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RTI Rules cannot be in direct conflict with the RTI Act - landmark order of the CIC

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karira

In a recent order, the CIC hs ruled that any RTI Rules cannot be in direct conflict with the main RTI Act.

 

Applicant asked for the following information from the Delhi High Court:

 

1. “Who are the class III and class IV employees recruited / employed

by the High Court from 1990 to date?

2. Were any advertisements issued for the recruitment of these

persons mentioned in Q. 2?

3. Whether any tests / interviews / selections were conducted for

these persons mentioned in Q. 2?

Period for which information asked for: 1990 to Sept. 2006.”

 

Delhi High Court denied the information citing the following RTI rules formulated by the Delhi High Court:

 

“Rule 4(iv). In so far as decisions which are taken administratively

or quasi judicially, information therefore, shall be available

only to the affected persons1.

 

5. Exemption from disclosure of information. The information

specified under Section 8 of the Act shall not be disclosed

and made available and in particular the following

information shall not be disclosed.

 

a. Such information which is not in the public domain or

does not relate to judicial functions and duties of the

Court and matters incidental and ancillary thereto.

 

First appeal was rejected and applicant approached the CIC with Second Appeal under Sec 19(3).

 

Appellant argued that:

 

a) The rules framed by the Delhi High Court are inconsistent with the RTI Act 2005 and therefore contravene Sec 22 of the RTI Act:

 

Section 22

The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything

inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923,

and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument

having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

 

b) Under Sec 6(1) applicant is not supposed to give any reason for seeking information

c) Information can only be denied only under exemptions listed in Sec 8 or 9

d) Therefore RTI Rules framed by the High Court are ultravires of the Act

e) Only CIC has the powers under the RTI Act to decide whether information can be disclosed or not

 

Delhi High Court responded:

 

a) The High Court was a constitutional authority while CIC was a statutory authority

b) The Chief Justice of the High Court was a competent authority as defined in Sec 2(e)(iii) and therefore empowered to frame rules under the RTI Act

 

ORDER

 

In its order, CIC invoked Sec 19(8)(a) and Sec 25(5) of the RTI Act and ruled that:

It is, therefore, clear that rule 4(iv) and

5(a) are inconsistent with the RTI Act and, therefore, the provisions of this Act

shall have effect not withstanding the content of the inconsistent rules.

 

and further ordered:

 

1) The Registrar Delhi High Court will take such steps as may

be necessary to provide access to the information

sought under sec. 19(a)(i) to appellant Ms Jaiswal in the

form in which it had been sought. This will be done within

ten working days of the date of receipt of this Decision

Notice

 

2) We find u/s 25(5) of the RI Act, 2005 that the practice of the

High Court in relation to providing access to information

under this Act in terms of sec. 4(iv) and sec. 5(a) of the Delhi

High Court (Right to Information) Rules does not conform

expressly with the provisions of the Act. It is recommended

to the Delhi High Court, therefore, that such steps may

be taken to amend these rules as would make them

consistent with the sec. 6 and sec. 7 of the RTI Act.

 

Full decision is attached to this post.

WB-23092008-02.pdf

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Dr.R.K.D.Goel

25.09.2008

Thanks to Mr. Karira to provide up date and current orders to the members of the RTI organistion and all the readers of this Forum.

I use to forward historical orders of RTI Act 2005 passed by any SCIC / CIC / High Courts / Apex Court of India to my Hon'ble Gujarat State Chief information Commissioner, Mr. R.N. Das IAS who is single handedly dealing all the second RTI Act 05 appeals with out having Second Gujarat Information Commissioner despite sanction the post of 2nd Information Commissioner of Gujarat State with other staff by the Gujarat government in September, 2007.

Mr.Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat is called by his admirers / BJP leaders as the best administrator who is giverning the Gujarat State very efficient administration. Mr. Modi said "He DON'T EAT and DON't allow any one to Eat" but he is not in favour of RTI Act 2005 which comes dring the time of UPA government of Mr. Manmohan Singh Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and the President of UPA Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

His government Circular dated 14.11.2005 not to give "FILE NOTINGS" is only cancelled on 22.07.2008 after the RTI Act 05 Activists filed the Petition in Hon'ble Gujarat High Court.

 

How the RTI.Org and other RTI Act 05 Activist further help the GSCIC so he may get other State Information Commissiners and other staff of GSCIC office. Even Karela State have Five SCICs.

The RTI Act 05 is the most liked and popular Act in India and whole World which help to have minimum corruption and maximum Transparncy and Accountability in Government offices. "WHO CAN ADVICE Mr. MODI TO STRENGTHEN RTI Act 2005 IN GUJARAT STATE"?

Dr.R.K.D.Goel Vadodara.

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karira

As reported by zeenews.com on 25 September 2008:

Zee News - RTI Act: CIC

 

Delhi HC`s rules not in conformity with RTI Act: CIC

 

New Delhi, Sept 25: The Central Information Commission has held that the Delhi High Court's internal rules on sharing of information are not in conformity with the provisions of the RTI Act.

 

Overruling the denial of information to Kamini Jaiswal by the Delhi High Court, the transparency watchdog held that the rules cited while denying the information do not 'conform expressly' with the RTI Act and the information sought by the petitioner should be provided within 10 days.

 

"The provisions of this (RTI) Act shall have effect notwithstanding the content of the inconsistent rules," the order said.

 

Jaiswal had requested the information from the Delhi High Court regarding the recruitment of its class III-IV employees from 1990-2006. She wanted to verify whether there were any irregularities in the appointment procedure of these employees.

 

The Court cited clause 4 (IV) and 5 (A) of its RTI rules while denying access to the information sought by her. The rule 4 (IV) allows access of information only to "affected persons" while 5 (A) exempts it from revealing any information which is not in the public domain.

 

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah refrained from striking down the rules on the grounds that the rules made by the Supreme Court and High Courts do not require sanction of any other authority.

 

But the Commission felt that since the rules were in direct conflict with the Act, the Delhi High Court should take steps to amend them and make them consistent with section 6 and 7 of the RTI Act 2005.

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