The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that Indian missions abroad come under the purview of the Right to Information Act, thus enabling the 50 lakh NRIs to make use of it too.
At a meeting last week, the CIC said since Indian missions were set up by the External Affairs Ministry, "they come under the ambit of the RTI Act".
It is not yet clear how applicants approaching missions abroad for information will pay the mandatory fee. But the commission asked the ministry and the Department of Personnel and Training to find them a means of doing so. In the interim, the commission said Indian missions "would not have the right to reject applications on grounds of non-payment of fee".
Information Commissioner OP Kejariwal had asked his colleagues for their opinion in this matter when an Ahmedabad resident wanted to know why a French national who wanted to visit India was denied a visa by the Indian mission in Paris.