Can PIO of Allahabad HC deny the information by citing the Court RTI rules?
The appellant referred to a particular civil miscellaneous writ petition and filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Allahabad High Court seeking to know as to what action the High Court would take against the culprits and where should he go to get justice if the High Court would not take action against those culprits. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information holding that as per the Allahabad High Court Right to Information Rules 2006, the information relating to judicial matters could not be disclosed under RTI.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that the High Court had ruled in his favour in the matter and those orders have not been implemented by the concerned even though a long time has elapsed.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the PIO is required to provide only that information which is available in material form. The CIC also noted that the Allahabad High Court has a separate set of rules under which access is provided to the citizens to its judicial records. These rules must be followed to find out about the cases pending or decided by the Court and the same are not to be disclosed under. Holding that the PIO cannot be held responsible for not providing any information, the Commission commented that the PIO has not bothered to show how the desired information would be covered under any of these rules framed by the High Court. The CIC pointed that the PIO cannot simply cite the rules framed by the High Court to deny any information and advised the PIO to pass a speaking order whenever he decides not to disclose any information.
Information covered under the section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act is exempt from disclosure and it denial of information under other any rules / law is not permissible for denial of information.
Citation: Mr. Ayodhya Prasad Tripathi v. Allahabad High Court in File No. CIC/WB/C/2010/0000455SM
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1199
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission