January 23, 2012

HOW TO OBTAIN RTI INFORMATION

I am writing this column for those who are desirous of collecting information under RTI and what should be the correct format to have information. As all of us know that, citizen has a right to seek such information from a public authority which is held by the public authority or which is held under its control. It is not open to a requester to ask, in the guise of seeking information, questions to the public authorities about the nature and quality of their actions. The RTI Act does not cast on the public authority any obligation to answer queries, to elicit answers to his questions with prefixes, such as, why, what, when and whether. As an applicant, we can only seek information as defined in Section 2 (f) either by pinpointing the file, document, paper or record, etc., or by mentioning the type of information as may be available with the specified public authority. We can, for example, ask for all records /Copy of decision taken/Copy of note sheets to implement certain orders. We can ask for copy of orders pertaining to implementation period as per law under the rule but not “What would be the further maximum reasonable time required to implement orders?” The definition of information cannot include within its fold answers to the question "which" that would be same thing as asking the reason for a justification for a particular thing. The public information authorities cannot expect to communicate to the citizen the reason why a certain thing was done or not done in the sense of a justification because the citizen makes a requisition about information. Justifications are matter within the domain of adjudicating authorities and cannot properly be classified as information." So I request all my friends that we should call for information under the ambit of RTI rules so that there would not have been any denial to the sought information by the Public Authority.

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