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Thread: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala

  1. #1
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


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    <table class="wide" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="msg content user first">A Complaint Petition No.CP.740/2007(File No,4250/SIC-Gen2/2006 to the SIC, Kerala was ordered to be dismissed as found devoid of any merit to be considered by the Commission on a plea that ."........Th RTI Act, 2005 do provide a forum for the cityzens to receive information, as held by the public authority, but at the same time, it does not envisage entertaining request for information made in the form of " INFORMATION / INTERPRETATIONS / INTERROGATIVES etc.,. The Commission ordered that it was constrained to observe that many of he comnments of the complainant fell in the categories, as mentioned above, which under no curcumstances any public authority would have been able to entertain and provide information, . Comments/ Observations /interpretations etc do not fall in the category of information , as defined under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act'........"

    Whether specific information asked for fall under the above categories, whether the SIC can foreclose a complaint (not second appeal) of non-response from the PIO and AA by accepting the reply furnished by the PIO directly to the Commission during the hearing without giving the appellant an opportunity to see the reply so furnished and arrive at the above decision suo motu without giving complainant n oportun ity to file a Second appeal based on the reply of PIO etc shall be examined later. Mean while I request the members of the forum to consider whether orders of the SIC that request for informtion made in the form of" Information/ Interpretations/ interrogatives/ comments/observations etc do not fall in the categories of information defined in Section 2(f) may kindly be opinioned.



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    Due to inaction of my complaints on certain cases of corruption, I had complained it to the Hon'ble Chief Minister nd the Principal Secretary (Revenue). Both of them have sent my complaint to the District Collector for action with copy to me. When no action is seen taken by the District Collector, I had made RTI application under Section 4(1)(d) of the RTI Act seeking "Provide reason for the administrative or quasi-judicial reasons for the Collectorate, Kannur for not taking adequate cognizance of complainant's allegations referred at complaints forwarded to the District Collector by the Chif Minister and Principal Secreary (Revenue) with their Ordes No............

    The PIO has replied that this "is to be considered by the judiciary". The AA di d not rep-ly. On my complaint to the SiC, the above orders were issued.


    Last edited by Shrawan; 28-05-08 at 07:10 PM.

  2. Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    Col, why did you not ask for action taken on your complaint, marked by CM office?

  3. #3

    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    Post 1 :-
    The word "Information" is very precisely defined in 2(f);there is no word etc. used to allow leeway for including anything else in the definition.The words INTERPRETATION and INTERROGATIVE do not constitute information per se .

  4. #4

    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala



    Post 2 :-
    There appears to be terrible mix up between RTI and related functionaries on one hand and Executive and Judiciary powers on the other hand. Cognizance of complainants allegations does not come uder RTI Act2005 ,through RTI one can only get information ,for any subsequent punitive actions procedures wrt normal Law of Land apply.

  5. #5
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    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    colnrkurup,

    You have not asked for information as defined in Sec 2(f) BUT have asked for reasons under Sec 4(1)(d). Probably KIC did not understand that clearly.

    If Kerala SIC procedures allow for "review petition", why don't you file one , clearly stating the above.

    Alternatively, file a new RTI application asking for a certified copy of the action taken report (ATR) based on your complaints to CM and Principal Secretary (Revenue). This can be filed with all the three - the DC, the CM's office and the the office of the PS (Revenue).

  6. #6

    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    Quote Originally Posted by colnrkurup View Post
    Due to inaction of my complaints on certain cases of corruption, I had complained it to the Hon'ble Chief Minister nd the Principal Secretary (Revenue). Both of them have sent my complaint to the District Collector for action with copy to me. When no action is seen taken by the District Collector, I had made RTI application under Section 4(1)(d) of the RTI Act seeking "Provide reason for the administrative or quasi-judicial reasons for the Collectorate, Kannur for not taking adequate cognizance of complainant's allegations referred at complaints forwarded to the District Collector by the Chif Minister and Principal Secreary (Revenue) with their Ordes No............

    The PIO has replied that this "is to be considered by the judiciary". The AA di d not rep-ly. On my complaint to the SiC, the above orders were issued.
    CIC decisions unfortunately strongly back PIOs trying to escape u/s2(f). There is no alternative but to try and reword the original request more carefully, so that the response sought is either something sitting in a file, or hard facts. The word "reasons" is problematic for the CIC. The suggestion made in this thread -- "list actions taken" -- seems one way out. The CIC has been fairly consistent, even if unfortunately so, in dismissing requests u/s2(f) on the grounds that what is sought are not 'cold hard facts or files' but advice, explanation, opinion, or is a "roving inquiry."

    Sometimes it is very tricky to overcome this. Several academics requesting data for research from SEBI or RBI have had their requests denied for asking for, say, "data relating to FIIs," which has been counted sometimes (but not always) as a "roving inquiry." Yet since the exact data structure for various reports filed with them or produced by them are not posted on their website, appellants are faced with the tricky choice of either guessing and making a more precise request (which may be denied because the data does not exist in the exact form requested) or leaving the request a little open-ended (which may be denied as a roving enquiry). For at least these kinds of settings, I think a potential remedy is to make first a preliminary RTI request (tell me the format of the table or statement filed with you or produced by you) and then a more precise request.

    In your case, the "list actions taken" seems the best strategy, though if he replies "Nothing," then for your next steps you have to go beyond the RTI Act. Good luck.

    Murgie

  7. #7
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    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    I was trying to avoid publishing any more details of my own case. I think I wond't be able to drive home the issue unless I expose at least part of my case. Therefore I am posting it afresh as another thread . Kindly read the above after reading my new thread

  8. #8

    Re: interpretation of section 2(f) RTI by SIC, Kerala


    The very same experience happened in my four appeals and on complaint. Kerala SIC is taking the actions up to the appellants social set up. If the opposite party in the appeal is closely related to the governing political party. SIC blinldy make oreders supporting the PIOs who are VIPs. One of my opposit parth was the joint seretary of Kerala CM's "Sutharyakerlam" which is acting as publi grivence cell. The other one was a municipal Seretary who posses athe leadership of trade union belongs to the Governing Political; party. The omplaint was the denail of information by the PIO of General Adminstration Department. MY seek informations are not information but Interpretations/ interrogatives/ comments/observations etc which are not fall in the categories of information defined in Section 2(f) may kindly be opinioned.
    In the RTI act , the word information is very clearly defined that " Information in any form" -means to get a transperany and acountabily of a govt, - Interpretations/ interrogatives/ comments/observations etc defenetly will be inluded in the word information. But the SIC it self try to weak the miracle weapon of the Democrazy by giving disguised ordersagaisnt the citizens. Sec. 2 (f) ‘ information means any material in ANY FORM, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, OPINIONS, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in electronic form

    All persons while exercising their powers and performing their duties and functions shall be deemed to be public servants with the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Central Act 45 of 1860)

    Mother of all freedoms’: Delivering the keynote address Information Commissioner P. Fasaludheen termed the RTI Act the mother of all freedoms available to the citizens. While more countries were enacting similar legislation ensuring accessibility to information, the RTI Act here, which had been rated fifth best RTI enactment in the world, was yet to be effectively utilised by the public and the Government, he said. Inaugurating the workshop, Chief Information Commissioner Palat Mohandas said that the Act reminded citizens once again that they were the masters of the country. “Everything that is democratic should have transparency, accountability and predictability of processes,” he said adding that the RTI Act also envisaged participation of the people in the democratic processes.

    Change mindset: Calling on Government officials to change their mindset to treat citizens as their masters, Mr. Mohandas said that under the Act 98 per cent of information concerning public institutions were eligible to be known to the public. The greatest test of the strength of democracy was how much information was available to its citizens, he pointed out.

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