Jump to content
  • 0
crusader

Information so gathered, can that be used in court of law?

Question

crusader

I want to know that I have got information from Nagar nigam, Can I use it as an evidence in the court of law? What are the provisions related to that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Shrawan

Is the document made available by the central/state public information officer is admissible as evidence in a court of law?

 

It is very pertinent question. This question is sure to arise when the receipient of the document attempts to put in as evidence in a case pending in the civil or criminal court.

 

The document made available by the Public Information Officer is the one which is already recorded in the official records and published or it may be one which is not recorded and published or the one which is yet to be recorded and published. What the public information officer does is, he just furnishes a copy of the record. Such record may be a true copy but it is not either authenticated or can be vouchsafed as true. The information available will be is something like news. The public information Officer is not a party to such information. He is not capable of speaking anything about the content of the document or about its veracity.

 

The document furnished by the public Information Officer is no doubt a document issued from the proper custody and by the authority which by law is found to keep the inofrmation and disseminate it. That by itself doesnot make the document either authentic or its contents true. Moreover, the document issued has no purpose other than allowing the recipient to know of this content and nothing more. It is not the intention or the purpose of Public Information Officer to support the recipent when he uses it for any purpose either to prove or disprove any fact in which the recipient of the document is only concerned. The document and the information contained therein is neutral as if it is just a news.

 

The public Information Officer is completely ignorant of the purpose for which the applicant has made his request for information nor the Public Information Officer is in any manner concerned with it. In the application for information the applicant is not required to state any reasons why he requires information. Therefore, it is not an application for a certified copy of any information recorded by any adjudicating authority in a dispute. As per the practices of the courts and tribunals the party applying for a certified copy should state weather it is required for purpose of appeal or for reference. No such condition is prescribed for the applicant for information to state the reason why he requires information. The copy furnished by the court can be used only for the purpose for which the copy of appplication is made. As per the practices prevalent with the Government when an application for certified copy is made, the authority or the officer recieving the application will specifically endorse on the copy he grants, that it shall not be used in court as evidence eventhough the information contained theirein is not only true and is also authentic. In such cases, the court recieving the certified copy, before admitting the document requires that the document should be proved to be of the original. It is particularly true so in the case of survey maps, where the court normally as a practice appoints the official surveyour as a court Commissioner and obtain the true sketch. Here, in the case of Public Information Officer wheather he makes an endorsement as is referred to above to the said effect that the documents supplied by him shall not be used in court, it is implied in the circumstances of this Act that the document made available to the applicant shall not be used as a proof in court proceedings.

 

Further, the principal purpose of the Act itself is to make available to the citizens all infomration the Government is possessed off for his self-illumination to function as an enlightned and well informaed citizen and not to help him to score any point with his opponent in any dispute.

 

Thus, when the citizen wants to use the document obtained by him from the Public Information Officer as a document in any civil or criminal proceedings, he should adopt the procedure prescribed for purpose of obtaining certified copies through court process and not by making an application for information under this Act.

 

However this interpretation is yet to be formalized by way of decisions that may occur in future.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
maneesh
I want to know that I have got information from Nagar nigam, Can I use it as an evidence in the court of law? What are the provisions related to that?

 

The information provided under RTI can be starting point for redressal of grivances during the process of redressal the competent authority can ask for information from the concerned office if required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
chanda_s

kushal thats a wonderful piece of analysis that you made.

if a person wants a copy of a letter under rti, the copy is provided but not signed as a certified true copy. that itself makes that paper value less in any judicial proceedings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
ganpat1956

I have some reservations over this issue. The law of evidence permits that documents may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence. Sec.65 of the Evidence Act provides for the admissibility of secondary evidence under certain circumstances. In the instant case, eventhough the document obtained under RTI is not a certified copy, if the litigant files a sworn affidavit to the effect that he has obtained the copy of the documents through RTI and that the original is in possession of the party against whom the document is sought to be proved, then what will be the status of admissibility of this uncertified document. If there are any legal practitioners among our members, please clarify on this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
karira

Can someone please clarify on this.

I have a pending matter where I need to use the document obtained under

RTI for filing a case against the Govt. as well as complaining to the Vigilance cell.

Any clarification will be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
apaul

I am inclined to agree with Mr.Ganpat. In fact, applicants have been using the information obtained under the RTI Act in the Income Tax Tribunals, High Court and CJMs and the courts have taken cognisance of such information, which were not counter signed/attested/ certified by the CPIO. The fact that CIC also recognises this fact, though not specifically stated so, in Decision No.40/IC(A)/06/ F.No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00109 Dated, the 16th May, 2006, stating,

"The matter is sub-judice and the Income Tax Department cannot, in the absence of Court’s orders, be made a conduit for supply of third party information in what is essentially a civil dispute."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
ganpat1956

if a person wants a copy of a letter under rti, the copy is provided but not signed as a certified true copy. that itself makes that paper value less in any judicial proceedings.

 

U/s 2 j (ii) of the RTI Act, the right to information includes " the right to extracts or certified copies of documents or records". If an applicant specifically asks for certified copies of documents, then the PIO is left with no alternative than to provide the information in the manner sought for by the applicant.

 

This provision of the Act somehow escaped my attention, when I made the earlier posting on the admissibility as evidence of a document obtained under RTI Act.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
mpai
I have some reservations over this issue. The law of evidence permits that documents may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence. Sec.65 of the Evidence Act provides for the admissibility of secondary evidence under certain circumstances. In the instant case, eventhough the document obtained under RTI is not a certified copy, if the litigant files a sworn affidavit to the effect that he has obtained the copy of the documents through RTI and that the original is in possession of the party against whom the document is sought to be proved, then what will be the status of admissibility of this uncertified document. If there are any legal practitioners among our members, please clarify on this point.

 

Section 6 (2) of the RTI Act clearly read as "An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him."

 

Further all such documents received under the RTI Act are considered as public documents Section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, while certified documents are deemed to be originals under Section 77 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872.

 

Reading allof the above together, the receiver of documents under RTI ACT can them for any purpose he wants to without any questions being asked.

 

I am not a legal expert. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
slchowdhary

In most of my RTI cases I have obtained 'Satyapit Pratilipi' duly signed by PIO. I do not see any reason why any law will prevent use of such documents until there is some valid opp from opposition. Let the law develop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
karira

I have presented documents obtained through RTI as part of a WP in the AP High Court without any problems.

 

Moreover, I have seen several judgements of the Delhi HC and the Punjab & Haryana HC wherein the judges themselves have suggested to the petitioner to obtain documents through RTI and approach the court once again. The matters under consideration by the court were not related to RTI at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
colnrkurup

I too fully agree with Mr.Ganpat.The information or copy of letter provided by the PIO has tobe certified copies of documents or records. There is no reason why it should not be used as an evidence. Of cource by mere production of a document obtained through RTI Act or even otherwise does not automatically become a valid piece of evidence in a court case. Such documents has to be PROVED. Proved means someone has to enter into witness stand and produce the document. He can be examined and cross examined and the document has to be marked a evidence.

 

In the case of documents obtained through RTI, the Opposition Advocate may insist on calling the PIO or even the person who is the custodian of the original document to produce it failing which they may refuce to accept it as evidence. Of cource based on the type of evidence the Judge may give appropriate decision.

I have a case where the Munsiff has accepted a defendents document without proving despite my repeated pleding against it. Even though there are specific decisions staing that a documnt cannot be admitted in evidence without proving, in my case the decision adverse to me is made by the Munsiff purely based on above unproven document. So everything is possible in our present judicial system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
opsharma

In the beginning only I must confess,I am not a lawyer,

also, I gather none of you above are .But I do agree with Karira and Col. on their interpretations and Col for his practical experience fighting RTI cases.The Indian Evidence Act, Sec 65(secondary evidence) and Sec 76(certified copies of public documents) are very clear on admissibility .However, even if common sense dictates that a copy provided by PIO should be admitted as second evidence,it still falls under dictum: "omina praesumuntur rite esse acta" (all acts are presumed to be rightly done). It is a "prima facie" evidence (Sec79-90).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
The Great

Dear Sirs,

I have obtained certified copy of the document through RTI,it were sealed & signed by the PIO. So, wonder how it will not be accepted as evidence in the court? Also I came to learnt that, one of our Association member(Of work place),has filed several tribunal cases with the help of these documents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
jps50

I think certified copies of record obtained under RTI can be relied upon in courts and tribunals. If need be, the seeker of the record can himself produce the same in court/tribunal and declare that the same is obtained through RTI. In extreme cases, PIO or the custodian of the record may be summoned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
opsharma

Mishra The Great,I think either you didnot read my post or you missed the gist.IT IS ADMISSIBLE as a secondary evidence,there isn't even iota of doubt in that. But it is a prima facie presumption,for your benefit, I quote The Indian Evidence Act,"But though the Courts are directed to draw a presumption in favour of official certificates,it is not a conclusive presumption-it is rebuttable".

Notwithstanding the nittygritty,semantics and presumptions ,suffice to say that a certifid copy ,from PIO or any other designated public authority,is admissible as secondary evidence in the court of law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
ganpat1956

Friends, Let us discuss only the issue and not the individuals. All on a sudden this thread gets activated after 10 months and there are 7 new posts in a single day in as many hours. Is there any change in the position of law after Mr Manoj Pai has made his post?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
karira

ganpat,

 

New members keep joining this forum.

Some of them go through all the threads or those old threads which they find "interesting" and post comments.

So, suddenly you see activity in a thread long forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
TSBehera

When asking information it is always required to keep in mind for what purpose information required.If certainly to produce in judicial proceeding better to ask certified copies.In fact I have received certified copies when asked for.Moreover if copies of notings etc too if not certified certainly it carries a forwarding letter of PIO in original and same shall serve its purpose without any difficulties.Moreover if opposite party casts a question on veracity of such documents produced in xerox ,court may be asked to summon the persons keeping them or get from them confirmation as in no case original is the property of the party producing them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
colnrkurup

Time change, things change, new members join with new ideas. It is healthy sign of a healthy forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
adil85
Is the document made available by the central/state public information officer is admissible as evidence in a court of law?

I had submitted a petition under section 6 of RTI act to the state public information officer of Kolkata Police who is an officer of joint Commissioner rank.He first gave me a reply with a cover note under his signature but the sheet which contained the information was not signed.I sent it back claiming that I wanted an authenticated information and I got itafter 7 days .Since then I had occasion to seek information on three more counts and every time I got the information under his seal and signature.

adil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • ashakantasharma
      By ashakantasharma
      Seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act can be costly at times. Especially when you are asked to cough up as much as Rs 56,000 for some information, you would probably think again before using the Act.
      Advocate Vinod Sampat, too, was shocked when he was asked by the Andheri Land Records office to pay an amount of Rs 56, 268 to get information on the structures located on collector’s land across the city.
      Sampat had made an application on September 21 to inquire about it. He needed the accurate information to be part of the reference books he is writing on property matters. “I wanted information on such properties because buying properties situated on collector’s land costs an extra amount,” said Sampat.
      “However, I was shocked to see the amount asked by the Andheri office,” he said. And the amount was asked only for information on the properties situated under the jurisdiction of Andheri office.
      A shocked Sampat wrote to the Chief Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi, on Wednesday, asking him to ascertain the amount demanded from him. He also wrote to the Land Records Officer, Andheri, MT Ingle seeking a clarification on how the amount was arrived.
      As per RTI rules, Rs 2 per page is demanded to provide information. “That means they were giving me 28,000 pages as information,” said an amused Sampat.
      He said that if his queries were not answered, he would file an appeal with the appellate authority.
      When contacted, Ingle said he had charged Sampat according to the rates specified by the state government and the revenue department.
      Joshi said that in such cases, it is better for the applicants to ask for the inspection of the files so that they can pin-point the actual documents needed. They can also come in appeal to the commission, he said.
      “The information officers can charge rates only as prescribed by the state government and in this case, it is found that the concerned officer is trying to willfully mislead the people, strict action will be taken,” he added.
      However, Sampat said that the inspection point should have been mentioned in the letter, “instead of just frightening the applicant by demanding such an astronomical amount.”
      “Do you believe that the Land Records office must have counted all the 28,000 pages?”
       
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1833687,0008.htm
      https://right2information.wordpress.com/category/rti-cases/
    • jeevan
      By jeevan
      I wanted to know weather CPIO/ACPIO's appointed independently from outside or are they same department officer.

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy