Information regarding candidates of 15th Lok Sabha elections under RTI
The appellant sought information regarding all the candidates who stood for election during the 15th Lok Sabha elections including details such as the number of votes polled by each candidate - assembly constituency wise, complete details of the candidates including their criminal background, if any, and elaborate analytical details about the voting pattern. The Public Information Officer (PIO) directed the appellant to visit the website of the Election Commission of India to obtain all the details. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) elaborated the sources from where the sought information could be accessed. The appellant argued that he had a right to get the information in the form he had sought in. The respondents submitted that collection of the information spanning the entire country and for thousands of candidates over thousands of assembly constituencies would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority and would be a waste of public resources.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) rejected the appeal stating that the resources of the Election Commission of India should be better spent than disclosing the same information which they have already through their websites and there was no reason why they should be providing this information again in hardcopy form to information seekers. The Commission further observed that the objective of the Right to Information (RTI) Act is not to compel the public authorities to keep giving the same information again and again even after disclosing it in an open source like the website.
Citation: Shri Tika Ram v. Election Commission of India in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/000905
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/292
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission