Critical Analysis of Supreme Court Judgements on the RTI Act, 2005
By Shailesh Gandhi,
Former Central Information Commissioner
Judgment : Khanpuram Gandaiah Vs. Administrative Officer AIR 2010 SC 615
The issue before the Court: The scope of the definition of
“Information” contained in section 2(f) of the RTI Act.
The observations of the Court:
Para 6. Under the RTI Act "information" is defined under Section 2(f)
which provides: "information" means any material in any form,
including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press
releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, report, 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.
This definition shows that an applicant under Section 6 of the RTI Act
can get any information which is already in existence and accessible to
the public authority under law. Of course, under the RTI Act an
applicant is entitled to get copy of the opinions, advices, circulars,
orders, etc., but he cannot ask for any information as to why such
opinions, advices, circulars, orders, etc. have been passed, especially in
matters pertaining to judicial decisions. A Judge speaks through his
judgments or orders passed by him. If any party feels aggrieved by the
order/judgment passed by a Judge, the remedy available to such a party
is either to challenge the same by way of appeal or by revision or any
other legally permissible mode. No litigant can be allowed to seek
information as to why and for what reasons the Judge had come to a
particular decision or conclusion. A Judge is not bound to explain later
on for what reasons he had come to such a conclusion.”
The Court held that: No information could be given, as none existed.
Our analysis of the judgment: The denial was completely justified, as
if no information existed on record, as per the judgement.