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Thread: Purpose Of Information Asked For

  1. Purpose Of Information Asked For

    HI everbody,
    I just read in HT that Mrs. Rupam Bajaj , Panjab Information Commissoner denied information or better say disposed off petition with a plea " Information Commission with in its jurisdiction can see what LETTER AND SPIIRIT OF ACT DEMANDS " . And further she goes on to say it is not the intent of act to supply information for research purposes and roving & fishing inquiries. Petitioner actually asked for data of nine years of Distt. Red Cross Society , Patiala to study trends and practices of Red Cross Society. He got similar data from DIET , Distt. institute of Elementary Training , Nabha (Panjab) . I GUESS It does not fall in ambit of SIC or CIC to deny something vehemently on the pretext of anything whatsoever. Act nowhere gives such discretion to any RTI implementor.


  2. Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    Hi Nick,

    In fact I am unable to understand that why a researchers was asking for any information pertaining to Red cross , for research purpose, from IC of the concerned state. He could have done it directly without an RTI....

    Data's of Red Cross Societies are with their heads and can be asked for, for research purpose, if that research is being conducted under legitimate authority .

    Well even in case the data for research were asked via SIC or CIC , I would ask you to refer the Act or I would await some of our subject specialist to come with riposte....Because I think Punjab State IC is largely correct...

    {Note I would also request not to quote the State IC name , instead you can mention her office, as it is against ethics...General suggestion)

  3. Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    The purpose, for seeking information under RTI, is IRRELEVANT!! This has been established beyond any doubt, by CIC decisions, and by courts in USA (under FOIA). Therefore whether a person was seeking information for research or just for fun, the Red Cross must provide it.

    The logic of the above decisions goes like this. If PA takes into consideration the reason why a person is asking for information, then PA can deny information based upon his decision as to why a person is asking for information. PA would deny information, and then the courts would have to decide on each case if requester's reason is legitimate or not.

    For example, let us say I ask for Red Cross information, claiming that I am a reporter for a newspaper, and have reason to believe that there was irregularity within Red Cross. The PIO at Red Cross will have to check my credentials with the newspaper I claim to work for. Then PIO might say that he wants to know the reason why I believe there was irregularity within Red Cross. Only if PIO is satisfied, he would release the information. Once he releases the information to me, I can publish it on web, or in a newspaper. Everyone can see the information. So what was the purpose of PIO checking all my credentials etc., before releasing the information.

    If some information is public, it is free for all to see, not just those select few who can show that they have some special public interest in mind.
    Last edited by Satish Gupta; 08-09-07 at 12:48 AM.

  4. Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    I am not sure about the exact decision, would anybody care to put that for us?
    If the information is not exempt under Section 8 (1) (d)

    information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
    It should invariably be in public domain.

  5. Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    Hi there,
    Well Abhinav i must tell you Petitioner first asked info from PIO of Red Cross Society , AA of Red Cross Society. Then matter came up for SIC hearing there Panjab IC says " Why he (Petitioner ) needed the information, he stated he required this data in Public Interest and to study broad impact and trends/Changes in working over the years. During the hearing IC directed petitioner to personally inspect all records " . Petitoner didnot wish to visit Distt. RCS and choose docs he wanted .
    Then IC order reads " It appears the complainant in the present case has no definite purpose but a generalised goal and would like to study these records at leisure later. As such he has himself not taken blanket opportunity afforded to him ie.. to inspect the records and files. Therefore complaint is disposed off "
    Here i infer from IC views that RTI panel is against casual inquires and Act also not meant to faciilitate research or Ph.D. Is it in accordance with any of RTI Section/Subsection or just personal whims only.


  6. #6
    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    To me it appears to be a clear case of misuse of the Act. Here the Appellant is not very keen on getting the information but want the entire spade work of his research done by the CPIO. In such cases the the CPIO could have refused the information under Section 7(9) viz., "it would disproportionately divert the resources ofthe public authority.
    Last edited by colnrkurup; 09-09-07 at 07:41 AM.

  7. #7
    C J Karira
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    Please read the attached word doc to see the two full decisions.
    (Please ignore the line/word gaps due to formatting issues)

    Something seems fishy in this whole episode.
    Read very carefully to understand the motives of the parties involved.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by karira; 09-09-07 at 05:56 PM. Reason: spelling corrections

  8. Re: Purpose Of Information Asked For

    Dear Karira

    Please post the word (.doc) file in Notepad. Copy & paste again in to our website reply space and use formatting tools. This way this important decision can be easily read.

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