Amritsar:  Davinder Kumar Khanna, a resident of Amritsar, did not know that the information he is seeking under the RTI act will cost him whopping amount of Rs 11 lakh. It has been reported that Khanna was asked by the concerned officials to pay Rs 10,95,726 when he sought information from Amritsar Mandi Board under an RTI Act.

In the documents available with Dainik Jagran, it has been revealed that Khanna had sought information from Amritsar Mandi Board on March 02, 2012. He had asked for all the personal details of every member of the board including their phone numbers and addresses. In addition he had also asked for details of the employees who had applied for TDA, Mediclaim and tour expenses between the period of April 01, 2011 and March 01, 2012.        

Besides, the details like revenue and expenditure of the department, means of expenditure of the government fund, the details of the funds which were used for other purposes were also sought under the RTI Act by Khanna.

In response to all such queries, Singh received a letter from the board on Saturday. The district Mandi officer in the letter had asked the applicant to pay Rs 10,95,726 for getting the information he had sought.

The applicant has however alleged that in order to deny information sought by him under RTI, such an inflated amount has been asked him to pay.
 When contacted, Jaspal Singh, the officer of the board assigned to deal with RTI application, said, “I have replied to the applicant as per the directives of the Deputy Mandi Officer (DMO) Sukhvinder Singh. The amount asked is according to Rs 2 per copy.”

Reacting to this, SK Sharma, director advocate of RTI Awareness Forum, said, “During past seven years of the implementation of the act, such a big amount has rarely been sought. It seems that it is intentional to seek such a huge amount in response to an RTI application.”