Repeated filing of RTI applications with the public authority
The appellant filed many applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Madras High Court seeking information about the action taken on various representations and complaints on various issues sent by the complainant himself and his wife and other details. He complained to the CIC that he had been allowed inspection of the relevant records but was not provided with the copies of those records when he had demanded for the same. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information and while denying the same on other issues.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the complainant submitted that he has a lot of grievance against the Madras High Court in a variety of matters including in the matter of appointment of a certain individual District Judge as the Registrar General of the High Court and the concurrence given by the High Court for appointment of Public Prosecutors. The respondent pointed clarified that some of the complaints and representations referred to the vigilance section of the High Court for inquiry were under investigation and their details could not be disclosed.
View of CIC
The Commission directed the PIO to prepare a tabular statement listing all the complaints and representations received from the appellant and showing separately the complaints and representations being dealt with in the administrative and judicial sides and provide the current status of the action taken.
In the case concerning the appointment of the Registrar General, the CIC directed the PIO to provide the photocopy of the file in which the proposal for appointment of the said particular individual as a Registered General had been processed and finalised. The PIO was also directed to provide with the photocopy of the relevant file notings from the file in which the Complainant's complaint against the appointment of the individual concerned was dealt with.
In the case dealing with the appointment of Public Prosecutors, the PIO was directed to provide the photocopies of the letters containing the concurrence or otherwise of the High Court about specific individuals proposed by the State Government.
Cautioning the Complainant, the CIC observed that though he has every right to seek legitimate information, he must not derail the working of the public authority by flooding it with numerous RTI applications. The CIC referred to the Preamble of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which seeks to establish a practical regime for providing information to the citizens, and pointed that this case shows how a single individual can overload a public authority and divert its resources rather disproportionately while seeking information.
A few RTI applications seeking very pertinent and specific information can reveal more than several dozen of applications seeking repetitive data.
Citation: Mr. B Bharathi v. Madras High Court in File No.CIC/SM/C/2012/900378 to 384, CIC/SM/C/2012/000600, 601, 970 to 975, 993 to 1000, 1120 to 1131, 1133, 1134, 1145 to 1152, 1162, 1163, CIC/SM/A/2012/900540, CIC/SM/A/2012/000955, 1558, 1776 to 1778
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1040
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