Demand of repeat inspection along with a companion under RTI Act
The appellant sought information regarding Bhopal gas tragedy like the copies of documents in relation to the use or ban on Sodium Thiosulphate for Bhopal gas victims, copies of meeting minutes, reports, correspondences with Dr. Max Daunderer, documents which prohibited the Publishing of research carried out by ICMR on Bhopal gas victims and certain information in relation to a report published by the Public Authority regarding the effect of gas leakage. She also sought for inspection of all documents relating to Bhopal Gas Disaster held by the Public Authority. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information stating that the documents/files sought by the appellant were not available with the Council as all the relevant documents and files were handed over to MP Gas Rehabilitation Department by ICMR Centre “Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre (BGDRC)”, Bhopal. He also provided a link to the website of the Council informing the appellant that the Council had brought out a series of three technical reports which can be accessed from the website of the ICMR. He also facilitated the inspection of records as desired by the appellant. The appellant submitted that she has done an inspection of the relevant records at the office of the PIO at Bhopal but would like to inspect the records at the New Delhi Office alongwith a companion.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the PIO to facilitate an inspection of the relevant records by the appellant. The Commission further noted that in case there are any records or file which the appellant believes should exist and are not shown to her, she will give this in writing to the PIO at the time of inspection and the PIO will either give the files/ records or give it in writing that such files/records do not exist.
If inspection of records has been done at the Bhopal Office, permitting inspection of the documents again at Delhi and that too, along with a companion is unusual.
Citation: Ms. Hazra Bee v. Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Research in Environmental Health in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000424/18271
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/365
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission