reply of his subordinate in his letter dated September 14, 2012 and called me for hearing on September 22. However, I could not attend the hearing as the letter reached me on the same date – September 22,” he explained.

After getting replies from the HDMC, the DPAR directed it to read Rule 14 and provide information to the applicants free of cost.

Santosh termed DPAR’s direction a “warning to all officials of the state who are illegally insisting that applicants ask only one question in each application under the RTI Act.” HDMC Commissioner Y S Patil was not available for comment.

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