Only a citizen of India can seek information under RTI
The applicant, acting in the capacity of the Secretary of a Registered NGO, filed an application under RTI before the Office of the DCP (Licensing). He sought information about the eligibility for obtaining Licence for Arms, hotel, eating, entertainment etc. The Public Information Officer (PIO) did not respond to the application. The applicant filed a complaint directly with the Central Information Commission (CIC).
View of CIC
Referring to various past decisions (Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2006/00336, No.CIC/AT/A/2007/00410), the Commission dismissed the complaint holding that neither the RTI application nor the Complaint bears the name of the signatory. The RTI application indicated the name of the applicant but it cannot be ascertained whether it has been actually signed by the same person. The Commission inferred that the information has not been sought by a citizen but by the Secretary of an NGO. The Commission further observed that only a citizen of India can seek information whereas in the instant case, the RTI application and the Complaint were signed simply by the Secretary of the NGO. The applicant is effectively the Secretary which is not a natural person and hence not a citizen. Hence the Commission ruled that the applicant is not entitled to seek information as per section 3 of the RTI Act 2005.
A juristic person cannot be a citizen and is not entitled to file an application under the RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. Parminder Singh v. Office of the DCP (Licensing) in File No: CIC/AD/C/2012/000127
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/237
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