No right to trivia, says RTI boss
New Delhi: Even as the Right to Information Act is gaining popularity, its usage is increasingly coming under the scanner. In a recent order, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has had some tough words for applications, which they say are “frivolous and inconsequential”.
Enough is enough – this is what the CIC has told SK Lal who filed an application with the Information Commission in December last year.
Lal sought information on just about everything pertaining to the Indian Railways from records related to the regulation of its employees to the names, telephone numbers, both of Railways as well as of other service providers, and of all railway hospitals and health centres in UP.
And that’s not all Lal also sought the personal details of all the doctors working in the Indian Railways’ hospitals.
In a strongly worded judgment the CIC said that the details sought makes a mockery of the RTI Act and puts unwanted pressure on public authorities, dismissing it as frivolous and inconsequential.
“Civil society must exercise pressure to see that this is not done. This impedes the actual implementation of the act,” Chief Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah says.
Interestingly, the Commission a fortnight ago had lashed out at another applicant K Gopinath but that was a mild dose. Going by the language in this order all those seeking information on just about everything under the sun better watch out.
The one thing that CIC is not going to encourage is extracting information only for the sake of personal vendetta and the reprimand against the applicant has been stern.
No right to trivia, says RTI boss : Central Information Commission, RTI, Railways, applications : IBNLive.com : CNN-IBN
Even though it is prohibited under Section 6 (2), I feel there should be provision of asking as to why the information is being sought for. Especially in cases of third party information.
I had seen cases where the information was been sought for from the Income tax deptt, and seeing the letter from the incometax that information is being asked about them by another person, they simply said 'YES', as they feared some response from the Income Tax department if they say 'NO' and hence the information has been divulged about many people because of this.