Appellant: personal information of his brother sought to file a Disproportionate Properties case against his brother - CIC: this is a case of misuse of RTI Act for personal reasons to settle score; The appellant deserves to be admonished and fined
2. The appellant submitted that through his RTI application dt. 16-3-2012 , he is seeking information in respect of Shri Ramesh Chander Gupta, about his date of birth, date of appointment in Delhi Govt. details of movable and immovable assets held by him, his mother, his wife and children, bank accounts, details of source of investment, etc. any criminal or civil proceedings are pending against him, details of properties devolved on him by virtue of will, etc. details of medical expenses claimed by him in the office, etc. Respondent PIO delivered copies of three annual returns. Appellant demanded copy of gift deed mentioned in one of the returns. Respondent denied the copy of the gift deed since that belonged to third party. Upon PIO’s reply dt. 13-4-2012, the appellant has filed first appeal. FAA by his order dt. 16112012 directed the PIO to supply the required information to the appellant.
3. Heard the submissions. The respondent authority has submitted that they already supplied the information as available with them. Beyond this, the appellant is seeking that information which is personal information of his brother. When the Commission queried the purpose of this information, the appellant submitted that he wants to file Disproportionate Properties case against his brother Mr. Ramesh Chander Gupta.
4. The Commission observes that there is no public interest in this RTI application which is being used to harass his brother for personal reasons. It should have ended at least with the reply given to his application at the first step itself. Taking this to second appeal level is not at all necessary and thus it is a frivolous second appeal. Two brothers were present during hearing and the application, apparently, is guided by private interest and personal vendetta. He is simply searching documents whether he could get any more papers to harass his brother, without having any reason or basis for suspicion. The Commission finds that this is a case of misuse of RTI for personal reasons to settle score with his own brother, which should not be encouraged under any circumstances. The Public Authority, their PIO, First Appellate Authority have already wasted their time in examining the RTI application, preparing replies and fighting the appeals. This would not only defeat the purpose and objectives of the RTI Act but also render the mechanism created to provide access to information useless for the genuine users.
5. Being an educated person, the appellant sought all sorts of personal information about family members of his brother in a reckless manner which cannot be given under RTI Act. The appellant also sought wrongfully to impose penalty against the PIO though he delivered the copies of annual property returns of his brother. The appellant deserves to be admonished and fined. As there are no such provisions in the law against persons who misuse the RTI in such a brazen manner to settle scores with their disputants, the Commission is helpless in making such order, but thinks it proper to advise such persons to desist from misusing the RTI. Commission strongly feels that there should be a provision in law to prevent such baseless harassing RTI applications and impose a token amount as compensation to the victims for the mental harassment caused without going into the pecuniary measurement of loss.
6. The appeal is dismissed.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Shri Ram Niwas Gupta v. Services Deptt. GNCTD, Delhi in File No.CIC/AD/A/2013/000949SA