What can applicant do if threatened for seeking information under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) seeking to know if there is any provision for punishment against the government official who stopped an individual from using the RTI. She also wanted to know if there is any particular section of the CPC under which any case could be registered against such person. The Public Information Officer (PIO) observed that it was beyond the scope of the duty cast on him under the RTI Act to provide any such clarification or opinion.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the appellant had not sought the information within the meaning of 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 CIC also noted that there is nothing on record in the DoPT to show if any particular action could be initiated against any government official for preventing a citizen from seeking information under RTI. In the absence of any such material record the PIO could not have provided any information. The CIC advised the appellant to seek legal opinion from any lawyer or legal expert in the matter. The CIC also stated that the appellant can always complain to the competent authority against the official concerned for threatening her against seeking information under the RTI.
Citation: Mrs. Veena Dhawan v. Department of Personnel and Training in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001018 & 1019
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/976
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