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  • vikas kumar
  • 463
  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Sept. 29, 2016, 9:08 p.m.
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Right to Information - Support Digital and #OneRTI for Kerala and India

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  • Right to Information - Support Digital and #OneRTI for Kerala and India
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Read in Englishहिंदी में पढ़ें
As a part of the Action Group below


We got a citizen of India file an RTI with Chief Information Commission of Kerala:

To the chief Information Commissioner.

Please provide me with below information.

1. Does your state have a web portal supporting the spirit of Right to Information Act. Similar and at least providing the same functionality as https://RTIOnline.gov.in where

- Any Citizen of India can go online and file RTI appeal to Information Commission or any of the administrative unit's SPIOs electronically and get an RTI tracking ticket similar to RTIOnline.gov.in.

- Pay the prescribed fee online using Net Banking, Credit Cards.

- Track the status online and get the response on the online portal electronically.

- File First and Second appeal in case RTI response is not satisfactory electronically using the same portal.

2. If answer to query #1 is Yes for all the points, please provide the web portal name.

3. If Answer to all or any of the Query #1 is No.

            a.) Please provide details on why even after 10 years of RTI Act in place and after multiple years  of RTIOnline.gov.in online and working as a benchmark developed by NIC for central government ministries (NIC or similar agencies manages all your state web portals as well)  your state is not able to provide this service.

                b.) If you have already planned for a similar or better service than RTIOnline.gov.in to serve RTI  needs for your state please provide the expected time frame when Citizens of India can  start using it.

The Above RTI is for public purpose.


We got the response as below in approx. 2 months : 

In inviting your attention to the reference cited, I am to inform you that Postal Order is not an acceptable mode of payment in Kerala in the case of RTI applications as per the provisions of the Kerala Right to Information (Regulation of Cost and Fee) Rules, 2006. The application fee may be remitted by way of Court Fee Stamp or by remitting the amount in Government treasury under the head of account 0070-60-118-99, or by way of Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque drawn in favour of the State Public In{ormation Officer, payable at Thiruvananthapuram. (The postal order is returned herewith)."


Now here are a few facts:

The document used for reference while filing RTI was RTI Guidelines 2013


1. We had sent a postal order of Rs. 10  towards the RTI fee as prescribed in clause 17. In terms of time and effort, this is one of the easier method of payment (except of course, an online payment) as against getting a court fee stamp/Demand draft/Bankers cheque .  As for direct account transfer- clearly more information is needed for that (Bank name, IFSC code etc.) which will require more to and fro , paperwork and effort.

2.  The RTI 2013 Guidelines accepts the use of Postal orders as a means of RTI fee payment. How ever, the states tend to formulate some of their own rules related to RTI.  One of such rule of Kerala Information commission is their inability to accept Postal Orders as RTI fees. Here, the point to be noted is that a Postal order and is accepted by ALL of the other state/central PIO's as a valid means of RTI fee payment.


Our observations on the RTI response are:

1. It took almost 2 months for the Kerala PIO to respond to our RTI application. Considering that such a response would have required just a 2- minute observation of the application ('invalid' payment method) - We're looking at a lot of time gap here.  

2. If a Postal order and is accepted by ALL of the other state/central PIO's as a valid means of RTI fee payment, why is Kerala making an exception?

3. Even if we consider that there is a valid reason for Kerala SIC to not accept Postal orders as  valid means of RTI Fee payment - It further strengthens our argument in favour of an online RTI portal. If such a portal would exist, there would NOT be any confusion regarding RTI fee payments - as all the payments would be online thru a suitable payment gateway.  A lot of time, money and  paperwork would be saved this way! 

4. The subject of our RTI application was very generic in nature (Whether the state RTI Application can be facilitated online, and if not - Are there any plans, with deadlines around it.)  We understand our application was returned for a 'technical' reason - but , with very little time and effort, the kerala PIO could have easily answered our question. (something that Haryana PIO graciously did ) 

Just getting hung up on a Rule and not giving attention to the purpose does little justice to what RTI Act stands for!


We spent multiple days  getting postal orders, physically mailing the RTI and it was returned AFTER 2 months, just like that. There might be a very  state specific "technical" reason for that, but is it as per the spirit of RTI? Any one reading the RTI request can see this was supposed to be treated with some sympathy or compassion and had good motives.

And this is the whole reason we want all the states to be on board rti.gov.in or a similar platform base-lined at least on existing service by central government.

Citizens of Kerala, what is going on in your state!

We invite you to take charge and change your state for good. Join this Action Group now!

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