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

RTI Act is the most revolutionary act for setting out the practical regime of Right to Information, the 3 Key building pillars behind the act are Responsibility, Transparency and Accountability, which empowered 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 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.

ICAI / ICMAI procedure to obtain Certified Copies

As you are aware of the process to obtain certified copies as per the Institute procedure, where a student has to apply online for seeking Inspection/Certified copies of answer books within 30 days from the date of declaration of the result of the relevant examination along with the Fee of Rs. 500/- per paper and certified copies of your answer books will be provided within 30 days from the date of receipt of your application.

The above Institute procedure is an expensive one and a student has got to pay Rs. 500/- per paper for Inspection/ Certified copies.

For example, if a CA Final student desires to apply for certified copies of all the 8 subjects, he has to incur Rs. 4,000/- (Rs.500 per subject × 8 subjects) which is more than the Examination fee i.e., Rs. 3,300/-

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 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.

ICAI guidelines and fee for certified copies as per the RTI Act, 2005. 

As per the announcement No.13-CA(Exams)/WdngPlcy/2012 dated November 16, 2012 answer books of the examination conducted by ICAI are retained for a period of four months (120) days from the date of declaration of result of the relevant examination and in regulation 39(4), Institute has specifically mentioned that a student can seek verification, inspection and/or certified copy of answer books under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Whether ICAI will provide certified copies under RTI?

YES!

To establish and follow the law laid down by Supreme Court, ICAI appointed CPIOs (Central Public Information Officer) exclusively for providing certified copies under the RTI Act, 2005 to the students and members. The concerned CPIO list was updated on ICAI website dated 29th Aug, 2019.

Source:  https://taxguru.in/chartered-accountant/procedure-obtain-information-rti-act-2005-icai.html

CPIO for Providing certified copies related to CA Final Examination/ Post Qualification Examination conducted by Examination Department

Shri Alok Malhotra

Email Id: alok.malhotra@icai.in

Tel. No.: 0120-3894808

CPIO for Providing certified copies related to CA IPCC/Foundation/CPT

Shri Chatar Singh

Email Id: chatar @icai.in

Tel. No.: 0120-3054840

Whether any fee is required to be paid for certified copies under RTI:

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

Rule 4 of the RTI Rules, 2012, prescribes a fee for information as follows: 

1. Application fee:

While making RTI applications, the payment of RTI Fees of Rs. 10/- needs to be made and the same is waived off for applicants falling below the poverty line by producing the proof of BPL Category.

2. Additional Fee for Inspection/Certified Copies:

Inspection of Records – No fee for the first hour;

– a fee of ₹.5.00 for each subsequent hour or a fraction thereof.

For each page (in A-4 or A-3 size paper) – ₹ 2.00 per page of photocopy
For information in Soft Copy (PDF) format – Free of Cost

How to apply for certified copies through 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 your 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 screen will be displayed. This form can be used to file an online RTI application.

3. In search Public Authority filed 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 belong to BPL – Below Poverty Line category and holds valid proof for the same as 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.

Download Application Format

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?

–  Just relax and wait for 30 days from the date of your application.

– You are not required to follow-up with the CPIO/ Institute by way of calls, email etc., On receipt of application, Institute will transfer the application to respective CPIO for further action.

For CA Students:

– Within 30 days from the date of your RTI application, you will receive an email from the institute with the link and login credentials to download the requested certified copies.

– No fee is required to be paid, as certified copies will be provided in soft copy format, no fee is to be charged as per RTI rules.

– As per ICAI sources, before providing certified copies/inspection of evaluated answer books to the examinees under RTI, verificationof answer books, within the scope of Regulation 39(4), will be carried out, by the office, suo motu, in respect of all applications for inspection and/or certified copy of evaluated answer books under the RTI Act, 2005. As per RTI rules, there is no requirement for suo-moto verification of marks before providing certified copies.

– So, I suggest applying for

– Verification as per ICAI procedure by paying Rs.100 per subject at ICAI exam portal – https://icaiexam.icai.org/.So that you can know the outcome of the verification of marks.

– Certified Copies at RTI portal

– Please note that re-evaluation of answers is not permissible under Regulation 39(4)of the CA Regulations 1988. So, there is no difference between the certified copy obtained as per ICAI process and RTI process. 

– Below is the copy of email received from ICAI, with link and login credentials to download the certified copies.

Supply of copies of answer books for CA Examination - May 2019 

For CWA/CMA Students:

– Within 30days from the date of your RTI application, in reply to your RTI application ICMAI will calculate the fees by charging Rs. 2 per page + applicable postal charges and disclose the total fees to be paid.

– Applicable Fee is required to be paid, as certified copies will be provided in hard copy format through speed post, Rs. 2 per page is to be charged as per RTI rules.

– NO Demand Draft/IPO is required to be taken, as you can make the payment at RTI portal itself by clicking on Make Payment link available post login to RTI portal under view status.

– As per ICMAI sources, no verificationof answer books will be done, there is no such requirement as per RTI rules.

– So, I suggest applying for

– Verification as per ICMAI procedure by paying Rs.253 per subject at ICMAI exam portal, so that you can know the outcome of the verification of marks.

http://examicmai.org/emsweb/result/an_subjverifiappli.aspx

– Certified Copies at RTI portal

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

– Below is the copy of reply received from ICMAI, seeking additional fee payment with payment link at RTI portal.

copy of reply received from ICMAI, seeking additional fee payment with payment link at RTI portal

What if, you have noticed a mistake/discrepancy in the certified copies received through RTI?

After receiving certified copies, if there any discrepancies, you can report the same to ICAI through physical application via speed post in below format:

Download Format of Letter reporting discrepancies, if any, falling within the scope of Regulation 39(4)

No fee is payable in such cases and such a request must be made within 30 days of issue of certified copies.

Only discrepancy as covered under Regulation 39(4) will be entertained i.e.

(i) no totaling error;

(ii) no carrying over of marks from inside to the cover page of the answer book;

(iii) no question or part thereof has remained unevaluated.

If you have further queries, please read 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.

FAQ on certified copies of answer sheets under RTI

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.

Thank you!

Vinay Reddy

Jai Hind!

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)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

ICAI Bhawan

Indraprastha Marg

New Delhi 110 002

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 conducted by the board with following particulars: –

1. Name of the candidate:

2. Date of Birth:

3. Fathers Name:

4. Contact no:

5. E-mail address:

6. Address for correspondence:

7. Student Registration No:

8. Examination: CPT/ Intermediate (IPC)/ Final/ ISAAT/ IRM/ ITL & WTO/ MAC/ CMC/ TMC

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)

(Republished with Amendments)

Author Bio

Qualification: Student - CA/CS/CMA
Company: N/A
Location: Hyderabad, Telangana, IN
Member Since: 16 Oct 2017 | Total Posts: 16
Author, Article Assistant, Paper Presenter at ICAI Conferences, CA aspirant, Researcher by passion. I am B Vinay Reddy, Student of ICAI since 2015. Currently, I’m serving as an Article Assistant in Hyderabad, India. With a high positive spirit & loves exploring various things and inte View Full Profile

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27 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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 …

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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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