Central panel cautions against misuse of RTI Act :: PUBLIC ACCESS TO GOVT INFORMATION
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 6, 2006
|PUBLIC ACCESS TO GOVT INFORMATION|
|Central panel cautions against misuse of RTI Act|
|New Delhi, uni:|
The Central Information Commission (CIC) discouraged the misuse of Right to Information (RTI) Act by saying that citizens have the right to access government documents under the Act,
but they cannot force officials to give further explanation on the information obtained.
“Once an applicant has been provided access to the information, he cannot ask the public authority questions about the who and the why of those documents,” the CIC said, while dismissing the appeal of one Mr Madal Lal Mirg who had come to the Commission on an appeal concerning the Home Ministry. Though Mr Mirg had recieved orders to allow him access to all documents and files he had asked for from the Central Public Information Officer (PIO), he later came up with 38 questions in respect of the documents he had already
seen and of which he had made copies.
The Commission agreed with the CPIO and Home Ministry officials’ position that the information sought by the appellant was in the nature of seeking opinion and advice of the department in respect of the files and documents he has already perused.
“A perusal of the 38-point query made by the appellant makes it clear that he has been asking the public authority to further dilate on the information which is already in his hands,” the information commissioners said. According to them, the appellant or an information seeker cannot use the resources of public authority to build up an arguable case for himself which can then be put up before a legal forum.
“What we notice is that the appellant wants to make the department do all the research work for him and hand over to him a completed case on the basis of which he can proceed to seek appropriate relief from courts. This does not fall within the ambit of the RTI,” the information commissioners added.