Citizens should exercise a great deal of responsibility while using their right under RTI Act
The appellant sought inspection of the records relating to the appointment of a lady who was selected as a scientist in Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information stating that DRDO is an exempted organisation and the information sought is a third party information which is barred from disclosure under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) stated that DRDO is an exempted organisation but in the RTI application the appellant has alleged irregularities in the selection of the said lady as a scientist. The Commission held that the appellant is permitted to take inspection of the available records and to take extracts therefrom on payment of requisite fee.
The CIC further observed that the appellant had filed three appeals earlier and repeated filing of RTI applications / appeals arising therefrom put undue strain on the limited resources of the public authorities. This right should be exercised with a great deal of responsibility. Citing a Supreme Court decision [Central Board of Secondary Education vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay, 9 August, 2011] wherein it was held that the Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, the Commission advised the appellant to keep the above observation of the Supreme Court in mind while exercising his right under the RTI Act.
It has been debated in the official circles whether there should be some kind of restraint or check on the filing of RTI applications to avoid filing of frivolous applications. A sense of responsibility in the citizens is a must to ensure that the Act works in the manner in which it was envisaged to function.
Citation: Mr. Prakash Singh v. DRDO in File No.CIC/LS/A/2011/003075
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/465
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