RTI: Education dept seeks refuge in ‘secret’ clause

Chandigarh, December 17 In What can be called a mockery of the Right to Information Act, the UT Administration’s Education department has denied routine information to a local resident citing its secret nature. While the Education department has denied information to the applicant, it has allowed him to inspect the “secret” documents on any working day.

Jagdish, a resident of Sector 22, Chandigarh, asked for information about the criterion adopted by the Education department to select yoga instructors. The UT Administration had recently advertised the post. Jagdish’s daughter had applied for this post. Though she had the highest marks in graduation and other requisite courses for the post, she could not get through.

Her father, Jagdish, filed an application under the RTI Act. These were the questions he put to the Education department

1. What was the selection criterion for the post of yoga instructor?

2. Supply the details of marks obtained by me under different heads of the criterion

3. Kindly supply the marks obtained by the following candidates under different sub-heads of the criterion

4. Please supply me the marks obtained by other candidates in graduation and yoga instructor

5. Kindly supply how many candidates applied in OBC category and how many candidates have been selected in that category
In its reply, the Education department submitted, “As the information sought by you is of a secret nature, the copies of the same cannot be supplied. However, you can inspect the documents on any working day”.

The reply does not even mention the section and sub-section of the RTI Act under which the information is denied. The reply gives no legal explanation as to how the information regarding selection criterion is termed secret. “The selection criterion has to be given in advance even before the posts are advertised. They have denied me the information yet allowed me to inspect it so that I can use their documents in any court. Such misconduct certainly smells foul. My daughter deserved to be selected for the post of yoga instructor. She had secured the maximum marks,” said Jagdish.

RTI: Education dept seeks refuge in ‘secret’ clause

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