Central Information Commission (CIC) in its recent order ruled that offer of inspection cannot be claimed as denial of information and it indicates the willingness of the Public Information officer (PIO) to disclose information. Commission noted that “It would be easier for the Respondent to supply those documents identified by the Appellant after inspection thereby curbing unnecessary wastage of paper.”
However, the Commission advises the PIO to supply those documents that can be supplied instantly and to offer inspection if it is scattered over several files.
The RTI Act 2005 prescribes that applicant can inspect the document, there is no provision to state that PIO has discretion to direct applicant to do the inspection.
The commission has not allowed joint inspection of properties under MCD by using RTI Act provisions where the contention of inspection was to expose unauthorised construction in the larger public interest and that it’s an exercise to disclose conspiracy between the Officers of MCD and constructers.
Inspection of the ‘information’ would certainly not include private ‘house property’ as it would lead to interpretation of section 2 (f) and 2 (j) in too liberal a fashion. It is only the report/document/sample generated after inspection and which is within the domain of the public authority that can be accessed under the provisions of the RTI Act. ‘Any material in any form’ may not be equated with the term ‘material in ANY FORM’ as such comparison is odious and evidently overreaches the legislative intent. Read more ›