Now CA students get Answer Sheet copies at Free of Cost and CS, CMA students at nominal cost under RTI: Supreme Court Orders!

RTI Act is the most revolutionary act for setting out the practical regime of the Right to Information, the 3 Key building pillars behind the act are Responsibility, Transparency and Accountability, which empowered the Indian Citizens to secure access to information directly from the Government/Public Authorities.

In this article, I have penned down various Hon’ble Supreme Court judgements, provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 and procedure to apply for certified copies through the RTI portal, application format, payment of fees etc., for students and members to obtain certified copies from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), ICMAI and ICSI at a nominal cost.

RTI procedure to obtain Certified Copies

To enable easy access to the information, the Right to Information Act, 2005 provides access to certified copies of the answer sheets at a nominal cost and inspection at free of cost.

RTI Act is in force since 2005, every year many students are applying for certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005 but, Institute has been denying the answer-scripts to the candidates and compels candidates to seek their answer-scripts as per Institute procedure which provides for the cost of Rs. 500/- per subject.

A similar case has happened with ICSI and Mr. Paras Jain, a student of ICSI, fought tirelessly for 7 years and went to the Supreme Court. And on 14th of April, 2019 Supreme Court in the judgement ICSI Vs. Paras Jain, made clear that, a candidate is free to apply for certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005 or as per the procedure laid down by the Institute and fee as to be charged as per the RTI rules when an application is made under the RTI Act, 2005 but not as per the Institute guidelines.

How to apply for certified copies through the RTI Portal?

A candidate can make an online application at his doorsteps without visiting any office, though user registration is not mandatory to file RTI application, I suggest you create an account at RTI online site, so that you can have a list of applications in user account and details like name, email, the address will be auto-filled while filing RTI application.

1. Create account and login to RTI portal by entering Username and Password at below link https://rtionline.gov.in/

2. Now, click on submit request option, scroll down and click on the checkbox “I have read and understood the above guidelines.” and then click on the submit button.

Then Online RTI Request Form will be displayed. This form can be used to file an online RTI application.

3. In search Public Authority field enter keyword as

– Chartered and select Institute of Chartered Accountant of India for CA Course

– Cost accountant and select The Institute of Cost Accountants of India CMA Course

– Companies secretaries and select Institute of Companies Secretaries of India for CS Course students, from the drop-down list and click on Ok.

Name, address, educational qualifications, communication details will be auto filled, if you have created account at RTI portal and you can change the same, if required.

4. In the field “Is the Applicant Below Poverty Line?”

  • Select the option as Yes, if you belongs to BPL – Below Poverty Line category and holds valid proof for the same like Food security Card, ration card etc.,

No application fee is required to be paid by such citizens as per RTI Rules, 2012

Enter BPL card number, year of issue, issuing authority in the next field.

  • Select the option as No, if you do not fall under the BPL category or does not hold valid proof for the same. Such candidates are required to be paid application fee of Rs. 10/- online.

5. Now in the filed “Text for RTI Request application”, provide details and request for certified copies.

There is no prescribed form of the application under the  Act, 2005 but, I have referred to application formats of various institutes and have prepared a draft for your reference.

Download the draft application from the below link, in the word document format, enter your details and copy-paste the contents in the prescribed field.

http://bit.ly/Applicationformat

(Application format is given at the end of the article for your reference)

Please note, handwritten application form is not required, Institute process and RTI process both are different platforms.

6. Now, upload merged pdf copy of BPL Card (if applicable) and Hall Ticket/ Admit Card/ any other supporting document like student I’d card, to prove your identity by clicking the supporting document.

7. click on submit button (if BPL category) or Make payment button (Others) to make the payment of Rs. 10/- towards application fee by using Internet banking, credit or debit card and click on the submit button, after making the payment.

8. On submission of the application, a unique registration number would be issued, which may be referred by the applicant for any references in future. The applicant will get an email and SMS alert on submission of the application.

What’s next after filing RTI application?

Filing RTI application

Below is the copy of e-mail received from the ICAI with login credentials and reply from ICMAI on the RTI portal, seeking additional fee payment with payment link, for your reference:

ICAI and ICMAI

Whether suo-motu verification of copies will be done before providing copies under the RTI?

As per RTI rules, there is no requirement for suo motu verification of marks before providing certified copies, information (copies) will be provided as it is contained in the records. But, the ICAI is carrying out suo motu verification of marks and in the copies of June 2019 there are 5 cases where ICAI revised the marks. And ICMAI, ICSI are not carrying out any such suo motu verification of marks.

Please note that Re-evaluation of answers is not permissible as per Institute’s guidelines. So, there is no difference between the certified copy obtained as per institute’s process and RTI process.

To conclude, I suggest applying for Verification at Institute’s exam portal by paying applicable fee, so that you can know the outcome of the verification of marks and apply for Certified Copies at the RTI portal.

Latest Update dated 14th 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:

Page No. 49 and Para 7.1

What is the last date to apply for Certified Copies under the RTI?

As per the RTI Act, 2005 you can seek the information as far as it is available with the public authority. As per the record retention policy of the institute answer sheets will be retained as follows:

Body Record Retention Policy Remarks
ICAI 120 days From the declaration of results of each examination concerned.
ICMAI TWO Consecutive Terms
ICSI 45 days

To establish and follow the law laid down by Supreme Court, Institute’s appointed CPIOs (Central Public Information Officer) exclusively for providing certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005. Incase if you haven’t received the certified copies within the time frame you can contact the CPIO.

Body CPIO Name Mail Id Telephone
ICAI

For CA Final level

Shri Alok Malhotra alok.malhotra@icai.in 0120 3894808

For CPT/ Foundation/ IPCC/ Intermediate

Shri S. Babu Ragghavan babu.raghavan@icai.in 0120 3054840
ICMAI Shri Prajato Mukherjee pio@icmai.in 033 40364710
ICSI Shri Surya Narayan Mishra surya.mishra@icsi.edu 011 45341015

If you have further queries, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with respect to obtaining certified copies under RTI, which was prepared after analyzing 100’s of comments to our article and queries on mail.

https://taxguru.in/chartered-accountant/faq-certified-copies-answer-sheets-rti.html

Conclusion

Accessing certified copies through RTI is a thumping Victory for the entire Students Community!

My sincere gratitude is reserved for Advocate Paras Jain sir, Advocate Kumar Shanu sir and Whistle For Public Interest (WHIP) for their invaluable insights and suggestions benefitting millions of students to access information of answer-scripts under RTI.

If you’ve have any questions, you can reach me on mail: cavinayreddy@icai.org or mobile(preferably on WhatsApp) +91 7569989230 I can help you out.

Right to Information is to make you right thinking Indians

Application format for seeking certified copies/inspection of evaluated answer books

The Additional Secretary (Exams)

Subject: Photocopy of Answer book of the Board Examinations under the RTI Act, 2005

Dear Sir,

I have appeared for CA Foundation/ IPCC/ Intermediate/ Final Examination with following particulars: –

1. Name:

2. DOB:

3. Contact no:

4. E-mail address:

5. Address:

6. Student Registration No:

7. Examination: CPT/ Intermediate (IPC)/ Final
Month   :
Year      :
Roll No :

Paper No. : Subject

01 :

02 :

03 :

04 :

05 :

06 :

07 :

08 :

The self-attested photocopy of my admit card/ hall ticket is enclosed for verification of my identity. I also undertake that I am the same candidate who appeared in the aforesaid examination. I hereby declare and affirm that the details mentioned above relate to me only and are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. The information may kindly be provided at the given address.

Yours faithfully
(Name)
(Student Registration Number)

(Articles been further updated on 15.02.2020)

Author Bio

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Location: Hyderabad, Telangana, IN
Member Since: 11 Jan 2020 | Total Posts: 19
CA Aspirant | Article Assistant | RTI User | Author on Taxation | Paper presenter at ICAI Student Conferences. View Full Profile

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103 Comments

  1. Prajeesha op says:

    Sir I have applied for reverification of ca ipcc nov2019 exam… After 45 days I received a message containing user name and password has been sent to your mail..
    But still now i have not received any msil.
    What should I do next for obtaining the same.

    1. Ramachandra Rao Sista says:

      Bro even for me also after 45 days, I got a mail from RTI saying that my request has been disposed off. But when I checked my mail i didn’t receive any mail with Login details. KIndly help me what steps did you take after that ?
      My Contact number is: 9550622700 &
      my mail id is: ramchandsista@gmail.com.
      Thanks in advance.

    2. ramchandsista@gmail.com says:

      Hi, I have received a mail after 45 days from RTI saying that my request has been disposed off. But when i check my mail and all I couldn’t find any mail/SMS having Login details from ICAI. Kindly help me what steps have you taken for this. Will the CPIO officer reply with in time if we raise a query to his mail id. The following are my details, contact me if possible.
      Mobile: 9550622700
      email: ramchandsista@gmail.com

  2. Siddhant Agrawal says:

    i receive a message stating Copies of answer books sought are hosted on website. Website details/user id/password are sent to your email ID. Check your In-box(Bulk/Spam/Junk folder also) -ICAI Exam.

    but i have not receive any mail

    1. Ramachandra Rao Sista says:

      Bro even for me also after 45 days, I got a mail from RTI saying that my request has been disposed off. But when I checked my mail i didn’t receive any mail with Login details. KIndly help me what steps did you take after that ?
      My Contact number is: 9550622700 &
      my mail id is: ramchandsista@gmail.com.
      Thanks in advance.

    2. ramchandsista@gmail.com says:

      Hi, I have received a mail after 45 days from RTI saying that my request has been disposed off. But when i check my mail and all I couldn’t find any mail/SMS having Login details from ICAI. Kindly help me what steps have you taken for this. Will the CPIO officer reply with in time if we raise a query to his mail id. The following are my details, contact me if possible.
      Mobile: 9550622700
      email: ramchandsista@gmail.com

  3. Amit says:

    After filing of RTI details in icai-Cma
    Such error generat
    Forbidden
    You have form submission errors or you do not have permission to use this resources
    Can any on suggest what to do.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Amit,
      If you are facing issues on RTI portal like bad payment gateway, unable to proceed for payment, forbidden etc…*

      i. Check whether there are any restricted characters like : ” ‘ } ] in text for rti application filed.

      ii. Copy-paste text only from the word document, but not from whatsaap edited text or edited in the mail.

      iii. Log in again and check if any RTI application was registered. If yes, it’s fine. If No, file an RTI application again.

      iv. If you are copy-pasting from WhatsApp edited tex/ mobile text file you may face issues, copy paste text from word document.

  4. Divyanshi Saxena says:

    Sir,
    I tried applying for the answer sheets and I copy pasted the same format given above. But it is showing the following error:

    Only alphabets A-Z a-z number 0-9 and special characters , . – _ ( ) / @ : & \ % are allowed in Text for RTI Request application

    I have tried and checked but nothing is wrong. What should I do now. Please help.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      If you are facing issues on RTI portal like bad payment gateway, unable to proceed for payment, forbidden etc…*

      i. Check whether there are any restricted characters like : ” ‘ } ] in text for rti application filed.

      ii. Copy-paste text only from the word document, but not from whatsaap edited text or edited in the mail.

      iii. Log in again and check if any RTI application was registered. If yes, it’s fine. If No, file an RTI application again.

      iv. If you are copy-pasting from WhatsApp edited tex/ mobile text file you may face issues, copy paste text from word document.

    2. CA SHORYA JAIN says:

      Please make sure that the special characters allowed in RTI should be a part of your application

      If you copy pasted the above given format then at line no 6 just before the name, there is a long dash. Please change it to small dash like this –

      Long dash is not allowed in RTI Special characters

  5. Nabeela Badar says:

    Dear sir,

    i filed for the scanned copies through rti and received registration number,

    requesting you to guide on what will be the next procedure?

    should i contact any person or wait ?

  6. Tushar Wadhwani says:

    Hello Sir,
    I have cleared the CA Foundation Nov 19 attempt. I have applied for Certified copies of Business and Business economics and commercial knowledge which is MCQ paper. Will i also be getting the question paper along with OMR sheet ???

  7. Tushar Wadhwani says:

    Hello Sir,
    I have cleared the CA Foundation Nov 19 attempt. I have applied for Certified copies of Business and Business economics and commercial knowledge which is MCQ paper. Will i also be getting the question paper along with OMR sheet ?

  8. Nabeela Badar says:

    while submitting the form through rti i am getting an error

    “Max length of phone STD code is 5 character”

    unable to go forward, kindly guide.

  9. Pavan says:

    Sir ,I’ve filled all the information
    For 4 subjects ,but at the payment option
    It showing only Rs 10,is that for all subjects or any one subject

  10. Sanjay kakkar says:

    Sir,
    Actually in the registration form I
    have submitted the wronh id , but in rti form and ca exam form I submit the correct e mail I’d
    So the copies under rti will receive me on correct mail I’d ?

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Sanjay,
      Link to download copies will be sent to the mail-id registered with ICAI/records.

      Please update your mail-id on SSP portal.

  11. Koustuba says:

    Is it mandatory to enclose admit card along with application as I don’t have admit card copy can I apply by signing any other document as proof say student registration letter as proof of identity and apply.
    Please reply
    Thanks in advance.

  12. Priya Sarda says:

    Hello Sir,
    I Just Sign up the RTI Portal and as per the above details fill all the details but the website can not open the window for payment. so what can i do for Application for Certified copy of my last attempted paper. Please suggest on above.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      1. Check whether there are any restricted characters like : ” ‘ } ] in text for rti application filed. 2. Copy-paste text only from the word document, but not from whatsaap edited text or edited in the mail.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      1. Check whether there are any restricted characters like : ” ‘ } ] in text for rti application filed. 2. Copy-paste text only from the word document, but not from whatsaap edited text or edited in the mail.

  13. Bharat Bohra says:

    Hi Sir

    What if i apply for inspection as per icai method by paying 100 Rs. per paper and after getting the Revised marks i apply for my answer sheet under RTI act can i do so? or it will be better for applying for certified copies as per ICAI method by paying 500Rs. per paper.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Bharath,
      ICAI will do suo-motu verification of copies even for application received under RTI. If you wish you can apply for verification of marks as per ICAi process by paying Rs. 100 per subject simulatneously

  14. Karthick says:

    Hi sir,
    I haven’t received the copies yet sir. What should i do, if i need to wait more than 30 days sir. And the concern CPIO also not reply for mailed queries sir.

    Hope i will get your suggestions, thanks sir.

  15. Karthick says:

    Thanks a lot sir, i have read the full article at the time of applying sir. Someone posts as they got within 20days. So only i has raised that query. I will wait sir. Thanks for your kind info.

  16. Karthick says:

    Sir, i have applied for seeking soft copy as on 27.09.2019 for May 2019 examination. Till now i haven’t receive any communication from them. And also contacted the CPIO through mail & it is also got no replies.

    If i get my evaluated copies or not sir. Kindly clarify on this regards.

    Thanking you.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Karthick,
      I hope you have read the complete article before commenting here.
      As I mentioned, it will take 30days from the date of filing RTI application to dispose the same.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Siva,
      It is not mandatory to upload your Admit Card, If you have mentioned all the details like registration number, roll number correctly.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Vishwanath,
      Yes, CS students are required to pay
      RS. 10 towards application fee +
      RS. 2 per page (ICSI will calculate communicate the same to you after filing RTI application 30 days)

      1. GOKUL VISHWANATH SHENOY says:

        Thanks for your reply! So, after the ICSI informs only we have to pay the balance amount @ 2/- per page of copy, isnt?

  17. chirag says:

    hi sir,
    Sir, I just applied for the CA ipcc but at the end this site didn’t asked for paymen,
    and process is not done,
    how can i compelete my appication?

  18. Chayan Patni says:

    Sir can i apply for 3 papers or i have to apply for all the papers??
    Also i want to ask that i have saved pdf of my admit card whether i have to take print out of it and then sign it again upload it by scan it or i can directly upload that saved admit card??
    Please respond..
    Thanks in advance

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Chayan Patni,
      One application is required to be filed for all the subjects.
      You can upload PDF of Admit copy and signature is not required.

  19. Vidushi Gupta says:

    Sir, I just applied for the CA ipcc but at the end this site didn’t asked for payment . Do I need to register again? And how can I get confirmation that my request is generated. Please tell me asap. Thanks

    1. KANISHKA says:

      maybe u have copied some particulars while filling application on RTI site which might have some special characters which r not acceptable in application section as per RTI site. so u better write the application all by yourself or check if it contains some and correct that. then u will be able to make payment if all other required field r properly filled.

  20. sushant parmar says:

    Hello Sir,
    I Just Sign up the RTI Poartal and as per the above details fill all the details but the website can not open the window for payment. so what can i do for Application for Certified copy of my last attemted paper. Please suggest on above.

    1. kanishka says:

      maybe u have copied some particulars while filling application on RTI site which might have some special characters which r not acceptable in application section as per RTI site. so u better write the application all by yourself or check if it contains some and correct that. then u will be able to make payment if all other required field r properly filled.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Divya, Yes, there may be a scope for change in marks, as Institute is doing suo-moto verification even for copies provided inder RTI. It is no Re-Evaluation of your paper, but institute will check for totallaing errors, if any.

  21. Divya says:

    Hi sir,

    If we applied for certified copies in rti Is there any decrease in marks that effect the result already declared and if certified copies are already applied under rti is there any chance to cancel the request.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Though there’s no provision under RTI Act, 2005 to withdrew RTI Application. You may formally write a letter to CPIO of ICAI requesting the information sought under RTI is not required.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Hi Manish,
      There’s no such thing if we apply under RTI.
      Already, thousands of students accessed their copies under RTI at free of cost. You can apply happily under RTI.

  22. Sairam S says:

    Hi,
    I used the attached format but this error message keeps appearing..

    Only alphabets A-Z a-z number 0-9 and special characters , . – _ ( ) / @ : & \ % are allowed in Text for RTI Request application

  23. Manish fogla says:

    Sir I want to know whether filling rti requed for ca final answer sheet will be taken in negative manner .
    Sir i have applied because i want my answer sheet for my acadamics improvment not for reevalution..
    Sir please guide me what to do …

    1. BVReddy says:

      Not at all, moreover, Re-evaluation is not permissible as per the CA Regulations.
      But, verification of marks will be carried out to check if there are any totalling errors, unevaluated answers.

  24. Rohit says:

    Sir I have applied for certified copies of two subjects as per icai procedure.
    Now i want to apply same for remaining two subjects . Can i do so under rti act?

  25. Arnav says:

    First of all thank you for such a wonderful help. Unfortunately for me I read this a little too late.
    My question is this now.. The institute is saying that they will not be giving the OMR sheets for the objective parts of papers. Can I ask for that part under RTI act?
    And also to check that I’ll need paper too which they have taken back. Can I also ask that too.??

    Please guide… Thank you.

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Dear Arnav,
      Yes, as per my experience with RTI ICAI is denying to provide the same under RTI Act, 2005 stating they have limited question bank and it falls under IPR rights.
      But, there are SC and other CIC decisions where it was ruled out once the results are declared they have to provide the same under RTI.
      Im working on it, will let you know if there is any progress

  26. Yash says:

    if I notice that some part of the answers are not evaluated by the examiner or there is a totaling error or marks awarded have not been carried forward to the cover page or such other matters that fall within the scope of verification covered under Regulation 39(4), then can I will be able to take action in basis of evaluated Answer Book which received under Right to Information Act, 2005? if Yes, What action I can do?

  27. Neelam Singh says:

    Sir,
    After how many days of filling application icai will ask for additional fees and will it be after 30 days period or before it? How much maximum time will it take to get the copies including additional fees payment?

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      Dear Neelam Singh,
      You will get to know about the fees to be deposited, if any within 30days in a reply to your RTI application.
      Entire process may take upto 35-40 days

  28. Neelam Singh says:

    Sir
    Additional fees for the copies will be asked in how many days by icai after filling the application? Will it be after 30 days period or before it And how many maximum days it will take to get the copies including additional period time?

  29. Parvathy Vijayan says:

    Is this true? I’ve tried this way on 2010 for my ca inter results. But, IcaI gave a written rejection letter. I paid fee as per RTI Act, 2005 and a DD of 50/- per paper. Icai didn’t even return the amount.

      1. B Vinay Reddy says:

        Dear Ma’am,
        Yes, it’s true that ICAI is rejecting the applications under RTI, but in view of latest supreme court judgement ICSI Vs. Paras Jain dated 14th of April, 2019 ICAI has to provide the same

  30. Shekhar Rajniwal says:

    Hello sir,
    Thnks for the guidance, but there is one more clause that, if there is any mistake like checking the answers, or just Becoz of checker mood is not good so candidate me getting 30 marks instead of 55 or more than that.. Soo is there any option to fight with this kind of mistakes…. Plz guide

    1. B Vinay Reddy says:

      I suggest you apply for verification as per ICAI process by paying Rs. 400 (for both groups) and certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005.

      in Verification – ICAI will check for totalling errors, uncorrected answers, if any.

      But, RE – EVALUATION of paper is not permissible as per CA Regulations

  31. B Vinay Reddy says:

    Dear Readers,
    A short video of 5-8 minutes covering the RTI application process will be released by today evening.
    Stay tuned!

    1. Stuti Arya says:

      Waiting for the video. Also, there is a provision about when we apply for ‘certified copies’, the ‘verification is also done from ICAI’s side before they send the soft copies. My question is whether this will be the case when we file an RTI appl.? Also, does the discrepancy reporting mechanism apply here similarly?

      1. B Vinay Reddy says:

        suo-moto verification may not be done for applications under the RTI Act.
        I suggest you apply for verification as per ICAI process by paying Rs. 400 (for both groups) and certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005

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