What should be the language of reply to an application filed under the RTI Act?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) seeking information regarding the regularization of temporary/ daily wage/ Group D employees. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information to the appellant.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that most of the queries do not amount to 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 as the appellant has mostly sought clarifications or comments and not information in material form. The CIC held that wherever any material record is available, it has been already given to him. The Commission rejected the appeal stating there is no further information to be disclosed. The CIC also observed that the appellant had sent his RTI application in Hindi but the PIO, in some cases had replied in English. The Commission ruled that the PIO must remember to reply to RTI requests made in Hindi in that language and not in English.
The language policy has to be followed by the PIO while replying to the RTI application. In case an applicant files an application in Hindi while seeking copies of documents which are in English, the copies of the same should be provided while the forwarding letter should be in Hindi.
Citation: Mr. Sita Ram v. Department of Personnel & Training in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001234
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1069
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission