In a decision on 7th January 2008, the CIC reiterated that the term "citizen" need not be narrowly interpreted:
The stand of the CPIO is that the associations/union’s representatives are not entitled for information under RTI Act since they are not natural citizens. The CPIO has interpreted ‘citizen’ as per the Citizenship Act and the CPIO may be technically right in his interpretation. However, the Commission has also deliberated this issue on many occasions and the full Commission has taken a view that there should not be any narrow interpretation in respect of ‘citizen’ and such benefits should be extended to one and all so that benefits of the Act can be uniformly availed by all the sectors of the society and, therefore, the Commission has time and again has reiterated that office-bearers, partners, directors etc. of associations/unions, firms/partnership and companies respectively could seek information in the name of their entities.
The full decision here for the benefit of members.
One more new decision of the CIC reinforcing the above:
At the outset, it was brought to the notice of CPIO that this Commission has been taking a consistent view in respect of companies, firms and association of firms that directors, partners and office bearers can seek information under the RTI Act in the name of the Company, firm, association of firm respectively even though these entities may not be construed as a citizen in terms of RTI Act. This is with a view to ensure that the beneficial provisions of the RTI Act are not denied on restricted definition. Accordingly, I direct the CPIO to dispose of the application on merits in terms of RTI Act within three weeks.
One must not forgot that this is your country and my country. The Govt. running this country is using your money and mine. So its our duty to make sure that they run the country as we want it and use the money, the way we fell they should.
very good said. I appreciate your feeling. All citizen should come in this line of thinking, which may improve further the situation in our country.
I think the architect of the RTI Act meant that the information under the RTI Act should be available only to "The Cityzens of India" Let it be a person or a society. All it needed is to ensure that the applicant is a cityzen of India. Rest all is unwanted 'spitting of hairs'. I wish the authorities clarify the position.
Individual can seek info on institution's behalf: SIC
In a significant ruling, the State Information Commission has held that information sought by an individual acting on behalf of any associations, organisations, institutions, companies or corporate bodies cannot be denied on 'technical reasons if it serves the broader objectives of the RTI Act.'
Laying down the norms for providing information to various associations, organisations, institutions or companies, a single member bench of Uttar Pradesh SIC, comprising Information Commissioner Gyanendra Sharma, held that information should not be denied to any individual (citizen) just because he/she held any posts in such institutions.
"Technical reasons should not be allowed to outweigh the right to information if broader goals and objectives were to be achieved and letter and spirit of the law has to be preserved", Sharma said in a recent judgement.
Hearing a complaint filed by Sunita Duggal, who claimed to be President of Gangotri Towers Residents Welfare Association of Kaushambi locality in Ghaziabad, Sharma upheld the argument of the complainant and reversed the decision of the PIO (Public Information Officer) concerned, who denied information on the grounds that it had been sought by an institution and not by a citizen as defined in the Right to Information Act.
Duggal had sought a list of the residents of Gangotri Towers as well as details of the unsold flats in the building.
A number of public authorities have recently turned down the information requests made by various institutions and organisations on the ground that they did not fall in the category of 'citizen' under the section 3 of the Act.
Though section 3 of the RTI Act states that information could be given to citizens only and institutions did not fall in the category, Sharma observed that giving information should be the rule.
He also served a notice on the first appeal authority of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) to show cause as to why action should not be taken against him for not disposing off the appeal as per the rules laid down in the Act. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for April 17.
THE STATE Information Commission (SIC) here has observed that information cannot be denied to associations, organisations, institutions, companies or corporate bodies on the ground that they did not fall under the category of 'citizen' as defined under the Right To Information Act (RTIA). The order was passed by Information Commissioner Gyanendra Sharma on a complaint filed by one Sunita Duggal against the decision of Public Information Officer of Ghaziabad Development Authority denying the information sought by her as president of Gangotri Towers Residents Welfare Association of Kaushambi locality.
Sharma not only reversed the order of the PIO but also laid down norms/guidelines for providing information sought on behalf of various associations and organisations. "It has come to our knowledge that a number of public authorities have turned request for information under RTI made by institutions and organisations on the premise that they were not 'citizen' as defined under section 3 of the RTIA," said Information Commissioner Gyanendera Sharma.
Duggal had sought a list of residents of Gangotri Tower and also the details of unsold flats in the said residential building from the GDA, which had turned down her request. Sharma said since Ms Duggal had given the registration number of her welfare association, her address and contact number, the public authority (GDA) should have applied its mind on the nature of information she had sought and should not have denied the same merely on technical grounds.
Directing the PIO GDA to furnish the relevant details to the petitioner, the information commissioner has served a notice to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against him for not disposing of the appeal as per the rules laid down in the RTIA.
the spirit of the Act is not deny info so that clarity prevails and secrecy which is the ultimate weapons of the wrong decision makers are brought to book. It's imaterial in which form the info is sought as long as the recipient is identified .