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Observation of Hon'ble Supreme Court in access to information.

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MANOJ B. PATEL

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Observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the

Right to Information Act:-

 

“At this juncture, it is necessary to clear some

misconceptions about the RTI Act. The RTI Act provides

access to all information that is available and existing.

This is clear from a combined reading of section 3 and the

definitions of ‘information’ and ‘right to information’ under

clauses (d) and (i) of section 2 of the Act. If a public

authority has any information in the form of data or

analyzed data, or abstracts, or statistics, an applicant may

access such information, subject to the exemptions of

section 8 of the Act. But where the information sought is

not a part of the record of a public authority, and where

such information is not required to be maintained under

any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority,

the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public

authority, to connect or collate such non available

information and then furnish it to an applicant. A public

authority is also not required to furnish information which

require drawing of inferences and/or making of

assumptions. It is also not required to provide ‘advice’ or

‘opinion’ to an applicant, nor required to obtain and

furnish any ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ to an applicant. The

reference to ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ in the definition of

‘information’ in section 2 (d) of the Act, only refers to such

material available in the records of the public authority.

Many public authorities have, as a public relation

exercise, provided advice, guidance and opinion to the

citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be

confused with any obligation under the RTI Act”.

 

( Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011 arising out of SLP © No. 7526/2009 in the case of Central Board of Secondary Education & Anr vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & ors.)

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