Just wanted to post this here since it is a relevant thread.
In a recent order, the Kerala High Court has said that persons against whom quasi-judicial decisions are taken are entitled to be told the reasons for such a decision and it is in fact part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression:
The matter before the Court had nothing to do with the RTI Act 2005
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM WP(C).No. 11973 of 2009(N)
1.The second petitioner is the son of the first petitioner. They have certain
complaints about certain activities of the private respondents and allege that
though initially, a permit was obtained to build a godown, that was later
converted to be a marketing outlet and then, there is an attempt to get a
licence for housing a service station. It is the contention of the petitioners
that without obtaining prior permit, such conversion has actually been done.
This litigation cannot be converted to be a suit for a perpetual prohibitory
injunction, the place for which is the civil court in terms of the Code of
Civil Procedure because it would be a suit of civil nature under Section 9 of
that Code. All that could be ensured at this point of time is that if the
petitioners, as neighbours, are entitled to object to Ext.P21, their objections
have to be considered, affording them an opportunity of being heard. The
petitioners have placed Ext.P21 objections. Therefore, while taking a final
decision on Ext.P21, the competent official respondents will WPC.11973/09
afford an opportunity of hearing to the petitioners and take final decision,
after adverting to and considering the objections raised in Ext.P22. Such
decision shall state specific reasons since such a decision may be amenable to
statutory remedies at the instance of any aggrieved parties before the
competent authority. Moreover, persons against whom quasi judicial decisions
are taken are entitled to be told the reasons for the decision and such right
is part of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and has now been
statutorily laid down also in the Right To Information Act.
2.I also record the submission by private respondents that an order has already been issued by the competent authority on Ext.P21, after consideration of Ext.P22. It is
clarified that this issue is not being gone into because any question relevant
to the legality of that order can only be subjected to challenge before the
competent statutory authority. Hence, all such issues are left open.
In another decision, also of the Kerala High Court (and also nothing to do with RTI), the court also observed on the importance of Sec 4(1)(d) of the RTI Act:
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM WP(C).No. 6796 of 2009(T)
3.Days have gone when the courts have to repeatedly refer to classic works on
Administrative Law by learned authors or refer to any fundamental principle of
jurisprudence to show that a person against whom a decision may be passed or
who would be affected by any such decision, is entitled to be heard and be
told the reasons for the decision. Section 4(1)(d) of the Right to Information
Act, 2005 provides that every public authority shall provide reasons for its
administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons.