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RTI Activist Gets Rs 7 Refund Via Cheque After Uproar Over GST on Information

As RTI applicant Ajay Dubbey went public with details, the board realized its mistake and recently a cheque of Rs 7 landed at his doorstep.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:September 15, 2018, 2:46 PM IST
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RTI Activist Gets Rs 7 Refund Via Cheque After Uproar Over GST on Information
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The Right To Information (RTI) act that has been instrumental in exposing several gross corruption cases in Madhya Pradesh landed in soup over botched-up implementation yet again, after an RTI applicant who was asked to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of Rs 7 for getting information from the MP Housing and Infrastructure Development Board, has now received its refund cheque of Rs 7.

As RTI applicant Ajay Dubbey went public with details, the board realized its mistake and recently a cheque of Rs 7 landed at his doorstep.

The Public Information Officer, in a letter has maintained that Rs 7 was deposited without the information of legal provisions and the amount is now being refunded through cheque.

MP Housing Board –a MP government entity responding to a query put up under RTI in June this year, levied GST of Rs 7 on Xerox copies of the documents sought by the applicant.

Dubbey paid Rs 43 Rs 36 as photocopy charges for 18 pages (at the rate of Rs two per page), Rs 3.5 as CGST and Rs 3.5 as SGST, the documents show.

“Even the refund is erroneous. Rs 10 recovered as GST along with the inspection charge recovered by the board from me for visiting their office and perusing documents is yet to be refunded,” senior RTI activist Ajay Dubey told News18.

The volunteer activist who has been involved in exposing gross anomalies in Vyapam, the MP Forest department, mega irrigation projects, EVMs and several other issues through his query to MP Housing Board, had sought details of repair and beautification of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority building.

According to Dubbey, this incident vindicates state government’s lackadaisical approach in terms of training and sensitization of officers on a crucial transparency law that was implemented 13 years ago.

This is not the only incident that highlights the reckless implementation of the act, Dubey said, adding how once, his RTI query about a reputed law institute in Bhopal was questioned on the grounds of ‘intention or interests’. He also received a letter issued by the authority for the same.

“I had moved Information Commission against the unlawful query from the institute and secured a favorable verdict from the commission,” he said.



| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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