Patna: Shiv Prakash Rai, who has been using the Right to Information to access government documents for scrutiny, was shocked when officials in Bihar told him that he would have to cough up Rs 1.34 crore to inspect documents on land registration.
Rai, in his early 50s, approached the inspector general of registration in the registration, excise and prohibition department of Begusarai district in Bihar for documents pertaining to the purchase of agricultural land near cities, its conversion to commercial category, and subsequent sale at large profits.
"I was shocked when the registration office of Begusarai district asked me to pay Rs 1.34 crore to search and see the documents required," Rai said.
Rai said officials told him that copies of documents could only be made available after the amount was paid.
He said the normal charge for inspecting documents was Rs 10 for the first hour, and Rs 5 for every hour beyond that.