SRINAGAR: RTI Activists have urged upon the Government to include Rs 10 revenue stamp as a mode of paying RTI application fees under J&K RTI Act 2009. In a statement the Managing Trustee and Founder of J&K RTI Movement Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat criticized the Government for un necessarily scrapping the provision of paying the RTI fees in shape of Non Judicial Stamp Papers vide SRO Number 279 which was passed last year in August and thus making the poor people suffer.
It is very difficult for RTI applicants to get the Indian Postal Orders (IPOs ) from the post offices in the State as the IPO are mostly available at GPO and head post office in the state, how can a person from different far flung areas use this option to pay RTI fees ? moreover the other options of paying fees in shape of Demand Drafts of Rs 10 is impossible as the banks deny to make a Rs 10 DD,even if they agree it will cost another 20 Rs extra for such a Demand Draft , another option of paying fees in cash is too difficult when the applicant wants to send the RTI applicant via speed post , how can a man in Srinagar pay fees in cash if he wants to file RTI in some office located at Leh or Jammu ? Moreover the officials dont accept the cash Dr Muzaffar added
The best option was paying the fees in shape of Non Judicial stamp papers which were freely available in courts , tehsil and DC offices but it seems Government does not wants to make RTI a people friendly act as it creates such hurdles in between said Shahnawaz Sultan Chief Organiser, of J&K RTI Movement.
The RTI Activists have appealed the Government to restore the provisions of paying fees in shape of non judicial stamp papers and also add a provision of using revenue stamps to pay such fees as the revenue stamps too are easily available in the courts . Pertinent to mention that under erstwhile J&K RTI Act 2004 the Government had kept a provision to pay RTI application fees in shape of the revenue stamps.
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