The RTI Applicant is advised not to ask unrelated matters in RTI. The CIC while deciding the appeal, ruled that "The appellant is advised to ask for limited information and specific information instead of clubbing various unrelated matters in his RTI applications". CIC further states number of queries should also be limited. The Public Information Officer cannot be expected to reply to these large number of queries within the time schedule as prescribed under the RTI Act. The delay in reply cannot be totally held against the respondent in view of large number of queries imposed by the appellant through RTI application.
Don't club unrelated matters in RTI
In the present case, the Applicant filed 45 queries on various unrelated matters in RTI. Shri Manoj Arya, hereinafter called the appellant has filed the present appeal dated 24.11.2011 before the Commission against the respondent Directorate General of Shipping (DGS), Mumbai for not providing satisfactory information in response to his RTI application dated 4.7.2011.
However, there are conflicting views earlier on the issue of unrelated matters in RTI. As regards to the decision of a Coordinate Bench of Commission (No.CIC/WB/A/2008/01256.) in Wasi-ul-Haq Vs UPSC, the view was that as the appellant had raised multiple issues in this RTI application and, therefore, these were not required to be responded to by him and had advised the appellant to file fresh RTI applications in regard to these queries.
Sh. IC ML Sharma of the CIC, on the contrary has disagreed with an earlier coordinate bench decision of the commission, which had ruled that queries related to multiple subjects cannot be raised in one single RTI application. He said in the decision attached here that "I must say that this decision is not in line with the express statutory provisions as also the rules framed by the Central Government in this regard. Hence, I am unable to place any reliance on the aforesaid decision of this Commission. "
Here are the numerous discussions on this subject of Unrelated matters in RTI and Multiple Queries in one RTI