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Information Commissioner

Can you still file Second Appeal if First Appellate Authority claimed you were satisfied?

rti-appealIf First Appellate Authority claims that applicant has expressed satisfaction with the information furnished before the appellate authority, does the Appellant is precluded from preferring a second appeal on the same RTI application.? The Central Information Commission rejected the claim and directed the FAA to again hear the applicant afresh after affording an opportunity of hearing.

The Commission relied on Section–102 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which is extracted hereinafter:

102. On whom burden of proof lies.-The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side.

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Public Authority can’t deny information on the behest of any resolution taken by them

rti-resolutionIn a recent decision, CIC has ruled that Public Authority can’t deny information on the behest of any resolution taken by them. National Joint Committee for the Steel Industry (NJCS) which is an umbrella body of the unions of SAIL and RINL had made a self resolution that NJCS is a bipartite forum which comprise of workers and management representatives. The decisions taken in NJCS are only circulated in the form of Notes of Conclusions among the Members of NJCS only. The same are for internal use of members only and as such, cannot be shared under RTI.

NJCS is a bi-partite forum and as such information pertaining to NJCS cannot be provided under RTI Act…..

Even CIC had earlier decided that as 80 to 85% of the funds for this body come from SAIL Steel plants. Hence, this entity is held to be a public authority u/s 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act. (decision of the Commission in F.No. CIC/LS/A/2012/002516 in the matter of M D N Panicker vs SAIL). Thus clearly National Joint Committee for the Steel Industry as a public authority is under an obligation under the statute to provide such information to maintain transparency.

Public Authority can’t deny information

Another RTI application was denied by taking recourse to it’s resolution. However, CIC held that

The resolution taken by NJCS in its 247th meeting is not in conformity with the provisions of RTI Act. Public Authority can’t deny information on the behest of any resolution taken by them unless it is exempted under Sec 8 of the RTI Act, 2005.

What are your views? The decision can be read here!

Medical details of the spouse of an officer is personal information

Medical details of the spouseIt is a settled proposition of law that details of official tours, leave record of a public servant are not exempted per se from disclosure. The citizenry has a right to seek information regarding acts done by a public servant in discharge of his official duties except when the same is qualified under Section 8 of the RTI Act, 2005.

Medical details of the spouse of an officer is personal information

The CIC in its decision stated that medical details of the spouse of concerned officer are personal in nature and revelation thereof shall cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy.

Read Similar stories:

  1. Privacy Rights of Public Servants

The decision is available here!

RTI is my hobby

rti-is-my-hobbyCan one make RTI as a hobby? Especially when there is no public interest? In the hearing at Central Information Commission, an RTI applicant stated that ‘Filing RTI is my hobby, and there is no public interest in those RTI”.

CIC came heavily on to the applicant and stated that such hobby of filing RTI without any public interest causes loss of both time and energy of the Government and it causes disproportionate diversion of the resources of the public authority. (Clause 7 (9) of the RTI Act 2005)

CIC warned the applicant not to waste time and resources of the public authority, or else Central Information Commission shall not take cognisance of such appeal or complaint. Read more ›

Vexatious and frivolous RTI are ground of denial

frivolous RTIAfter filing 30 applications on the same subject with different names but with the same handwriting, Central Information Commission came heavily by warning to desist from misusing the provisions of the RTI Act for settling his personal scores with the respondent. CIC further stated that “In case the appellant continues to prefer RTI applications which are vexatious and frivolous in nature with a view to disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority, then the PIO will be free to deny information under the provisions of section 7 (9) of the Act.”

It is certain that this variety of the vexatious and frivolous petitions is not going to serve the interest of the Right to Information ⎯ the self-serving, pious protestations of serial petitioners such as this one notwithstanding.

NDMC, the Respondent informed that appellant who has filed at least 30 RTI applications in different names with similar queries, having the same handwriting regarding pending payment of M/s Gyan Const Co. against work done by the agency. Read more ›

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