Can a reply be given in Marathi for information sought in Hindi?
An application was filed with the Maharashtra Tourism Department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information regarding the influx of local and international tourists and regarding the development of tourism in the state.
The applicant, a resident of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, received the reply from the tourism department but in Marathi language, which he doesn’t comprehend. The applicant stated that some of the information was also in English in attached pages of the reply.
It has been alleged that the step taken by the state government violates a Supreme Court directive according to which the governments must take care that general populace is not harassed for not having skills in the local language of any state. It has been alleged that the Maharashtra government is resorting to replying to all applications in Marathi which is against the national language policy. As per the RTI Act, information can be sought in Hindi, English or the official language of the state.
The aggrieved RTI activist intends to approach the information commission in this regard.