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RTI Application Fee Should Not Exceed Rs.50/-, Rs.5/- Per Pages, Motive Need Not Be Disclosed

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE/ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.194 OF 2012

COMMON CAUSE PETITIONER(S)
VERSUS
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD & ANR. RESPONDENT(S)

WITH

T.C.(C) No. 129 of 2013
W.P.(C) No. 238 of 2014
T.C.(C) No. 32 of 2014
W.P.(C) No. 40 of 2016
W.P.(C) No. 205 of 2016
SLP(C) No. 30659 of 2017

O R D E R

W.P.(C) No.194 of 2012, W.P.(C) No. 238 of 2014, W.P.(C)
No. 40 of 2016 & W.P.(C) No. 205 of 2016 :

Heard learned counsel for the parties.

Challenge in these set of writ petitions is to the Rules framed under Section 28 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (in short “the Act”).

First objection of the petitioners is that the charges for the application fee and per page charges for the information supplied should be reasonable.

We are of the view that, as a normal Rule, the charge for the application should not be more than Rs.50/- and for per page information should not be more than Rs.5/-. However, exceptional situations may be dealt with differently. This will not debar revision in future, if situation so demands.

Second objection is against requiring of disclosure of motive for seeking the information. No motive needs to be disclosed in view of the scheme of the Act.

Third objection is to the requirement, in the Allahabad High Court Rules, for permission of the Chief Justice or the Judge concerned to the disclosure of information. We make it clear that the said requirement will be only in respect of information which is exempted under the scheme of the Act.

As regards the objection that under Section 6(3) of the Act, the public authority has to transfer the application to another public authority if information is not available, the said provision should also normally be complied with except where the public authority dealing with the application is not aware as to which other authority will be the appropriate authority.

As regards Rules 25 to 27 of the Allahabad High Court Rules which debar giving of information with regard to the matters pending adjudication, it is clarified that the same may be read consistent with Section 8 of the Act, more particularly sub-section (1) in Clause (J) thereof.

Wherever rules do not comply with the above observations, the same be revisited as our observations are based on mandate of the Act which must be complied with.

The writ petitions are disposed of in above terms.

SLP(C) No. 30659/2017 :

In view of order passed in W.P.(C) No.194 of 2012, the special leave petition is disposed of.

The award of cost imposed by the High Court is set aside.
T.C.(C) No. 129/2013 & T.C.(C) No. 32/2014

In view of order passed in W.P.(C) No.194 of 2012, the transfer cases are disposed of.

[ADARSH KUMAR GOEL]
[UDAY UMESH LALIT]

NEW DELHI
20th March, 2018

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Writ Petition (Civil) No. 194/2012

COMMON CAUSE Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD & ANR. Respondent(s)

(With IA 1/2012 – STAY APPLICATION, IA 3/2015 – FOR PERMISSION TO
APPEAR AND ARGUE IN PERSON and IA 4/2015 – INTERVENTION
APPLICATION)

WITH

W.P.(C) No. 40/2016 (X)
W.P.(C) No. 238/2014 (X)
W.P.(C) No. 205/2016 (X)
T.C.(C) No. 129/2013 (XVI -A)
T.C.(C) No. 32/2014 (XVI -A)

Date : 30-10-2017 These matters were called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.K. SIKRI
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ASHOK BHUSHAN

For Parties
Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Adv.
Mr. E. C. Agrawala, AOR

Mr. S. N. Shukla, Petitioner-in-person

Mr. Pranav Sachdeva, Adv.
Ms. Neha Rathi, Adv.
Mr. Prashant Bhushan, AOR

Mr. Rajeev M. Roy, Adv.
Mr. P. Srinivasan, Adv.
Signature Not Verified
Mr. M. Yogesh Kanna, AOR
Digitally signed by
NIDHI AHUJA
Date: 2017.11.03
10:09:49 IST

Reason: Mr. Raghavendra S. Srivatsa, AOR
Mr. Prashant F. Goudar, Adv.
Mr. Venkita Subramoniam, Adv.
Mr. Goutham Shivshankar, Adv.

W.P.(C) No. 194/2012 etc.

Mr. Abhinav Mukerji, AOR
Ms. Bihu Sharma, Adv.
Ms. Purnima Krishna, Adv.

Mrs. D. Bharathi Reddy, AOR
Ms. Vidyottma, Adv.

Mr. Raja Chatterjee, Adv.
Mr. Runa Bhuyan, Adv.
Mr. Satish Kumar, AOR

Mr. Aniruddha P. Mayee, AOR
Mr. A. Selvin Raja, Adv.
Mr. Chirag Jain, Adv.

Mr. Rahul Gupta, AOR

Mr. Annam D. N. Rao, AOR
Mr. A. Venkatesh, Adv.
Mr. Sudipto Sircar, Adv.
Mr. Rahul Mishra, Adv.
Ms. Tulika Chikker, Adv.

Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, Sr. Adv.
Ms. Ritika Seth, Adv.
Ms. Tanya Chaudhary, Adv.
M/S. Parekh & Co., AOR

Mr. Ashok K. Srivastava, AOR

Mr. Sibo Sankar Mishra, AOR
Mr. Niranjan Sahu, Adv.

Mr. Ashok Mathur, AOR

Mr. T. G. Narayanan Nair, AOR
Mr. K. N. Madhusoodhanan, Adv.

Ms. Aruna Mathur, Adv.
Ms. Anuradha Arputham, Adv.
M/S. Arputham Aruna And Co, AOR

Mr. V. Hansaria, Adv.
Mr. P. I. Jose, AOR
Mr. Shashank Mishra, Adv.
Ms. P. S. Chandralekha, Adv.

Ms. K. R. Chitra, In-person

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following W.P.(C) No. 194/2012 etc.

O R D E R

Issue notice in W.P. (C)No. 205/2016. I.A. No. 4/2015 (for intervention) in W.P. (C)No.

194/2012 is allowed.
Those respondents who have not filed their counter affidavits, shall do so within four weeks. No further time shall be given in this behalf. Rejoinder, if any, to such affidavits may be filed within two weeks thereafter.

List the matters in the third week of January, 2018, on a non-miscellaneous day for final disposal.

It is made clear that copies of the petition shall be supplied to the respondents.

(NIDHI AHUJA) (MALA KUMARI SHARMA)
COURT MASTER COURT MASTER

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