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karira

RTI Act being misused, CIC directs probe

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sagginyou

This is a great act

Lets stop those who says that the act is being misused

since no act has been used like this

so it is overused rather than misused.

by reading above lines it seems that we r living in an extremely xenophobic society.

if the country thinks that the whole system is corrupt/ blackmailer/ thief....then lets remove the government and let there be anarchy.....

i dont know this dilemma...

people wants service from govt...which is performed by the govt employees....

and then everyone wants to abuse the govt employees too...

the govt employees are not made on mars or pakistan...they come from same breed as we...

very few and bad and same we can think of ourselves....even those who are writing on these blogs might not be follwoing all the laws made in the country but they r not looking on themselves...

see the govt is ours...

by abusing public servants we r doing more harm than the good.

an officer does not become pio by choice or he is paid for becoming pio...it is an additional responsibility apart from his normal works... at least spare him/her to do something for the great and ever demanding citizens of this country.

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sagginyou

This is a great act

Lets stop those who says that the act is being misused

since no act has been used like this

so it is overused rather than misused.

by reading above lines it seems that we r living in an extremely xenophobic society.

if the country thinks that the whole system is corrupt/ blackmailer/ thief....then lets remove the government and let there be anarchy.....

i dont know this dilemma...

people wants service from govt...which is performed by the govt employees....

and then everyone wants to abuse the govt employees too...

the govt employees are not made on mars or pakistan...they come from same breed as we...

very few and bad and same we can think of ourselves....even those who are writing on these blogs might not be follwoing all the laws made in the country but they r not looking on themselves...

see the govt is ours...

by abusing public servants we r doing more harm than the good.

an officer does not become pio by choice or he is paid for becoming pio...it is an additional responsibility apart from his normal works... at least spare him/her to do something for the great and ever demanding citizens of this country.

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sandeepbaheti

Sagginyou,

 

1) At present the RTI Act is not being overused, but underused (This is not my personal view but a common view accepted by various govt. agencies themselves.)

 

2) No one thinks that the whole system is corrupt. However, it is a matter of fact that there is high corruption in India. (Endorsed by agencies like Transparency International)

 

3) With the most lenient choice of words, removing the government is an extremely idiotic suggestion (as any person of ordinary prudence will agree). More so, when we have a tool in the form of RTI Act to correct the system.

 

4) No citizen is against the government or a government officer. They are against corrupt practices. A fact which people like you will never understand.

 

5) Exercising one's Right to Information is not abusing a public servant. Though it is a matter of fact that there are some people who think they are being harassed every time they are asked to do some work.

 

6) Government officials in Pakistan are indeed made in Pakistan.

 

7) Government officers themselves frequently use RTI Act. Nothing wrong with it, just that people like you need to realize that non-govt employees are not the only ones "abusing the public servants" (as per you)

 

8) If using your own comprehending abilities you are unable to think of the merits of Right to Information, at least understand that India is not the only country where RTI exists. Most democracies have a similar Act. Many more are trying to introduce it. That's because they have realized the merits of an informed citizenry.

 

9) In case the above arguments fail to satisfy you (which I am sure is the case), I have a piece of advice for you: stop asking any sort of questions from your friends and family. After all, seeking any information from anyone amounts to harassing and abusing that person!

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sandeepbaheti

Sagginyou,

 

1) At present the RTI Act is not being overused, but underused (This is not my personal view but a common view accepted by various govt. agencies themselves.)

 

2) No one thinks that the whole system is corrupt. However, it is a matter of fact that there is high corruption in India. (Endorsed by agencies like Transparency International)

 

3) With the most lenient choice of words, removing the government is an extremely idiotic suggestion (as any person of ordinary prudence will agree). More so, when we have a tool in the form of RTI Act to correct the system.

 

4) No citizen is against the government or a government officer. They are against corrupt practices. A fact which people like you will never understand.

 

5) Exercising one's Right to Information is not abusing a public servant. Though it is a matter of fact that there are some people who think they are being harassed every time they are asked to do some work.

 

6) Government officials in Pakistan are indeed made in Pakistan.

 

7) Government officers themselves frequently use RTI Act. Nothing wrong with it, just that people like you need to realize that non-govt employees are not the only ones "abusing the public servants" (as per you)

 

8) If using your own comprehending abilities you are unable to think of the merits of Right to Information, at least understand that India is not the only country where RTI exists. Most democracies have a similar Act. Many more are trying to introduce it. That's because they have realized the merits of an informed citizenry.

 

9) In case the above arguments fail to satisfy you (which I am sure is the case), I have a piece of advice for you: stop asking any sort of questions from your friends and family. After all, seeking any information from anyone amounts to harassing and abusing that person!

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MOHANDAS

Apropos the reply posted by Shri Sandeepji

 

By writing my opinion, I only mean that the RTI Act 2005 should be used in a justified manner so as to enhance the credibility of the P.A's office and the Act should not be overused as you said ( not abused- I agree ). We should bear one thing in mind in most of the cases the P.A's office is either under staffed or suffer from lack of resources. What to speak of P.Cs, in most of the Departments there is no typewriter available. In certain conditons, the records, due to environmental problems, cannot even preserve for a period of 1-2 years. I personally know in certain Colliery Offices due to environmental hazards, the most important records like Form B Register/Payment register are exposed to atmosphearic conditons, will not last to 1-2 years. The papers of the registers will be in a powdery stage after 1-2 years period. In such conditions in the event of an RTI Applicant seek certain information after lapse of 5-6 years period, where from the pIO/CPIO can furnish the information under the RTI Act 2005?

 

While posting my opinion, I had only considered certain relevant situation as quoted above and do not want to dilute the provions of the Act 2005.If some expert members misunderstand the same, pl. excuse me, I do not wnat to enter into any controversy.

 

MOHANDAS.

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MOHANDAS

Apropos the reply posted by Shri Sandeepji

 

By writing my opinion, I only mean that the RTI Act 2005 should be used in a justified manner so as to enhance the credibility of the P.A's office and the Act should not be overused as you said ( not abused- I agree ). We should bear one thing in mind in most of the cases the P.A's office is either under staffed or suffer from lack of resources. What to speak of P.Cs, in most of the Departments there is no typewriter available. In certain conditons, the records, due to environmental problems, cannot even preserve for a period of 1-2 years. I personally know in certain Colliery Offices due to environmental hazards, the most important records like Form B Register/Payment register are exposed to atmosphearic conditons, will not last to 1-2 years. The papers of the registers will be in a powdery stage after 1-2 years period. In such conditions in the event of an RTI Applicant seek certain information after lapse of 5-6 years period, where from the pIO/CPIO can furnish the information under the RTI Act 2005?

 

While posting my opinion, I had only considered certain relevant situation as quoted above and do not want to dilute the provions of the Act 2005.If some expert members misunderstand the same, pl. excuse me, I do not wnat to enter into any controversy.

 

MOHANDAS.

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colnrkurup

In Malayalam there is a saying that " like the bull seeing red ". Whenever RTI Act is referred, why should the so called noble government servants get disturbed and start associatting the RTIans and applicants with terms like Misuse, blackmale,harrassing the public servants, setling scores, bad intention etc., etc., ? The information is not given free. It is fully charged on commercial basis. The public servants are not doing any service; but doing their job for which they are paid for life. The cityzen has no concern whether the PIO is doing it in additional to his job or not. In any case the PIO may not work overtime free to clear an RTI application alone.

 

All that a cityzen has done is that he has asked for an inconvenient information held by the PA and all that is expected from the PIO is to give the information or refuce it or say that it is not held by him. If he is honest and strainght forward with nothing to hide, all that he is required to do is to give the information sought for and forget. The problem start when the PIO strart analying as to what is the consequences of giving out the information instead of examining whether it fall under the exemptions or third party. There are far too many skeletons in the public offices as an aftermath of Official Secrets Act. The corrupt lot have beeen taking shelter under the Official Secret Act. With the RTI Act all those skeletons are bound to get expossed to-day or tomorrow, whatever the oppositions the public servants make.

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colnrkurup

In Malayalam there is a saying that " like the bull seeing red ". Whenever RTI Act is referred, why should the so called noble government servants get disturbed and start associatting the RTIans and applicants with terms like Misuse, blackmale,harrassing the public servants, setling scores, bad intention etc., etc., ? The information is not given free. It is fully charged on commercial basis. The public servants are not doing any service; but doing their job for which they are paid for life. The cityzen has no concern whether the PIO is doing it in additional to his job or not. In any case the PIO may not work overtime free to clear an RTI application alone.

 

All that a cityzen has done is that he has asked for an inconvenient information held by the PA and all that is expected from the PIO is to give the information or refuce it or say that it is not held by him. If he is honest and strainght forward with nothing to hide, all that he is required to do is to give the information sought for and forget. The problem start when the PIO strart analying as to what is the consequences of giving out the information instead of examining whether it fall under the exemptions or third party. There are far too many skeletons in the public offices as an aftermath of Official Secrets Act. The corrupt lot have beeen taking shelter under the Official Secret Act. With the RTI Act all those skeletons are bound to get expossed to-day or tomorrow, whatever the oppositions the public servants make.

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chanda_s
The cityzen has no concern whether the PIO is doing it in additional to his job or not. In any case the PIO may not work overtime free to clear an RTI application alone.

 

sir, what you said is true. i dont have any doubt on the definition part of it. but on this website when we are discussing the act and its implementation thread bare, should we not discuss the infrastructural problems that cause an impediment in implementation of the act? shouldn't we show a bit more of statesmanship in discussing and finding solutions rather than simply saying "its none of my concern"?

 

if we realise that the PIO is the cutting edge of the scheme of things envisaged in the act, we should be helping the institution of the PIO by generating public opinion in favour of providing more infrastructure and finacial powers and other facilities to the PIO.

 

by helping the institution of the PIO, we are only helping ourselves.

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chanda_s
The cityzen has no concern whether the PIO is doing it in additional to his job or not. In any case the PIO may not work overtime free to clear an RTI application alone.

 

sir, what you said is true. i dont have any doubt on the definition part of it. but on this website when we are discussing the act and its implementation thread bare, should we not discuss the infrastructural problems that cause an impediment in implementation of the act? shouldn't we show a bit more of statesmanship in discussing and finding solutions rather than simply saying "its none of my concern"?

 

if we realise that the PIO is the cutting edge of the scheme of things envisaged in the act, we should be helping the institution of the PIO by generating public opinion in favour of providing more infrastructure and finacial powers and other facilities to the PIO.

 

by helping the institution of the PIO, we are only helping ourselves.

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sandeepbaheti

Mohandas ji,

Could you please give the name and address of the office where there is no typewriter and environmental conditions are detrimental to preservation of records? I intend to file an RTI application asking whether the PIO or any other officer has made a written request for getting the problem rectified. After all, the officers must consider the office where they work as their own and try to get the facilities implemented. They can't remain unconcerned and say "we're not concerned". Otherwise, the public is very correct in saying "we're not concerned about the internal situation"

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sandeepbaheti

Mohandas ji,

Could you please give the name and address of the office where there is no typewriter and environmental conditions are detrimental to preservation of records? I intend to file an RTI application asking whether the PIO or any other officer has made a written request for getting the problem rectified. After all, the officers must consider the office where they work as their own and try to get the facilities implemented. They can't remain unconcerned and say "we're not concerned". Otherwise, the public is very correct in saying "we're not concerned about the internal situation"

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chanda_s

by reading above lines it seems that we r living in an extremely xenophobic society.

if the country thinks that the whole system is corrupt/ blackmailer/ thief....then lets remove the government and let there be anarchy.....

i dont know this dilemma...

people wants service from govt...which is performed by the govt employees....

and then everyone wants to abuse the govt employees too...

 

 

I have a piece of advice for you: stop asking any sort of questions from your friends and family. After all, seeking any information from anyone amounts to harassing and abusing that person!

 

After all, the officers must consider the office where they work as their own and try to get the facilities implemented. They can't remain unconcerned and say "we're not concerned". Otherwise, the public is very correct in saying "we're not concerned about the internal situation"

 

at 23 and when preparing for my civil services exam, i remember having harboured similar volatility. having now been in public service for some time now, i realise its a rare virtue to comprehend things from the other side and appreciate the efforts notwithstanding the results.

 

i understand its far more easier to be a Utopian as it allows one to skim the surface shallowness without actually getting wet. as i said in one of my earlier posts one needs to develop an air of statesmanship to deal with problems in one whole. its not a zeero sum game. individual sums dont add up. each component of the issue had to be dealt with while keeping the ultimate goal in picture.

 

its a good idea that one has come up with - use rti to ensure facilities to govt offices. my argument has always been this - if your axe is blunt, you cant cut a tree. if your purpose is to cut a tree, you have to spend time to sharpen your axe. the problem for a govt servant has been that he has been entrusted with the job of cutting a tree with a blunt axe. and he doesnt have time and resources to sharpen his axe. whats the result? people dont have firewood to keep themselves warm. now one may keep blaming the govt servant or the bluntness of the axe or the toughness of the tree; no point.

 

the fact remains that our statesmanship skills have failed us yet again. we decided on the end result first without checking if we had the instruments to achieve it. thats how we ended up having so much of mutual distrust between the haves and the have-nots of information. we are just not prepared to hear out the other person, understand him and help him out. we fail to understand that it is not in our interest to fight the other person but to help him and equip him to help us.

 

its easy to impose. but success of any policy depends upon how convinced the service providers and receivers are.

 

i would be glad if we create an atmosphere in this website wherein we can really contribute to the process of acceptance of the act by all rather than parroting stereotypes. or we'll end up fighting in the sidelines wasting a glorious opportunity given to us in this forumboard. we need more mature discussions and meaningful discussions to contribute to the cause for the benefit of everyone and to evolve a constructive public opinion.

 

am i asking for heaven? am i being more utiopian than saint simon?

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chanda_s

by reading above lines it seems that we r living in an extremely xenophobic society.

if the country thinks that the whole system is corrupt/ blackmailer/ thief....then lets remove the government and let there be anarchy.....

i dont know this dilemma...

people wants service from govt...which is performed by the govt employees....

and then everyone wants to abuse the govt employees too...

 

 

I have a piece of advice for you: stop asking any sort of questions from your friends and family. After all, seeking any information from anyone amounts to harassing and abusing that person!

 

After all, the officers must consider the office where they work as their own and try to get the facilities implemented. They can't remain unconcerned and say "we're not concerned". Otherwise, the public is very correct in saying "we're not concerned about the internal situation"

 

at 23 and when preparing for my civil services exam, i remember having harboured similar volatility. having now been in public service for some time now, i realise its a rare virtue to comprehend things from the other side and appreciate the efforts notwithstanding the results.

 

i understand its far more easier to be a Utopian as it allows one to skim the surface shallowness without actually getting wet. as i said in one of my earlier posts one needs to develop an air of statesmanship to deal with problems in one whole. its not a zeero sum game. individual sums dont add up. each component of the issue had to be dealt with while keeping the ultimate goal in picture.

 

its a good idea that one has come up with - use rti to ensure facilities to govt offices. my argument has always been this - if your axe is blunt, you cant cut a tree. if your purpose is to cut a tree, you have to spend time to sharpen your axe. the problem for a govt servant has been that he has been entrusted with the job of cutting a tree with a blunt axe. and he doesnt have time and resources to sharpen his axe. whats the result? people dont have firewood to keep themselves warm. now one may keep blaming the govt servant or the bluntness of the axe or the toughness of the tree; no point.

 

the fact remains that our statesmanship skills have failed us yet again. we decided on the end result first without checking if we had the instruments to achieve it. thats how we ended up having so much of mutual distrust between the haves and the have-nots of information. we are just not prepared to hear out the other person, understand him and help him out. we fail to understand that it is not in our interest to fight the other person but to help him and equip him to help us.

 

its easy to impose. but success of any policy depends upon how convinced the service providers and receivers are.

 

i would be glad if we create an atmosphere in this website wherein we can really contribute to the process of acceptance of the act by all rather than parroting stereotypes. or we'll end up fighting in the sidelines wasting a glorious opportunity given to us in this forumboard. we need more mature discussions and meaningful discussions to contribute to the cause for the benefit of everyone and to evolve a constructive public opinion.

 

am i asking for heaven? am i being more utiopian than saint simon?

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colnrkurup

Dear Mr.Chanda,

What is the basic aim of the RTI Act ? Enlarge the Fundamental Rights envisaged in our Constitution. To give WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA opportunity to participate in the governing process. In nutshell, the ruled should not be kept away from the ruling process. Nothing should be kept concealed by the rulers from the ruled.

 

When we refer 'ruler' , it is the democratically elected representatives of the people. But unfortunately, the public servants have been assuming the role of the ruler as an extension of the Britishraj. Recently we came across an alarming cituation. The 6th pay commission brought down the status and pay of Lt Cols (in pay scale-25)and thier equevelent in Air Force and Navy to New Pay Band-3 while they have taken their Juniors, Superintending Egineers (in pay scale -24) to PB-4. When the criminal atrocity was pointed out, the bureaucrates shooed away the soldiers telling that in "Democratic government, the civialians are superior and not the Military" Our plea that civilian superiority does not mean bureaucratic superiority but the superiority of elected representative and not their baboos, they refused to accept. As a resault, the Superintendent Engineer of old pay scale-24 has become superior to Lt Col in pay scale-25 from 1 September 2008 with no explanation for such atrocity. The problem still hang fire completely thrashing the command and control functions and morale of the Armed Forces to the extend that the Navy Chief had refused to accept the orders of 6 PC. The babus are testing the patients of the defence forces. Even the media refuce to listen.

 

The bureaucrates have been exploiting the educational backwardness of some of our elected representatives to their advantage thus making them dependent on the bureaucrates. It has reached a stage that some of the rulers have literally become a slave to the bureaucracy. Any attempt of the cityzens to interfere were thwarted by throwing the "Official Secrets Act".

 

The RTI Act has reversed the cituation. This inconvenience the bureaucracy. They find all excuses to tar the RTIans and RTI Act. They can successfully divert the issues and convince their view especially when the media is on their side. We the RTIas should remain conscious of this cituation One of the method I advocate is to avoid diversition and stick to " We want information, You are responsible to provide it. Since you are not interested in our problems, we are also not interested in your problems."

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colnrkurup

Dear Mr.Chanda,

What is the basic aim of the RTI Act ? Enlarge the Fundamental Rights envisaged in our Constitution. To give WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA opportunity to participate in the governing process. In nutshell, the ruled should not be kept away from the ruling process. Nothing should be kept concealed by the rulers from the ruled.

 

When we refer 'ruler' , it is the democratically elected representatives of the people. But unfortunately, the public servants have been assuming the role of the ruler as an extension of the Britishraj. Recently we came across an alarming cituation. The 6th pay commission brought down the status and pay of Lt Cols (in pay scale-25)and thier equevelent in Air Force and Navy to New Pay Band-3 while they have taken their Juniors, Superintending Egineers (in pay scale -24) to PB-4. When the criminal atrocity was pointed out, the bureaucrates shooed away the soldiers telling that in "Democratic government, the civialians are superior and not the Military" Our plea that civilian superiority does not mean bureaucratic superiority but the superiority of elected representative and not their baboos, they refused to accept. As a resault, the Superintendent Engineer of old pay scale-24 has become superior to Lt Col in pay scale-25 from 1 September 2008 with no explanation for such atrocity. The problem still hang fire completely thrashing the command and control functions and morale of the Armed Forces to the extend that the Navy Chief had refused to accept the orders of 6 PC. The babus are testing the patients of the defence forces. Even the media refuce to listen.

 

The bureaucrates have been exploiting the educational backwardness of some of our elected representatives to their advantage thus making them dependent on the bureaucrates. It has reached a stage that some of the rulers have literally become a slave to the bureaucracy. Any attempt of the cityzens to interfere were thwarted by throwing the "Official Secrets Act".

 

The RTI Act has reversed the cituation. This inconvenience the bureaucracy. They find all excuses to tar the RTIans and RTI Act. They can successfully divert the issues and convince their view especially when the media is on their side. We the RTIas should remain conscious of this cituation One of the method I advocate is to avoid diversition and stick to " We want information, You are responsible to provide it. Since you are not interested in our problems, we are also not interested in your problems."

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  • Similar Content

    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.
    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION




      Appeal No.ICPB/A-1/CIC/2006


      Right to Information Act – Sections 6/18

      Name of Appellant : Satyapal
      Name of Public Authority : CPIO, TCIL

      DECISION


      Decisions appealed against :
       
       
      The CPIO, TCIL has declined to supply a copy of a document on the ground that the same forms part of “file Noting” which, according to CPIO is exempt under the RTI Act. Appellate authority also has confirmed the decision of the CPIO. The appellant contents that he has the right to seek information contained in the “File Notings”.
      Facts
      Shri Satyapal – appellant, a resident of Delhi, applied to the CPIO, TCIL seeking for copies of certain documents by a letter dated 17th October, 2005. By a letter dated 14th November, 2005, CPIO, TCIL furnished copies of certain documents, however, stating that a particular document sought for was a file noting in the Department of Telecom and as such it was exempt from disclosure. By a letter dated 17th Nov. 2005, Shri Satyapal again wrote to the CPIO, TCIL pointing out that the information sought for by him did not fall within the ambit of Section 8 of the RTI Act and as such the same should be supplied. He also brought to the notice of CPIO, TCIL that in respect of information already furnished, a copy of a bill in respect of advertisement relating to independence day 1996 had not been supplied. By a letter dated 28th Nov. 2005, the CPIO, TCIL while furnishing a copy of the bill, once again reiterated that file notings are exempt from disclosure in terms of the clarification given by the Department of Personnel in their website. Aggrieved by this decision, Shri Satyapaul preferred an appeal to the appellate authority by a letter dated 14th Dec. 2005 stating that file notings are not exempt from disclosure in terms of Section 8 of the RTI Act. He followed up the same by letters dated 14th Dec., 31st Dec. 2005 and 5th January, 2006. The appellate authority by a letter dated 5.1.2006 rejected the appeal stating “The information sought by you pertains to the file notings of the Department of Telecommunication as also that of TCIL. I am of the view that TCIL is exempted from disclosing the information sought by you under Section 8(1)(d)&(e) of the RTI Act. UO No.7-17/95-PP dated 4.10.1995 is a part of file notings. You have mentioned in your appeal that the information has been denied misconstruing it as “file notings” by CPIO, TCIL. I confirm that these are notings in the file”. Aggrieved with the decision of the appellate authority, Shri Satyapal has filed this appeal before this Commission. According to Shri Satyapal, there is no specific exemption from disclosure as far as file notings are concerned in Section 8 of RTI Act.
      Commission’s Decision :
      It is seen that while the CPIO declined to furnish the information sought for on the ground that file notings are exempt from disclosure, the appellate authority, without confirming or rejecting the stand of CPIO that file notings are exempt from disclosure, has relied on Section 8(1)(d) and (e) of the RTI Act to deny the information.
      As is evident from the Preamble to the RTI Act, the Act has been enacted to vest with the citizens, the right of access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of any public authority. Conscious of the fact that access to certain information may not be in the public interest, the Act also provides certain exemptions from disclosure. Whether file notings fall within the exempted class is the issue for consideration.
      Section 2(f) defines information as “Any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinion, 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 or the time being in force”.
      Section 2(j) reads : “Right to information means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of document or records; (iii) …… (iv) …. “. In terms of Section 2(i) “Record” includes (a) any documents, manuscript and file;
      In the system of functioning of public authorities, a file is opened for every subject/matter dealt with by the public authority. While the main file would contain all the materials connected with the subject/matter, generally, each file also has what is known as note sheets, separate from but attached with the main file. Most of the discussions on the subject/matter are recorded in the note sheets and decisions are mostly based on the recording in the note sheets and even the decisions are recorded on the note sheets. These recordings are generally known as “file notings”. Therefore, no file would be complete without note sheets having “file notings”. In other words, note sheets containing “file notings” are an integral part of a file. Some times, notings are made on the main file also, which obviously would be a part of the file itself. In terms of Section 2(i), a record includes a file and in terms of Section 2(j) right to information extends to accessibility to a record. Thus, a combined reading of Sections 2(f), (i)&(j) would indicate that a citizen has the right of access to a file of which the file notings are an integral part. If the legislature had intended that “file notings” are to be exempted from disclosure, while defining a “record” or “file” it could have specifically provided so. Therefore, we are of the firm view, that, in terms of the existing provisions of the RTI Act, a citizen has the right to seek information contained in “file notings” unless the same relates to matters covered under Section 8 of the Act. Thus, the reliance of the CPIO, TCILO on the web site clarification of the Department of Personnel to deny the information on the basis that ‘file notings’ are exempted, is misplaced.
      However, it is seen from the decision of the appellate authority that he was of the view that TCIL was exempted from disclosing the information sought, under Section 8(1)(d)&(e) of RTI Act. In terms of Section 8, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen information relating to matters covered under subsections (a) to (j) of that Section. Section 8(d) exempts information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property and Sub section (e) exempts information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship. Even then, at the discretion of the competent authority even these information could be disclosed if he is of the opinion that public interest so warrants. From the decision of the appellate authority of TCIL, which is not a speaking one, it is not clear whether the file notings, a copy of which was denied to the appellant, relate to commercial confidence or trade secret or intellectual property or is available to TCIL in its fiduciary relationship.
      Direction :
      Since we have held that file notings are not, as a matter of law, exempt from disclosure, the CPIO, TCIL is directed to furnish the information contained in the file notings, on or before 15.2.2006 to the appellant. However, if the CPIO, TCIL is still of the opinion that the said file notings are exempt under Section 8(d) & (e), he is at liberty to place the file notings before the Commission on 13.2.2006 at 11 AM to determine whether the same is exempt under these sections and even if so, whether disclosure of the same would be in the public interest or not.
      Let a copy of this decision be sent to CPIO, TCIL and the appellant.


      Sd/-




      (Padma Balasubramanian)




      Information Commissioner




      Sd/-




      (Wajahat Habibullah)



      Chief Information Commissioner


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