Non-resident Indians (NRIs) have finally been integrated into their home country’s transparency initiative. NRIs seeking information under India’s Right to Information Act 2005, can now pay their fee online while seeking such information.The Department of Posts and Telegraphs has at last launched an electronic version of Indian Postal Order ‘eIPO‘. Using this, NRIs across the world may now be in a position to file RTI applications conveniently via direct payment of fees for the same.
Earlier Indians living abroad had a difficult time paying Rs. 10 fee required with each RTI application as it was difficult to purchase Indian Postal Orders (IPO) or even a demand draft in rupees. Now, those who wish to use the facility need to register at the ePost Office link on the department of posts’ site. After that, they have to select the ministry or department from which the information is being sought. The eIPO must be mailed as an attachment with the RTI application.
RTI applicants from abroad can use their credit or debit cards to purchase an E-IPO. The site will generate a unique E-IPO number after each purchase, which the applicants can take a print out of and quote in their RTI application. It should be noted that all the requirements for filing an RTI application as well as other provisions regarding eligibility, time limit and exemptions, as provided in the RTI Act, 2005 will continue to apply.
I think lakhs of Indians living abroad might be happy with the launch of eIPO as it will enable them to enjoy the same rights as those living in the country. Let’s hope the service runs smoothly for a long time without any hiccups.