RTI losing objective due to misuse by govt employees: CIC
New Delhi, July 15: The Right to Information Act is losing its objective of ushering in greater transparency and good governance as more and more government employees misuse it in a quest to promote their vested interests, feels the apex information panel.
"There is no provision in the RTI Act to discourage such clever persons (who use the legislation to promote their ulterior motives). Can anyone guide such people so that they could be genuinely empowered to use RTI for promoting good governance?" Information Commissioner M M Ansari said in a recent decision.
The observation came in respect to an application by Darshan Singh, an ex-employee of Pawan Hans helicopters who used the act to seek details of certain misplaced library books, the cost of which was recovered at the time of his retirement.
The CIC expressed anguish at the behaviour of the applicant, who left no stone unturned to seek relief and even went to the extent of misleading the commission despite getting a reply to his query.
"First, he has lied before the commission that the central public information officer (CPIO) has not responded. He was held responsible for corrupt practices resulting in loss of library books. Second, he has strongly pleaded for imposition of penalty on the Cpio. This is misleading," it said.
The commission was also critical of Singh`s move to file his original RTI application with the Civil Aviation Ministry, which had nothing to do with his grievances. "Being an ex-employee of (Pawan Hans), he knew as to where the required information was. This could have minimised the costs of servicing his request for information," Ansari said.