Information sought should be useful either personally or socially or nationally
Through a RTI application in Assamese language, the appellant sought information regarding for a 20 year period from BSNL like the names, addresses, educational qualifications and pay and allowances of the entire staff; office buildings, lands, furniture, assets of BSNL offices and funds allotted and expenditure per year etc. The requested information was denied to the appellant by PIO under section 7(9) An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. of the RTI Act.
View of the CIC
The Central Information Commission observed that the information sought under the RTI Act should be useful to the information seeker either personally or socially or nationally. The Commission further observed that the information sought by the appellant does not appear to be useful to him on personal front or to the Society or the Nation. The appeal was rejected holding that Assam and adjoining areas are terrorist afflicted and disclosure of names and other particulars of officers/ staff of BSNL, apart from violating the right of their privacy, also impinges on their safety and security. The Commission gave an opportunity to the appellant that if he wishes to seek limited information on limited points, he may request the PIO accordingly and the PIO would respond to it with expedition as per law.
RTI applications seeking voluminous information cause a drain on the limited fiscal resources of the public authority. However, the RTI Act specifically prohibits seeking the reasons for obtaining the information.
Citation: Shri Naba Kumar Deka v. BSNL in file no. CIC/LS/A/2011/001146
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/69
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