Big win and proud moment for the entire CA students’ fraternity.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India provides access to certified copies of answer sheets under the RTI Act,2005 at Free of cost and ICMAI at Rs. 2 per page.
After CBSE, ICSI, University of Delhi, ICMAI, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has now implemented the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in the case of ICSI Vs. Paras Jain, Civil Appeal No. 5665/2014, relating to providing copies of Answer-Scripts under RTI.
On behalf of the students’ community, my sincere thanks to Adv. Paras Jain sir, Adv. Kumar Shanu sir and Whistle For Public Interest- WHIP, whose tireless efforts are benefitting millions of students to access information of answer-scripts under RTI at a nominal cost.
We are receiving many queries and most of them are similar. After analyzing 100’s of queries received through comments to our article, mails and WhatsApp messages, we prepared 15 FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions with respect to certified copies under RTI.
I hope, your queries were addressed through below FAQ. Still, if you have any queries feel free to reach me on below-mentioned details:
1. Whether ICAI will provide certified copies under RTI?
To establish and follow the law laid down by Supreme Court in the judgement ICSI Vs. Paras Jain, ICAI appointed CPIOs exclusively for providing certified copies under RTI dated 29th Aug 2019.
ICAI provided certified copies at Free of Cost on 9th of Sept and ICMAI also provided certified copies on 6th of Sept by charging Rs. 2 per page and postal charges
2. How many days it will take to get certified copies under RTI?
As per RTI act, information to an applicant shall be supplied within 30 days from the receipt of the application by the public authority.
Recently, ICMAI replied within 9 days to one of the applications and ICAI in 26 days, at any cost you will receive certified copies within 30days.
3. Can we seek certified copies of another student under RTI?
No, we cannot make an application for answer sheets other students, as Sec 8(1)(j) of RTI Act exempts the disclosure of personal information of an individual which has no relationship to any public interest or activity.
4. Whether we are required to upload handwritten application like in case of ICAI process?
Application need not be in handwritten. ICAI process and RTI process both are different platforms.
5. We are getting an error in making payment/ same page while filing the application at RTI portal?
Sorry, there are formatting issues in the last word doc file.
Please download the latest file from the below link: https://bit.ly/2o0jeLz
Please, keep your admit card and other details handy and try to complete the entire process in less than 5minutes as your session may be expired.
6. What documents are to be uploaded under supporting document?
To prove the identity, I suggest you upload Admit card/ hall ticket/ any other supporting document like student card, exam form etc.,
And upload your Food security card or Ration card, if you are falling under Below Poverty Line Category, to claim exemption from application fee of Rs. 10.
7. Whether we should send print-out of the RTI application physically to the institute?
No, there is no such requirement to send the application form physically. Once you have filed the application at the RTI portal, the same will reflect under CPIO’s dashboard and he will take further action to provide certified copies.
8. Can we get certified copies of the previous attempt?
As per the RTI act, 2005 information can be sought as far as it is available with the public authority.
As per ICAI regulations 39(4) answer books are retained for a period of four months (120) days from the date of declaration of result. But I suggest you apply at the earliest as suo-moto verification MAY be done, and there may be scope for revision of marks.
9. Whether Institute will do suo-moto verification of marks for certified copies sought under RTI and student can report discrepancies, if any?
As per RTI Act, there’s no such provision which mandates suo-moto verification. But, as per the sources it was informed that Institute is carrying out suo-moto verification of marks like retotaling errors for applications under RTI Act and if there are any discrepancies, the student can bring it to the notice of the Institute. So, if you have passed with border marks, I suggest not to apply for the same.
I suggest you apply for Verification as per Institute process, as you can know the outcome of the same either it is positive or negative.
And, you can report the discrepancies, if any within 30days from the date of receipt of certified copies.
Application format: http://bit.ly/RTIdiscrepancy
10. Whether we can choose any option like softcopy/hardcopy format of a certified copy?
No, we don’t have any such option. It solely depends upon the institute in which format they want to provide.
ICMAI – Decided to provide in Hard copy format by charging Rs. 2 per page and
ICAI – Decided to provide in soft copy format at free of cost.
11. Whether we can seek MCQ paper and answers under RTI?
ICAI mentioned that “only copies of OMR answer sheet will be provided upon receipt of an application in this regard, under this scheme. Neither MCQ paper booklet nor the answer keys thereon will be provided, and the certified copy of OMR answer sheets will not bear the Mark’s awarded since the same are awarded in the System.” But, the RTI Act has over-riding effect vis-à-vis other laws and ICAI must disclose the same under RTI Act, 2005.
12. Where we can check the status of our application? Whether we will receive certified copies on mail or post?
You can check the status of your application on the RTI portal through below link:
If you are applying with ICAI, you will get certified copies with a downloadable link and login credentials on the email provided at the time of filing RTI application.
If you are applying with ICMAI, you will receive certified copies through Speed Post at the address mentioned at the time of filing RTI application, after making prescribed fee at RTI portal.
13. On ICAI portal it is showing still Rs. 500 per paper and you are saying free of cost?
ICAI procedure and RTI process both are different platforms. The existence of these two avenues is not mutually exclusive and it is up to the candidate to choose either of the routes.
ICAI can still charge Rs.500 as per ICAI guidelines for the application made at ICAI portal and Institute will provide certified copies at free of cost (ICAI) or at a nominal cost of Rs. 2 per page (ICMAI) for an application under RTI Act, 2005.
14. Refund of fee paid through ICAI portal? And whether ICAI will take any action if we apply under RTI?
As I said earlier ICAI procedure and RTI process both are different platforms. The existence of these two avenues is not mutually exclusive. You won’t get any refund of the application made for certified copies at ICAI portal. ICAI can still charge Rs. 500 per subject for application for certified copies received through https://icaiexam.icai.org portal.
Providing certified copies under the RTI act, 2005 is as per the law laid down by the supreme court, ICAI won’t take any action.
15. What is the exact process to get certified copies under RTI? Whether we have to make any payment through DD? Rs. 2/- page or free of cost?
Please, refer to our article for complete information. I will summarize the entire process quickly for your reference.
Firstly, file an application seeking certified copies at the RTI portal. At the time of filing application, you are required to make payment of Rs. 10 towards application fee and if you fall below poverty line category the same is not required.
Just relax and wait for 30days. You are not required to contact CPIO/ Send mail/ Physical copy of your application
Within 30days Institute will reply on RTI portal itself.
And here there are 3 possibilities
*CC – Certified Copies
ICMAI – Institute of Cost and Management Accountant of India
ICAI – Institute of Chartered Accountants of India