In the below mentioned decision, CIC has observed that too many Civil Servants and Officers are using RTI for redressal of grievances:
3. Before taking up the matter in this appeal, I feel constrained to highlight the fact that civil servants and employees of public authorities, of various hues, have found in the RTI Act a prolific avenue for the redressal of their grievances ― real or assumed. Commission has received petitions from employees of public authorities on such matters as implementation of Court and Tribunal orders, by the public authority; action taken on the petitions in service matters filed by the employees; demand for explanation about why an employee was transferred from one post to another; reasons why a public authority started any disciplinary proceeding against the employee; why was an employee not empanelled for promotion; and so on. Irrespective of the merit of such RTI-applications and irrespective of whether these are admissible under the RTI Act, the important point that emerges is that employees of the public authority are using the RTI Act to pressurize, brow-beat or harass the public authority in order to force them to take decisions or rescind a decision in respect of a certain employee. Such employees may or may not succeed in their endeavours, but the fact that they use the RTI Act in a given way shows that they are treating the Act as a means to stymie the disciplinary control of their superiors in the public authority. I'm not very sure if the Right to Information Act was meant to sub-serve such ends. It shall be a sad day if the provisions of this Act become a plaything in the hands of employees of public authorities. I will leave the matter flagged as it is. The last word in this regard has not yet been said, to be sure.
The full decision can be read at:
I tend to agree to some extent with the CIC.
In my short involvement with RTI (I started reading the Act for the first time only on 21st March 2007 !) I have been told by most of the PA's whom I visit in AP, that maximum applications are from Govt. Officers themselves.
But, on the other hand, a Officer or a employee of the PA is also a "citizen" and thus has every right to apply for information under the RTI Act. Are they really exhausting all other means available under the rules to seek grievance redressal before resorting to the RTI Act ? I really don't know.
Or, are they the "honest" officers who have been themselves harassed and cornered by others in the PA and therefore this is the last resort ?
Probably some officers on this forum can also opine.
In my personal case (I am no Officer):
1. I use all possible means of solving a problem with a PA
2. Failing this, RTI is used as a last option before legal option
3. For civic matters like Roads, Water, Passport, etc...use
RTI application directly because my experience shows that
officers in these PA's just do not want to work and act on
4. Even if my problem is "solved" I diligently follow up on the RTI application
to its logical conclusion.
(Many others just stop if the problem is solved)
5. Before filing a RTI application I have a clear thought as to what am
I going to do with the information obtained
(What is the point of getting information if I don't know what to do with
6. For matters where "corruption" is involved , I use RTI straight away
without even giving it a second thought.
Just my two bits.
Will be interesting to get opinions and experiences of others in this matter.