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.
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India now provides access to certified copies of answer sheets under the RTI Act,2005 at Free of cost and ICMAI provides the same at Rs. 2 per page.
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 benefiting millions of students to access information of answer-scripts under RTI at nominal cost.
I have received/receiving many queries and most of them are very 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. 15 FAQ on certified copies of answer sheets under RTI are as follows:-
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, ICMAI provided certified copies on 6th of Sept by charging Rs. 2 per page and postal charges, ICSI also provided the same by charging Rs. 2 per page.
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 application by the public authority.
3. Can we seek certified copies of another student under RTI?
No, we cannot make an application for answer sheets other student, 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. 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.
6. 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 application at RTI portal, the same will reflect under CPIO’s dashboard and he will take further action to provide certified copies.
7. Can we get certified copies of 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 a scope for revision of marks.
8. 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, 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.
Latest Update dated 14 th February, 2020:
Reference: Page 49/Para 7.1 of High-level independent committee draft report dated 14th of Feb, 2020 states that, as a matter of policy, ICAI does not reduce marks already awarded, in the process of verification.
Link for the ICAI report: https://taxguru.in/chartered-accountant/draft-committee-report-ca-exam-processes-regulations.html
Those Students who didn’t apply for certified copies as they passed examination exactly with 200/400 marks or secured exemption exactly with 60 marks, can now apply happily without worrying about the decrease in marks.
Below is the extract from aforesaid report for your reference:
9. Whether we can choose any option like softcopy/hardcopy format of certified copy?
No, we don’t have any such option. It solely depends upon the institute in which format they want to provide.
ICMAI and ICSI- 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.
10. 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.
11. 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 RTI portal through below link:
If you are applying with ICAI, you will get certified copies with 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.
12. 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 nominal cost of Rs. 2 per page (ICMAI) for an application under RTI Act, 2005.
13. 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 RTI act, 2005 is as per law laid down by the supreme court, ICAI wont take any action.
14. 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 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.
In the case of ICAI, you will receive a link to download the PDF copy of your answer sheet and no fee is required to be paid.
Whereas, in the case of ICSI and ICMAI, you will receive a notification by SMS and Email that institute has responded to your application. Login to RTI portal, make the payment and you will receive hardcopy of the answer sheet within 7-15 days by speed post.
15. To whom we should contact if we haven’t received certified copies within 30days?
You can contact CPIO of the respective institute. There may be no timely response on e-mail, try to reach the CPIO over Telephone during the office hours.
|Body||CPIO Name||Mail Id||Telephone|
|ICAI||For CA Final level|
|Shri Alok Malhotra||[email protected]||0120 3894808|
|For CPT/ Foundation/ IPCC/ Intermediate|
|Shri Chatar Singh||[email protected]||0120 3054840|
|ICMAI||Shri Prajato Mukherjee||[email protected]||033 40364710|
|ICSI||Shri Surya Narayan Mishra||[email protected]||011 45341015|
(Amendments been carried out in the article on 15.02.2020)
I hope, your queries were addressed through below FAQ. Still, if you have any queries feel free to reach me on below mentioned details:
B Vinay Reddy, CA Aspirant, Hyderabad, Mail: [email protected]