Disclosure of old records under RTI in public interest
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation seeking copy of order for disconnection of electricity supply in appellant’s property which was sealed as per sealing order. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that there were seven files holding the information pertaining to the property of appellant and opportunity of inspection was offered. The appellant was also asked to identify the documents of which photocopy was required and that the same would be provided after depositing the prescribed fee.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the appellant along with his daughter have attended the office and inspected the entire file with regard to the above mentioned property and flagged 76 pages but they have refused to submit inspection report. The applicant also refused to deposit Rs. 152 as requisite fees obtaining the flagged pages as per the provisions of the Act. The respondent submitted that the appellant has never approached their office nor deposited the requisite fees. The appellant admitted that he has inspected the files pertaining to his property with reference to another RTI application and that the Commission has been misled by the respondents into believing that the information sought under the current RTI application presently being heard by the Commission is held therein. The appellant submitted that this information is not held in the files stated by him and pleaded for the requested information to be provided to him. The appellant also submitted that this property is 25 years old and on account of it being sealed, no repair or maintenance has taken place resulting in its becoming an unsafe building which causes safety concerns for those living in its neighborhood.
View of CIC
The Commission held that there is a larger public interest in disclosure of the requested information as it concerns the safety of all those who are living around the building. The Commission directed the PIO to put in special effort to locate the old files pertaining to the property listed in the RTI application and provide the same (including file notings wide which the matter was examined) to the appellant. The Commission also observed that the appellant is free to file complaint under sections 18 and 19 before the Commission in case he is not satisfied with the information provided to him.
Citation: Mr. Jatinder Nath Sood v. South Delhi Municipal Corporation in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001091
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/776
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission