Help for framing an rti application
This is a discussion on Help for framing an rti application within the Ask for Framing an RTI Question forums, part of the RTI Community Support category; Dear members, Please find placed below the draft RTI application. May I request members to suggest the modification, if any, required to have the RTI application effective. By Speed Post ...
- 07-14-2012, 12:18 AM #1Just Popping In
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- Nov 2008
Help for framing an rti application
Please find placed below the draft RTI application. May I request members to suggest the modification, if any, required to have the RTI application effective.
By Speed Post Ack Due
APPLICATION FOR OBTAINING INFORMATION UNDER SECTION 6 (1) OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005:Hostile discrimination, Colossal harassment, humiliation, IMMENSE mental agony & continued violation of human rights,
The Central Public Information Officer,
I, Smt. ..............., W/o Shri ................, as a Citizen of India, would like to apply for the following information under Section 6 (1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. As I am an affected party, the information may please be given along with the reasons as mandated by Section 4 (d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005
2. My husband Shri ................................ was transferred to ......................................... from ........................ on promotion as Assistant Accounts Officer and as an obedient Government servant and son of a disciplined Army soldier, obeyed the orders and assumed the charge of Assistant Accounts Officer on 18.08.99
3. Since, my son a physically challenged, was pursuing tenth standard, which was (is) the crucial stage in the educational system and one of my daughter, was pursuing Eighth standard and due to non-availability of requisite schools at .............. and my children have to learn “....................” compulsorily as one of the language, which was impossible when they pursue Xth and VIIIth standard, my husband had no other alternative but to keep the family at Chennai.
4. Adding fuel to fire, during the absence of my husband, the second daughter aged 3 years, suffered from Seizure (convulsions) disorder and she was under the treatment of the child specialist. The treating doctor advised that the seizure (convulsions) had happened during the absence of my husband and it is one of the reasons for the convulsions.
5. In view of the compelling circumstances, I had submitted number of applications to the .............................. and also to the ......................... to consider transfer of my husband to Chennai on extreme compassionate/humanitarian grounds. However, either my request for transfer of my husband on extreme compassionate / humanitarian grounds was considered or any reply has been given by your public authority for not considering my applications. The ...................., in response to my applications, vide letter dated 20th Dec 1999 stated as under:
“We have gone through your application seeking transfer of Shri .......................................... AAO from ................ to Chennai on extreme compassionate grounds.
2. The case for transfer of Shri ....................... was discussed with the Director of personnel, ............. HQrs who recently visited Chennai. He has clarified that as per ........... HQrs policy regarding transfer, it would be possible to consider transferring back Shri ............................. only after a gap of two and half years from the date of his reporting to .................
3. While we sympathize with the problems faced by the family, we are unable to immediately extend help as we are found by the existing policy of ............ HQrs.”
6. Whereas, many officers on promotion were retained in the same establishment (s)/Lab (s) although, there was no vacant Post (s). In the case of my husband, there was a clear vacancy in Chennai and my husband was transferred with malafide intention, as could be evident from the fact that Smt. ..................., Accountant of .................... was transferred to Chennai as Assistant Accounts Officer and on refusal of Smt. ................ for promotion to the grade of Assistant Accounts Officer, Shri ................., Accountant of ................., Kochi, was transferred to Chennai on promotion to the grade of Assistant Accounts Officer. Further, the malafide intention of your public authority will demonstrate from the fact that Shri ................., who was transferred from Chennai on promotion as Admin Officer, was transferred back to Chennai, within few months. Likewise, Shri ....................., who was transferred from Chennai on promotion to the grade of Assistant Accounts officer, was also transferred back to Chennai within few months (though he also belongs to the same cadre/posts, there was discrimination). It is learnt that many of the personnel transferred to other establishments within the same station were allowed to function in the establishments from where they were transferred.
7. In fact, my husband should have been promoted to the grade of Accounts Officer in the scale of pay of Rs.7450-11500 from 28.02.1997. Whereas, instead of promoting my husband to the grade of Accounts Officer, he was promoted to the grade of Assistant Accounts Officer i.e., one grade less than that he is entitled as per the law of the land and apart from that he was transferred though there was a clear vacancy. Whereas, in the case of S/Shri ............... and ....................., they were promoted from the post of Accounts Officer ‘A’ (re-designated as Accounts Officer) in the scale of pay of Rs.7450-11500 to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade I) in the scale of Pay of Rs.10000-15200 vide UPSC file reference No. ........................... dated 23.09.1998 skipping the grade of Accounts Officer ‘B’ (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade II) in the scale of pay of Rs.8000-13500 between the grade of Accounts Officer ‘A’ (re-designated as Accounts Officer) in the scale of pay of Rs.7450-11500 to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade I) in the scale of Pay of Rs.10000-15200 in the restructured cadre from 26.03.1998.
8. Subsequently, my husband was promoted to the grade of Accounts Officer on 02.02.2001 and most of the Assistant Accounts Officers on promotion to the grade of Accounts Officer were transferred back to their respective parent Lab/Estt including in the same stations as well. However, in the case of my husband, he was retained in ............, though there was no vacancy of Accounts Officer and there was a clear vacancy of Accounts Officer in Chennai and my husband had applied for transfer back to Chennai on extreme compassionate grounds.
9. My husband was transferred to Chennai during July 2001 as Accounts Officer and he was not assigned the duties and responsibilities attached to the post of Accounts Officer, and adding salt to the injury, my husband was not at all provided the office accommodation for more than one year.
10. It may be noted that providing the office accommodation is not a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of certain officials and such cruel/unethical treatment that a Gazetted Officer is without an office accommodation for a period of more than one year, ever happened and will ever happen in any of the organs of the Government of India.
11. In a couple of year back, a bevy of employees of Chennai ferociously gate-crashed and surrounded in the office room of my husband. The room where my husband was working is held with all moneys of the establishment in the Cash Chests. The employees without prior intimation or prior appointment, with the instigation and misuse of the official position by a responsible officer in the management stream, threatened that they will kill my husband and kill our family members apart from using filth languages which are neither hearable nor can be written in words. They have also threatened that they can loot the cash held in the cash chest kept in the room and thereby they can put my husband in trouble stating that no body can do anything. To exhibit that they can do any atrocities, they have also spread the incident that they have given an open threat to my husband, thereby they have not only given open threat, but they have also adversely damaged dignity and liberty of my husband and our family. This barbarous act is not only against the decorum of office procedures of the Government of India, but also is a criminal office under the law of the land.
12. Immediately after the incident, my husband informed the Head (Admin), Additional Director and Director, Chennai and requested for an investigation and to take suitable action against the concerned employees. However, no action has been initiated against the concerned employees till date and not even they were enquired about the incident i.e., an employee’s life became an insignificant phenomena. The Un-parliamentary gesture of them was also not enquired.
13. During the year 2010, my husband was considered for promotion to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. Out of three Senior Accounts Officer Grade II promoted to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I, except my husband, other two Senior Accounts Officer Grade II were retained in the same establishment even though there were no vacant posts of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. Whereas, when there was a clear authorisation of the post of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I vide Government of India, .............. letter No. ............................ dated 25 Oct 2010 and the post was vacant, your public authority has chosen with male fide intention, for oblique purpose, to give undue advantage to favoured personnel, issued orders for transfer of my husband to .............., Kanpur on promotion to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. The intention of your public authority will demonstrate from the fact that there was no vacant post/ authorisation of manpower of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I at ............., Bangalore as per Government of India, .............................................. letter ........................ dated 25 Oct 2010 and though there was no post of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I authorised and or vacant, Shri ..............................., Senior Accounts Officer Grade II of .........................Bangalore was retained in the same establishment on promotion to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. The above acts of your public authority are unfair, arbitrary, unreasonable, hostile discrimination, harassment against my husband to oust my husband.
14. Consequent on issue of orders of transfer of my husband on promotion to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I, my husband had submitted applications for retention against the vacant post at Chennai. However, your public authority vide letter No. ............................... dated 28.12.2010 intimated which reads as under:-
“The representation of Shri ......................... for retention at CHENNAI on his promotion as Senior Accounts Officer Grade I has been examined. It is stated that presently against the authorisation of 04 posts of Accounts Cadre officers, CHENNAI is holding 05 officers. Shri ........................., can be retained at CHENNAI, if holding of Accounts Cadre Officers for Chennai is reduced by one. The officer may be informed accordingly”.
15. For excess holding of manpower, is my husband responsible? To give undue benefits to the favoured personnel, your public authority transferred personnel in excess of the authorisation, which are illegal. However, in the same establishment when there was no vacant post or authorisation of post of Hindi Officer, the incumbent was retained on promotion as Hindi Officer. Further, it is shocking to know that as against 03 (three) posts of Admin Officers authorized in Chennai, more than 14 (fourteen) Admin Officers are held. These are only examples. Constitution of India does not recognise Different Rules for Different Officials. The preamble of the Constitution of India is an introduction to the Constitution and lays down in brief the aims and objectives of the policy framers of the Union of India. It enunciates those socio-economic goals and ends which are to be achieved by the Indian Constitution. These goals are multitudinous in nature and secure for the citizens of India a variety of rights and ensure justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity to all.The Constitution of India under Article 14 guaranteed all the Citizens of India equality before law and equal protection before law and under Article 16 guaranteed all the Citizens of India equal opportunity on employment.
16. The excess holding of manpower is caused due to the transfer of Shri ........................, Accountant of ………….., Kochi to Chennai on promotion to the grade of Accounts Officer, without any vacant post of Accounts Officer. The officer was transferred back to his parent Lab within few months. Whereas, my husband was retained in Chennai on vacation of a vacancy of Senior Accounts Officer Grade II consequent on appointment of Shri .........................., as Senior Admin Officer Grade I on deputation. It may be seen from the above facts, although there is no relevance of vacation of a lower post and the excess holding of manpower is the responsibility of your public authority, it is very clear that differential treatment has been given and therefore the acts of your public authority squarely fall under the category of “Corrupt practice”.
17. My husband although holding the post of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I with grade pay of Rs.6600/-, he is not being assigned the duties and responsibilities prescribed for the post and he is being humiliated by assigning irrelevant work and without providing the bonafide facilities.
18. The above acts of continued harassments, mental agony are inhumane and violation of human rights. The above acts adversely affected our family members as well. This being the circumstances and in view of the prevailing climate, I am afraid that my husband not only, not likely to get any justice but also my husband & my family members may not likely to get any security for our lives. Apart from that due to hostile discrimination, colossal harassment, humiliation, immense mental agony & continued violation of human rights, I doubt that my husband may end up his life.
19. In view of the above position, to enable me to appraise as a citizen of India and approach appropriate authorities, I may please be provided the information sought with reasons.
20. Kindly provide me:
(i) copies of file notings by which it was decided not to give any reply to my applications submitted to your public authority regarding transfer of my husband from ............ to Chennai, on extreme compassionate grounds/ humanitarian grounds,
(ii) copies of all the applications submitted by me to your public authority along with file noting indicating the name and designation (s) of officers dealt with my applications.
(iii) If the competent authority has made any closing remarks in the applications, the same may also please be provided.
(iv) a copy of Government of India notification which prescribes procedure for disposal of applications received from public.
(v) the charter of duties for the posts of Accounts Officer, Senior Accounts Officer Grade II & Senior Accounts Officer Grade I and copies of file notings by which it was decided the duties and responsibilities assigned to my husband when he was holding the above posts.
(vi) The reporting channel/chain of command for the post of Accounts Officer, Senior Accounts Officer Grade II and Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. Please also provide me copies of file notings by which it was decided to assign the reporting channel/chain of command to my husband when he was holding the above posts. The authorised reporting channel/chain of command has not been followed in the case of my husband; please provide reasons and the action proposed to be taken against the officials responsible.
(vii) the list of personnel promoted as Assistant Accounts Officer along with my husband during July 1999 with a copy of Statutory Recruitment Rules under which they were promoted to the grade of Assistant Accounts Officer. Please also provide me file noting by which it was decided to promote the personnel as Assistant Accounts Officer.
(viii) copies of transfer orders of all the personnel promoted as Assistant Accounts Officer during July 1999, along with file noting by which it was decided to transfer, retain on promotion as Assistant Accounts Officer, clearly specifying the transfer policy adopted in each case. In case, the transfer policy has not been mentioned in the file noting, please provide a copy of the transfer policy applied in the above cases.
(ix) a copy of file noting by which my husband was retained in ......... on promotion as Accounts Officer, when there was no vacant post of Accounts Officer, along with reasons, along with a copy of transfer policy adopted in my husband’s case.
(x) a copy of government of India notification which prescribe entitlements for the officers who hold the post of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I, such as provisioning of office accommodation, stenographic assistance, office telephone, etc.,
(xi) information on the action proposed to be taken against the officials who was responsible for non-provisioning of proper office accommodation to my husband and also for causing mental harassment.
(xii) the information on the personnel retained in Chennai consequent on promotion and copies of file notings by which it was decided to retain the personnel on promotion along with copy of transfer policy under which such personnel were retained for the period from 01.01.1999 to till the date of your reply, separately personnel retained in Chennai against the vacant posts/without any vacant posts.
(xiii) certified extract from service rules of relevant records, which provide for departmental action against employees of your public authority for not complying with laws and rules, enacted by the Parliament and not adhered to the time limit mentioned in rules and are guilty of violating these rules and causing mental agony to the employees.
(xiv) A copy of transfer order in respect of Shri ..............., Admin Officer who was transferred back to Chennai within few months, with file noting by which it was decided to transfer back to Chennai, specifying the transfer policy under which he was transferred back to Chennai within few months, when the policy provide that only after lapse of two and half years service only can be transferred back to the parent establishment.
(xv) A copy of transfer order in respect of Shri ......................., Assistant Accounts Officer who was transferred back to Chennai within few months, with file noting by which it was decided to transfer back to Chennai, specifying the transfer policy under which he was transferred back to Chennai within few months, when the policy provide that only after lapse of two and half years service only can be transferred back to the parent establishment.
(xvi) A copy of transfer order in respect of Shri .................., Accounts Officer who was transferred back to ..............., Kochi within few months, with file noting by which it was decided to transfer back to ............... Kochi, specifying the transfer policy under which he was transferred back to ............, Kochi within few months, when the policy provide that only after lapse of two and half years service only can be transferred back to the parent establishment.
(xvii) A copy of transfer order in respect of Shri ......................., Accounts Officer who was transferred back to Chennai with file noting by which it was decided to transfer back to Chennai, specifying the transfer policy under which he was transferred back to Chennai, when the policy provide that only after lapse of two and half years service only can be transferred back to the parent establishment.
(xviii) Complete DPC papers and all correspondences, within your public authority and outside public authority in respect of S/Shri ..................... & ..............., who were promoted from the post of Accounts Officer ‘A’ (re-designated as Accounts Officer) in the scale of pay of Rs.7450-11500 to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade I) in the scale of Pay of Rs.10000-15200 vide UPSC file reference No. ............................... dated 23.09.1998 skipping the grade of Accounts Officer ‘B’ (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade II) in the scale of pay of Rs.8000-13500 between the grade of Accounts Officer ‘A’ (re-designated as Accounts Officer) in the scale of pay of Rs.7450-11500 to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer (re-designated as Senior Accounts Officer Grade I*) in the scale of Pay of Rs.10000-15200 in the restructured cadre from 26.03.1998. Kindly also provide copies of file notings by which it was decided to promote the above-mentioned officers specifically skipping the in between post of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I. Kindly also provide me the reasons for not following the same principle in the case of promotion from Accountant to Accounts Officer.
(xix) Complete DPC Papers and all correspondences, within your public authority and outside public authority for promotion/deputation to the grade of Senior Admin Officer Grade II, Senior Stores Officer Grade II, Civilian Assistant Security Officer who were promoted with 03 years service in their respective feeder post when Government of India, Ministry of Personnel OM No. AB-14017/2/97-Estt (RR) dated 25.05.1998 stipulates that for promotion from a post, which carries a scale of Rs.6500-10500 to a post carry a scale of pay of Rs.8000-13500, the qualifying service is 05 years service. Kindly also provide copies of file notings by which it was decided to promote the officials in violation of DoPT guidelines.
(xx) Copies of applications submitted by my husband for retention in Chennai, on promotion to the grade of Senior Accounts Officer Grade I with copies of file notings by which it was decided not to retain in Chennai.
(xxi) file notings and action taken report on this application along with your reply.
21. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot refuse the information sought for:
(a) the preamble to the Act says that the Act is passed because democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. The Act restricts the right to information to citizens (Section 3). An applicant seeking information does not have to give any reasons why he/she needs such information except such details as may be necessary for contacting him/her. Thus, there is no requirement of locus standi for seeking information [Section 6(2)].
(b) The right to information is not confined to Article 19(1)(a) but is also situated in Article 14 (equality before the law and equal protection of law) and Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty). The right to information may not always have a linkage with the freedom of speech. If a citizen gets information, certainly his capacity to speak will be enhanced. But many a time, he needs information, which may have nothing to do with his desire to speak. He may wish to know how an administrative authority has used its discretionary powers. He may need information as to whom the petrol pumps have been allotted. The right to information is required to make the exercise of discretionary powers by the Executive transparent and, therefore, accountable because such transparency will act as a deterrent against unequal treatment.
(c) The source of right to information does not emanate from the Right to Information Act. It is a right that emerges from the constitutional guarantees under Article 19(1)(a) as held by the Supreme Court in a catena of decisions. The Right to Information Act is not repository of the right to information. Its repository is the constitutional rights guaranteed under Article 19((1)(a). The Act is merely an instrument that lays down statutory procedure in the exercise of this right. Its overreaching purpose is to facilitate democracy by helping to ensure that citizens have the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process and to help the governors accountable to the governed.
(d) The Act does not merely oblige the public authority to give information on being asked for it by a citizen but requires it to suo moto make the information accessible. Section 4(1)(a) of the Act requires every public authority to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under the Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated. Section 4 spells out various obligations of public authorities and Sections 6 and 7 lay down the procedure to deal with request for obtaining information.
(e) In the State of UP v. Raj Narain, AIR 1975 SC 865, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held: (para 74)
“In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be but few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way, by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security, see New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) 29 Law Ed. 822 = 403 U.S. 713. To cover with veil of secrecy, the common routine business, is not in the interest of the public. Such secrecy can seldom be legitimately desired. It is generally desired for the purpose of parties and politics or personal self-interest or bureaucratic routine. The responsibility of officials to explain and to justify their acts is the chief safeguard against oppression and corruption.”
(f) In the case of S.P. Gupta v. Union of India, 1981 (Supp) SCC 87 (para 65), Bhagwati, J (as he then was) emphasising the need for openness in the government, observed:
“65. The demand for openness in the government is based principally on two reasons. It is now widely accepted that democracy does not consist merely in people exercising their franchise once in five years to choose their rules and, once the vote is cast, then retiring in passivity and not taking any interest in the government. Today it is common ground that democracy has a more positive content and its orchestration has to be continuous and pervasive. This means inter alia that people should not only cast intelligent and rational votes but should also exercise sound judgment on the conduct of the government and the merits of public policies, so that democracy does not remain merely a sporadic exercise in voting but becomes a continuous process of government - an attitude and habit of mind. But this important role people can fulfil in a democracy only if it is an open government where there is full access to information in regard to the functioning of the government.”
(g) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 adopted on 10th December in Article 19 said :
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was adopted in 1968. Article 19 of the Convention reads as follows:
(1) Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference;
(2) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression, this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of his choice.”
India has ratified the ICCPR. Section 2(d) read with 2(f) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 clarifies human rights to include the rights guaranteed by the ICCPR.
22. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot deny the information on the ground that ............. is exempt from the operation of the Right to Information Act, 2005 as it is included in the Second schedule to the Act, as
(a) It has been the consistent view of the Hon’ble CIC that the information cannot be denied by a notified organization on Establishment/administrative matters.
(b) The information sought pertains to human rights violation,
(c) The information sought pertains to cases of irregular benefits given to several employees by either relaxing the existing rules or by deliberately applying the rules in favour of certain employees even if such rules did not strictly apply to their cases. The benefits given to such employees would obviously fall in the category of corrupt practice.
(d) In Mr. P.P Kapoor Vs. RBI – Decision No CIC/SM/A/ 2011/001376 /SG/15684 – Appeal No. CIC/SM/A/2011/ 001376/SG dated 15.11.2011 extract from the decision reads :
“At this stage the commission would like to quote Thomas J of the High Court of New Zealand 1995, ‘The primary foundation for insisting upon openness in government rests upon the sovereignty of the people. Under a democracy parliament is “Supreme”, in the sense that term is used in the phrase “Parliament supremacy”, but the people remain sovereign. They enjoy the ultimate power, which, their sovereignty confers. But the people cannot undertake the machinery of governance. That task is delegated to their elected representatives………
………. the government can be perceived as the agent or fiduciary of the people, performing the task and exercising the powers of government which have been devolved to it in trust for the people.
………. the information held by government is essentially the people’s information being held on their behalf. Pursuant to this devolution of authority ………….
………. The people’s sovereignty ultimately determines their right to insist upon openness in government.
I wish government and its instrumentalities would remember that all information held by them is owned by citizens, who are sovereign. …..”
23. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot deny the information on the ground of lack of resources and or the information sought will divert the resources. In this regard, I append below the extract of Hon’ble Madras High Court judgement on W.P.NO.20372 of 2009 and M.P.NO.1 OF 2009
“they are maintaining a large number of documents in respect of 45 departments and they are short of human resources cannot be raised to whittle down the citizens' right to seek information. It is for them to write to the Government to provide for additional staff depending upon the volume of requests that may be forthcoming pursuant to the RTI Act. It is purely an internal matter between the petitioner archives and the State Government. The right to information having been guaranteed by the law of Parliament, the administrative difficulties in providing information cannot be raised. Such pleas will defeat the very right of citizens to have access to information. Hence, the objections raised by the petitioner cannot be countenanced by this court. The writ petition lacks in merit”.
24. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot deny the information related to Departmental Promotion Committee papers, as, in a number of cases Hon’ble CIC has decided that entire details relating to selection process, including DPC minutes should be put in public domain to demonstrate fairness and objectivity in the recruitment and promotion of staff. In the case of ............... vs. .............. file No. CIC....................... dated 11.07.2011 decision of the same is available in the ............... website, para .... of the decision reads: “It is, however, open to the appellant to request for a copy of the minutes of the Departmental Promotion Committee which is disclosable to him by the CPIO”.
25. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot deny the information requested for under section 8 or 9 as mandated in section 7.1 of the Right to the information Act, 2005. I also append below extracts from Hon’ble CIC decisions:
“Through this order the commission now wants to send the message loud and clear that quoting provisions of section 8 of the RTI act ad libitum to deny the information requested for, by CPIOs/Appellate authorities without giving any justification or grounds as to how these provisions are applicable is simply unacceptable and clearly amounts to malafide denial of legitimate information attracting penalties under section 20 (1) of the Act – CIC/OK/A/2006/00163 dated 07 July 2006”
26. The CPIO is requested to note that the CPIO cannot deny the information requested for on the ground that the requested information is personal or third party. In this regard, I append below extracts from Hon’ble State Information Commission, Punjab in AC No. 1021 of 2011:
“5. Section 8(1) (j) confers a substantive right of privacy on every citizen against unwarranted invasion of privacy. Personal information means information relating to personal or private life, as distinct from public conduct or public affairs of an individual. The personal information contemplated in Section 8(1) (j) is such information which is so private in nature that the disclosure of the same would not benefit any other person but would certainly result invasion of privacy of a third person. The right to privacy essentially secures privacy of personal life. It is a right to lead life as per ones wish, away from public gaze; it is a right to keep ones personal affairs and relationships to oneself; a right about confidentiality of one’s private affairs.
6. However, a person who is in public service has no right to hide his public conduct. Public affairs and public duties are distinct and different from personal and private life. Section 8(1) (j) permits disclosures of personal information only if it is of public interest. Public interest does not, however, mean interest of public in gossip. It means matters of common wellbeing or general welfare, which are of appeal or interest to the general population. In Russel vs. Wheeler (165-Colo-296) the public interest was defined as “something in which the public, the community at large has some pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liberties are affected. “ It does not mean anything so narrow as mere curiosity. Similarly, the term ‘public activity’ occurring in Section 8(1) (j) could best be defined in contrast to private activity. ‘Public Activity’ means a public act or an act of or pertaining to people as a whole; it relates to or affects people or community, as against an individual. To put it shortly, any activity relating to a person in his capacity as a public authority or an activity in public domain or in discharge of a public duty would qualify as a ‘public activity’.
7. Coming to the facts of the present case, admittedly the information-seeker and the third party, Mrs. Meenu Kundra are husband and wife involved in acrimonies litigation. For the purposes of Right to Information Act, 2005, however, the relationship between the information-seeker and the third party is irrelevant. So long as the information-seeker is a citizen of India and the information is held by a public authority, he has a right to access information within the ambit of the Right to Information Act, 2005. It is also immaterial as to for what purpose an information-seeker is seeking the information or to what possible uses he may put the same. The motives of an information seeker or what propelled him to move the public authority or how the information will be used, are not germane to citizens’ right to know what he wants to know. Section 6(2) specifically lays down that an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for request of information. Therefore, the fact that there is litigation between the parties or the fact that they are related to each other or the fact that the husband will use this information to defend himself in a Court of law, are of no consequence or relevance to his right as a citizen to access the information. In fact, if the information is to be used in a criminal case, disclosure may be in public interest. Every crime is an offence against the society, apart from against the individual victim and any relevant information, which helps to reach a right conclusion, would only further public interest and the cause of justice.
8. The eight queries of the information seeker dated 27.10.2010 do not pertain to private affairs or personal life of the third party i.e. Mrs. Meenu Kundra. The information is about Mrs Meenu’s official capacity as a lecturer in commerce in a College, which is a public authority. The issues relate to her appointment as a lecturer, the salary being paid to her, the duties assigned to her; the leave availed by her etc. These are all official matters. The RTI Act does not give public servants the luxury to seek secrecy in public affairs. The only right available to a third party under Section 11(1) is to make submissions whether the information should be disclosed or not. The stand of the third party shall be considered and kept in view by PIO, while taking a final decision as to whether information should be disclosed or not. The right of the third party to make submissions against disclosure of information, however, is not a right to veto. The PIO is to apply his mind to the facts of the case, including the submissions made by third party and thereafter come to an independent conclusion whether the information relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest or which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of an individual. The PIO is also required to consider whether such information can be denied to Parliament or State Legislature. If such information cannot be withheld from the State Legislature, it can also not be withhold from a private citizen as laid down by the proviso to Section 8(i) (j) of the Act ibid.
9. The information-seeker has relied on a number of authorities in support of his contention that information concerning public activities of a third party shall not be withheld. Reliance has been placed on the decision of this Bench in CC-923/2011 decided on 4.11.2011 and CC-3897/2009 decided on 16.2.2010, wherein it was held that information pertaining to discharge of public duties by a public servant is not personal or private information. Reliance has been placed on the decision in appeal No.CIC/SG/A/ 2010/000505 (Mahesh Kumar Gupta vs. PIO/National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra) of the Central Information Commission, wherein it was held that the details of dates of leave and nature of leave taken by an employee cannot be held to be an information held in a fiduciary capacity and such information cannot be construed as invasion of privacy of an individual. A similar view was taken by the Central Information Commission in its decision in Appeal No.CIC/SM/A/2011 /000956/SG titled as Debashish Dutta vs. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, wherein it was held that a public servant is accountable to public. Therefore, every citizen has a right to obtain information that may assess his credibility, integrity and performance. The Central Information Commission in Appeal No.CIC/SG/A/2009/002969 titled as Om Parkash vs. Delhi Transport Corporation, New Delhi held that disclosure of attendance register and educational qualification’s certificates cannot be considered as invasion of privacy of an individual. Reliance has been placed on the decision of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court in CWP No./15964 of 2010 (D.P. Jangra vs. State Information Commission, Haryana) wherein it was held that the information relating to properties of a public servant are not exempt from disclosure. Reliance has also been placed on the Delhi High Court decision in WP ( C)3114 of 2007 (Bhagat Singh vs. Chief Information Commissioner). In this case a criminal complaint had been filed and it was pleaded that disclosure of information would help the information-seeker in absolving himself from false prosecution and harassment. The Hon’ble High Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed disclosure of the information.
10. In view of the foregoing discussion, I have no hesitation in holding that the queries of the information-seeker are not about personal information pertaining to private affairs of Mrs. Meenu Kundra. The information pertains to discharge of public duties by a public functionary. No exemption has been granted under the Right to Information Act, 2005 from disclosure of such information.
11. We have also to keep in mind the basic aims and objectives of the Right to Information Act, 2005, while deciding the present appeal. The objective of the Act, 2005 is to ensure smoother access to information and provide an effective framework for affecting the Right to Information, which is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. This right is a pre-condition and an imperative for fair play in society and for freedom and democracy, in so far as it would ensure transparency and secure rule of law”.
27. The CPIO is requested to note that on December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Extract of Article 23 reads as under:
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work……...
28. The CPIO is requested to note that the information has been generated by the Public Authority and/or available on their records and these documents are public documents. The CPIO is also requested to note that as per Section 19(5) of the RTI Act, the onus to prove that a denial of request was justified shall be on the CPIO who denied the request.
29. The CPIO is requested to note that in Dr. S.P. Udayakumar vs. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited – Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000544/18674 – Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/ 2012/ 000544 dated 30th April 2012 extract from the decision reads:
“It is not denied that government while formulating policy decisions is guided by its wisdom and priorities for the nation. However, in a democracy, the masters of the government are the citizens. An argument that public servants will decide policy matters by without involving the masters is specious. …… Section 4 contains a statutory direction to all public authorities “to provide as much information suo moto to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information”. More specifically, Section 4 (1) (c) of the RTI Act mandates that all public authorities shall –“Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public”. It follows from the above that citizens have a right to know about ………………, which has been prepared with public money
30. Please inform me date of last updating information under section 4.1.b (proactive disclosures) on your website with name, designation and office address with email ID of officer responsible for updating this information. Please also provide the present status of compliance with sections 4.1.a and 4.1.c of RTI Act by your public authority. Please also provide the name, address, email ID of Central Point created as directed vide OM No.1/32/2007-IR dated 14.11.2007 of DoPT, Government of India, New Delhi.
31. Redirecting this application to other CPIO will amount to violation of (a) sub section 4 & 5 of section 5 of RTI Act (b) directives issued by Government of India, DoPT as contained in its notification No.1/14/2008-IR dated 28-07-2008 (c) Hon’ble CIC decisions No.10/1/2005/CIC dated 25.02.2006 and ICPB/C1/CIC /2006 dated 06.03.2006. CPIO to whom the application is submitted is duty bound to collect information from any source within the public authority in the world and to supply to the applicant. Transfer of RTI application within public authority is against the provisions of RTI Act, 2005.
32. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in Section 8 of the Act and to the best of my knowledge; it pertains to your office. If any of the information sought above does not pertain to you, kindly forward it, under intimation to me, to the respective department under Section 6 (3) of RTI Act, 2005.
33. I add that an applicant under the RTI Act 2005 is also a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 as decided by the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi on 28.05.2009 in Revision Petition No. 1975 of 2005
34. I also add that non-compliance of RTI Act 2005 amounts to breach of fundamental rights of citizens under article 19.1.a of the Constitution of India. The CPIO is requested to note that in case the CPIO or your public authority or any agents, etc, directly or indirectly, attempt to nullify this RTI application or harassed, through any manner or act, I am entitled to file an FIR as well as file a complaint with Hon’ble CIC, as the same are against the Constitution of India and law made by the Parliament of India.
35. Please give a copy or print out (duly authenticated) of those portions of records, which contain the information sought. Where the number of pages exceeds 20, please provide them on a CD. Please provide the information to each point separately. No clubbing of points even if information is repeated.
36. On receipt of information under this application, I intend to carry out actual inspection of records at your office, with an assistant of my choice. I may be permitted for such inspection.
37. Please find enclosed IPO No. dated for Rs.10 (Rupees Ten only) towards application fee. Please also find enclosed IPO No dated for Rs.50/- towards cost of CD. Kindly provide me the name, designation, telephone number, email ID etc., of the appellate authority.
Signature of applicant
Dated: July 2012
Last edited by taurus; 07-16-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: making a smaller draft as required by the applicant
- 07-15-2012, 08:40 PM #2
Re: Help for framing an rti application
Several sub items of point 20 have to be redrafted so that you are only asking for "information" and "record". Read Sec 2(f), 2(i) and 2(j) of the RTI Act: Right to Information Act 2005
Delete items 21 to 36 - the CPIO will never understand what you are saying. He is not some Supreme Court Chief Justice !
- 07-15-2012, 09:01 PM #3Just Popping In
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Re: Help for framing an rti application
Respected Karira Sir,
Thanks for your advice. In case points 1 to 19 are deleted, then how to prove that the application is under human rights violation. You may appreciate from the application, the harassment that are being meted out to my husband. If you don't mind and wish to help us, please extend your help by redrafting the RTI application. Our family will be ever grateful for this act of kindness.
Expecting your reply Sir.
- 07-15-2012, 09:50 PM #4
Re: Help for framing an rti application
Why do you want to bring in Human Rights at all ?
No one in the Government reads beyond the first half page. Try to restrict your RTI application to one A4 size typed page.
- 07-16-2012, 06:49 AM #5Just Popping In
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Re: Help for framing an rti application
Respected Karira Sir.
Thanks. I want to bring in human rights and differential treatment which attract corrupt practice, as the organisation is exempted under section 24 of RTI act, 2005. Further, although, Hon'ble CIC in number decision held that the notified organisations are not exempted for establishment matters, the CPIO as a matter of routine apply/deny the information citing section 24 of RTI act 2005. Therefore, May I request to give a serious thought and help me in filling an effective RTI application. Our family is totally upset the way the department is giving trouble to my husband.