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Own records are not third party

Own records are not third party‘Own records are not third party information.’

Central Information Commission objected to Public Information Officer interpretation that asking for information about self through RTI is Personal information and is exempt under Section-8(1)(j) of RTI Act.  The PIO had rejected the application on the grounds that information about own file is third party information under RTI Act and cannot be disclosed. 

CIC directed that PIO needs to understand that section 8 (1) (J) applies only in those cases wherein the information is sought by a third party, in the present case the information seeker is seeking her own information and in such cases the exemption cannot be applied.

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Bar Council and Bar Association now under RTI

bar council and bar associationThe CIC has brought both Bar Council and Bar Association under RTI. The Bar Council being the statutory body constituted under Advocates Act 1961, to protect ethical standards of Advocates and admonish the members for misconduct are not exempt under RTI Act, ruled the Central Information Commission.

Similarly, though Bar Associations are different from Bar Councils, they are also constituted under a law made by Parliament, i.e., the Advocates Act, 1961. They too have a duty to inform the people about their activities.




Ministers under RTI

minister-under-rtiIn a big decision, Central Information Commission have brought Ministers under RTI and declared Ministers in the Union Government and all State Governments as ‘public authorities’ under Section 2(h)of the RTI Act. The Ministers have a duty to inform the people about their efforts to fulfill the promises they have made, through Section 4(1)(b) of RTI Act and also to furnish the information as sought by their voters under other provisions of RTI Act. The commission has directed that a Public Information Officer within two months from the date of receipt of this order be appointed with each Minister Office.

The Commission strongly recommends to implement the recommendations of NCRWC, Second ARC and replace the ‘oath of secrecy’ with ‘oath of transparency” so that the Minister will respect the right to information of the citizen, which was passed by the Parliament and considered as fundamental right intrinsic in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and be answerable/accountable to the citizens. Read more ›




Department of Legal Affairs Public Authority to show termite eaten records

termite-eating-government-filesThe Public Authority claimed that records were eaten by the termite and the same could not be provided.  It is pathetic to note that such an important department like “Department of Legal Affairs” comes up with an explanation that it could not give information as records were eaten away by termite, notes Central Information Commission. It was directed to produce termite eaten records.

It sadly reflects the state of notary/legal records. Notary Public is an important public functionary which documents certain activities for the purpose of legal consideration of transactions in the court of law. If notaries claim that their records are not produced to regulatory or contend that they are eaten away by termite, it gives rise to serious suspicion about the genuineness of concerned notary transactions, which the public authority is duty bound to check.

The Public authority and the notary are under a legal duty to protect and preserve such records/registers.  If records are truly eaten away the termite, they owe an explanation to the people why they failed to prevent it.  They also have a duty to give  Read more ›




Right to vote and Right to Information of the “little” citizen is of profound significance in a democracy

right-to-voteCentral Information Commission came down heavily over Election Office for not providing details of Voter ID card stating that “It is clear that their inaction and non response to RTI application is violation of both of his rights- right to information and right to vote.”

Citing Krishak Bharti Cooperative Ltd. vs Ramesh Chander Bawa on 14th May, 2010, W.P. (C) 6129/2007, where the Honble Delhi High Court held:

Just as the right to vote of the “little” citizen is of profound significance in a democracy, so is the right to information. It is another small but potent key in the hands of India’s “little” people that can “unlock” and lay bare the internal workings of public authorities whose decisions affect their daily lives in myriad unknown ways…

The Election Office, which spends huge money for campaign for enrolment of voters, but does not prefer to inform the applicant for the voter card under RTI also.

Commission thinks that the Election Office machinery should have been responsive to voter card requirements and RTI applications.

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