Criteria for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes was sought under RTI
The appellant filed seven applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs seeking information about the criteria for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes. He had been seeking similar information in many other RTI applications in the past. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed him that the modalities followed for inclusion or exclusion of various castes or tribes from the list of Scheduled Castes and Tribes was laid down in the note approved by the Cabinet Committee but that it was never published in the Gazette of India. He provided the appellant with a copy of the said note with all its enclosures.
During the hearing the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has no other information to offer except the note on modalities as approved by the Cabinet Committee way back in 1999 and then modified in 2002. The respondent also clarified that apart from these modalities the Ministry or the Government of India has prescribed no specific format for collecting information on the subject. The PIO further stated that there is nothing more for the Ministry to provide to him on this subject.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that all the material information which is available on this subject has already been provided to the appellant. The CIC also held that if the appellant thinks that the modalities as approved by the Cabinet Committee are not specific enough and need to be improved, he may take up this with the appropriate authorities. This cannot be achieved through RTI.
Right to Information Act is a means for obtaining information and not for addressing dissatisfaction regarding approval by Cabinet Committee.
Citation: Mr. Rajesh v. Ministry of Tribal Affairs in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000991, 1091, 1109, 1268, 1365, 1403 & 1448
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/992
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission