In my view, both Section-20(1) and Section 20(2) of the RTI Act need to be amended, by deleting the term "MALAFIDELY" out of the words therein --- " malafidely denied the request for information or ............".
It is necessary because what the common man or even you and I would just plead is that PIO denied our request, as happened in several cases. In fact, in one case before CIC , the Hon'ble Commission did not impose any penalty on the errant PIO , ONLY BECAUSE the appellant did NOT plead
"MALAFIDES" on the part of PIO.
For God's sake please allow the worderful proviions of the RTIAct to remain as such. I still do not know how the bureaucrates allowed this enactment in such a wonderful way.
Comming to your suggestion, why should a PIO deny the information ? It cannot be by mistake nor out of love and affection towards the applicant. He denied it just because providing the information sought by an applicant does not suit him. So long as he does not justify quoting the specific provision of the Act for his denial he has no reason to deny it other than "malafides". I donot know about other common men, but l, myself many of the Activists known to me invariably plead that the PIO has denied the information malafidely in every case where the PIO has not given any reason for such denial.
Further to what colnrkurup has said, please note that if the PIO denies any information as per Sec 8 or Sec 9 of the RTI Act, he must justify it as per Sec 19(5) of the act in any appeal proceedings.
Just quoting the number of the relevant sub-section of Sec 8 or Sec 9 is NOT ENOUGH.
Neither is it enough if the relevant sub-section is quoted "ad-verbatim".
The PIO (as well as the AA, if he concurs with the PIO) must apply his mind and give a reasoned order as to why he thinks that denial of information is subjected to any sub-section of Sec 8.
In the absence of any reasoned order justifying the denial, the denial can be construed as malafide.
The appellant must include all this in his Second Appeal.
There are several decisions of CIC supporting this.