What is the constitutional status of the Chairperson of UPA in relation to PM?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and she wanted to know about the position of the Chairperson of the UPA in relation to the Prime Minister of India especially under the Constitution and many other related information. The Public Information Officer (PIO) referred to an earlier decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) [CIC/SM/A/2011/001553] and advised the appellant that the desired information was held in other Ministries and Departments and that she should file the application with the concerned public authority. Later on the directions of the First Appellate Authority (FAA), the PIO transferred the RTI requests to several other Ministries.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that any Ministry in the Government of India would not have any information in a recorded form on any of the queries raised by the appellant. The CIC noted that information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act refers only to material records whereas most of the queries of the appellant are rhetorical in nature. The Commission stated that the query regarding the constitutional status of the Chairperson of the UPA cannot be answered by anyone in the government because it is unlikely that there is any record in which her status under the Constitution of India would be described in any manner. Similarly, the query regarding the publishing of advertisements by the Government of India with the photograph of the Chairperson of the UPA and the cost incurred on such advertisements is unlikely to be answered by any particular Ministry of the Government of India since nowhere such information could be compiled or the cost on including one single photograph in an advertisement containing many other photographs and text can be segregated. It should be borne in mind that the Right to Information (RTI) Act does not provide any solution to rhetorical or emotional questions; it gives right to the citizens to secure only facts from the government authorities. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that there is no information to be disclosed in the case 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 Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Citation: Mrs. Nirmla Agarwal v. Prime Minister’s Office in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/001553
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/718
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