Indians abroad can now file online RTI plea | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Indians abroad can now file online RTI plea

chandigarh Updated: Mar 05, 2012 23:50 IST

The first step to getting online information from the government under the Right To Information Act has been taken.

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed sale of electronic postal orders to Indian citizens living abroad through their credit and debit cards.

"The facility will be used only for payment of fees under the RTI Act," says an order issued by RBI.

"It is only a matter of time before the government extends the facility to citizens living in India," said an official senior government department.

The RTI activists have been demanding online filing of application to reduce cost of seeking information from the government.

A study by the National Campaign for People's Right To Information had found that a person spends about Rs 220 for filing an RTI application with a government department.

"By providing online facility this cost will reduce dramatically," said Commodore (retired) Lokesh Batra, who had filed several RTI applications on the problems faced by Indians living abroad in using the transparency law since 2008.

Till now, the Indians living abroad were allowed to file RTI applications with the Indian embassies and high commissions. Many embassies and high commissioners had expressed their inability to accept a large number of RTI applications citing resource crunch.

Payment of the RTI fees - Rs10 per application - was the biggest hurdle in filing RTI applications as postal orders are not available outside India and fee in foreign currency was not accepted by many Indian missions.

With the new facility, NRIs will be able to submit RTI pleas through an email with the respective Central Public Information Officers.