The competent authority of Allahabad High Court advised to revisit its RTI rules
The Appellant wanted to have a list of all those accused persons whom the High Court have let off on personal bond/security under Section 482 in spite of the fact that they had serious charges pending against them. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information by referring to some rule of the Allahabad High Court (Right to Information) Rules, 2006. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) endorsed the decision of the PIO.
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During the hearing before the Central Information, the respondent submitted that the desired information was not available as the High Court never maintained any such list of accused persons who might have been let off under any particular provision of any law and all such decisions of the High Court would have to be individually examined to find out about such details. They further contended that the PIO could not be expected to research through thousands and thousands of orders passed by the High Court over these years to elicit such information. The Commission agreed that the PIO is obliged to provide any information only if it is available and is not expected either to create or innovate any information which does not exist otherwise.
However, the Commission expressed its disagreement over the rule cited by the respondent for the denial of information as vague and sweeping. The rule says that any information can be denied if it is found to be against any law or practice. Unless the PIO clarifies how a particular piece of information is against any law or practice, the information seeker would never know why the desired information is being denied. As the Right to Information (RTI) Act does not provide for denial of any information on such grounds, the competent authority cannot add more exemption provisions than what already exists while framing the rules. The Commission expressed hope that the competent authority will revisit the rules to bring them in consonance with the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Citation: Dr. Gyan Prakash Mishra v. Allahabad High Court in file no. CIC/SM/A/2011/000351
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/118
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission