Central Information Commission came down heavily on RTI applicant for filing several frivolous and repeated applications with sole aim of harassing his wife without caring whether any public loss is being caused in the process. “he has misused RTI to run a parallel trial along with the trial in courts of law.”- CIC
More importantly, however, was the observation that the First Appellate Authority (FAA) disclosed information about his wife without applying the third party clause as under Section 8 (1) (j) that prohibits the private information not related to any public activity. Earlier also we have brought this issue on our blogs, you can read them here!
The RTI applicant has sought details of Notary Register of his wife. On the first appeal against the CPIO, Department of Legal Affairs, First Appellate Authority (FAA) gave the decision to disclose the information.The FAA noted that notary is the third party, but did not ask CPIO to follow the procedure to obtain views of the third party, Notary. Strangely the FAA has ignored the fact that it was not just the Notary, but the wife of appellant and owner of the house who leased are also third parties.
More over information about the rental agreement between the wife of appellant and some other person has nothing to do with general public. The notary extract about that private transaction, fee paid to notary and receipt for fee is also not concerned with any public activity. Only when there is a complaint that notary is extracting huge amount from clients, seeking the copy of receipt, could be a considered to have relation with the public activity.
CIC noted that the private information of persons unconnected with public cannot be ordered to be disclosed. Especially when a husband, being an accused and respondent in several criminal and civil cases, filed by his wife, is repeatedly misusing the RTI to extend harassment to court officers and the Commission also, then, the exempting provisions of information law cannot be ignored. Except extract of notary register, which is a public document, nothing can be given to the petitioner. If notary register deals with a transaction between two private persons, that also will be a private information if it does not relate to public activity.
The Decision can be read here!
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