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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
(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?
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:
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:
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|
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|
For CA Final level
|Shri Alok Malhotrafirstname.lastname@example.org||0120 3894808|
For CPT/ Foundation/ IPCC/ Intermediate
|Shri S. Babu Ragghavanemail@example.com||0120 3054840|
|ICMAI||Shri Prajato Mukherjeefirstname.lastname@example.org||033 40364710|
|ICSI||Shri Surya Narayan Mishraemail@example.com||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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile(preferably on WhatsApp) +91 7569989230 I can help you out.
Right to Information is to make you right thinking Indians
The Additional Secretary (Exams)
Subject: Photocopy of Answer book of the Board Examinations under the RTI Act, 2005
I have appeared for CA Foundation/ IPCC/ Intermediate/ Final Examination with following particulars: –
3. Contact no:
4. E-mail address:
6. Student Registration No:
7. Examination: CPT/ Intermediate (IPC)/ Final
Roll No :
Paper No. : Subject
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.
(Student Registration Number)
(Articles been further updated on 15.02.2020)