What is the official name of our country and when it was declared - PIO: as per Article 1(1) of the Constitution of India, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States - CIC: clarification regarding whether to use Hindustan is beyond section 2(f)
Shri Manjit Kumar Sarma, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 31.1.2013 before the Commission against the respondent Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi for not providing satisfactory information in response to his RTI-application dated 15.11.2012. The appellant was heard through audio whereas the respondent were represented by Shri Shyamala Mohan, Director and Shri Pradeep Kumar Pandey, Under Secretary
2. The appellant through his RTI application dated 15.11.2012 sought information on the following two queries:
“(1) On different occasions, our country is being called Hindustan, Bharat or India. Kindly inform me which among the above three names is the officially declared name of our country and when it was declared; and
(2) Kindly also inform me whether it is incorrect to write the name of our country as Hindustan or Bharat in official documents”.
The CPIO vide letter No. 24/228/2012-Public dated 6.12.2012 informed the appellant that as per Article 1(1) of the Constitution of India, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.
3. However, not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal on 26.12.2012 before the FAA. The FAA vide his order No. 24/228/2012- Public dated 11.1.2013 recorded that the information as sought by the appellant in Point No. 1 and 2 was provided to him. The public authority is under an obligation to provide only that information which is available with it and in the form it exists. The information which was available with the CPIO was already provided.
4. The appellant was heard through audio. It is the contention of the appellant the Vedas are known to be the oldest books in the human history and Sanskrit. Therefore as the Rig Veda has mentioned the name of our country should be Hindustan, the Constitution which has vaguely ignored this important aspect of our identity has to be amended.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission is of the view that the public authority is under an obligation to provide only that information which is held by or under its control in material form. The respondent have provided requisite information as per record. The appellant is seeking interpretation, clarification through his RTI application, which does not fall under the ambit of ‘information’ as contained 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. No action is called for on the part of the Commission.
Citation: Shri Manjit Kumar Sarma v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Case No.CIC/SS/A/2013/900762