Should the PIO translate the information for the RTI applicant?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Irrigation and Flood control Department seeking information on the construction work undertaken by the Flood Control Department including the names of the Contractors who were given the work. He also wanted to know whether these contractors are registered with Delhi Government or not. The appellant also wanted the copies of the registration documents and the copies of tenders and the test reports etc. The Public Information Officer (PIO) asked the applicant to deposit the requisite fee of Rs. 1500/- for 750 pages of information. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) informed the applicant that the information is available in English and translating it into Hindi will cost money. The FAA also informed the appellant to deposit Rs. 1500/- for 750 pages of information which is in English.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated that he would like to get the Hindi translation of 750 pages. The respondent informed the appellant that he would have to pay for this translation from English to Hindi.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that under section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, the information can only be provided as available in the records and that there is no provision of translating the information and providing the translated version to the applicant. The CIC directed the appellant to deposit Rs. 1500/- for copy of 750 pages of information.
This site has repeatedly said that information should be provided in the form in which it is available and the same is not required to be created. A PIO should follow the Language policy of the government in terms of the forwarding letter.
Citation: Mr. Sanjay Kumar v. Irrigation & Flood control Department in File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/003523
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1203
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission