as a part of my job i keep records of land.
a person asks me under rti to provide information on a particular piece of land. teh information asked includes 'ownership details of the land' and property extract of the land'. on this very same piece of land there is a title suit pending in high court questioning the right of the government on the land.
do i need to provide the information? iam worried that the information could be used against the interests of the govt.
further iam asked to provide extract of the land record which otherwise would cost rs. 100 to provide. that is the charge the office collects from anybody who asks for extract of a property. now, in case i have to provide the information, can i ask the person to deposit the amount of rs 100 to provide the info?
While RTI is a powerful tool, it has also been misused by people on several occasions. The most common thing is to flood the organisation with useless queries. A classic example can be seen in CIC/OK/A/2006/00268-272 dated 29th December 2006 - decision of CIC - where an applicant has asked for tons and tons of information from the railways. For example, a) all records related to allocation of different services, all records regarding selected candidates of engineering services, c) all records related to regulation of railway staff... etc. According to the Commission, even a casual look ... would make it clear that the information asked for is frivolous and even bordering on the absurd".
I have a related question. Suppose an information is easily available from the official source; but the applicant does not want to obtain that information from that source. Can he/she ask for the same information under RTI? Here is an example. Applicant asks for information about the names and designations of all of officials of a certain department in a government body inspite of that fact that she is actually working in that department which consists of just 17 people for the past 12 years. Is the office bound to reply to the query? Most important, is there a CIC decision on this matter?