Impose restrictions to prevent misuse of RTI Act by them: SIC
An appeal was filed by a senior assistant in the department of Information Technology with the State Information Commission of Himachal Pradesh on the grounds that information provided to him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act was irrelevant and incomplete.
The Information Commissioner dismissed the appeal stating that the RTI query filed by the applicant pertained to his own seat as Public Information Officer (PIO) and that he sought the information that he already had access to. Apart from this, the application also sought information about other employee in the same department. The information commissioner held that RTI acts as a means for the citizens to get access to information that lies under the control of public authorities and that, in this respect, citizens and public authorities act as two distinct entities. He contended that elimination of such distinction would lead to chaos and section 8 (restriction on right to information) and section 11 (third party information) of RTI Act will become redundant.
While passing severe strictures against the said PIO, the Information Commissioner K D Batish observed that reasonable restrictions should be placed on the rights of such individuals and also stringent penal provisions should be in place to curb misuse of the Act, if information sought doesn't really have a public interest. RTI Act should not be used to spill the beans, settle scores and sling mud.