Jharkhand: Social activist pays ₹1.49 lakh for 74,500-page document under RTI

  • A stalemate has ensued as the Jharkhand government has asked him to collect the bags from Gola block office, to which he refused and demanded that either the documents be sent by post to him or his entire amount be refunded

Livemint
First Published7 Jul 2023
File photo
File photo

Binu Kumar Mahto, a social rights activist in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district has paid 1.49 lakh as photocopy charges for a 74,500-page document.

He has also demanded that the five sacks it was stored in be couriered to him under provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

However, a stalemate ensued as the Jharkhand government has asked him to collect the bags from Gola block office, to which he refused and demanded that either the documents be sent by post to him or his entire amount be refunded.

The 32-year-old activist, who hails from Raipura village in Gola block, filed an RTI with the public information officer-cum-BDO on May 6, seeking detailed information about how the funds provided under 14th and 15th Finance Commission in Gola block from 2020 to 2023 were spent, an official said.

Kumar was earlier asked to visit different panchayat secretariats for the information which he refused to do, following which the block office collected the information and stored the 74,500 pages in five sacks, Gola BDO Santosh Kumar said.

"Mahto was then asked to collect the certified documents from the block office, which he refused to do," he said.

Mahto, however, said that under provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, the public information officer should send the information by post.

"I have requested the BDO to either send the documents by post or return the amount," he said.

Ramgarh deputy development commissioner Robin Toppo said he will look into the matter.

 (With inputs from agencies)

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