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  1. In the first decision of its kind from an international tribunal, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that there is a fundamental human right to access government information. In the case of Claude Reyes and others vs. Chile, the Court found in favor of three environmental activists who in 1998 sought information from the Chilean government about a controversial logging project. By failing to provide access to the requested information, the Court held that Chile had violated Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of thought and expression. According to the Court, Article 13 contains an implied right of general access to government-held information, and States must adopt legal provisions to ensure the right is given full effect. The Court specifically ordered Chile to provide the requested information about the Rio Condor logging project or to issue a reasoned decision for withholding it, as well as to adopt adequate administrative procedures to protect the right in the future and to train public officials to uphold the public's right to information. International advocates of transparency in governance and the right-to-know applauded the precedent-setting court decision. "The Court has ruled that freedom of information is a fundamental personal, social, and civic right, and a critical component of a full transition to democracy," said Peter Kornbluh who directs the Chile Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. According to Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, the decision "will be invaluable for activists who need government information to defend other human rights, protect the environment, and fight corruption." Related Materials English summary of the case and decision http://www.freedominfo.org/documents/ICHR_Claude_court%20summary.pdf Access Info Europe press release http://www.freedominfo.org/documents/Access%20Info%20Europe%20Press%20Release.pdf'>http://www.freedominfo.org/documents/Access%20Info%20Europe%20Press%20Release.pdf Read the amicus brief filed in the case by Article 19 and the Open Society Institute Justice Initiative http://www.freedominfo.org/documents/Access%20Info%20Europe%20Press%20Release.pdf http://www.freedominfo.org/documents/osi_amicus_ichr.pdf [source: freedominfo.org: foi news - inter-american court finds fundamental right of access to information]
  2. The UP and Delhi High Courts are charging 50 times more than the amount being charged by the Centre and a majority of states from a person seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While the Centre and most states have fixed the fee at Rs 10, the two HCs have been charging information-seekers Rs 500, virtually denying the poor the information they need. The exorbitant fee has left the UP State Information Commission and Central Information Commission (CIC) fuming. They are demanding amendment to the RTI Act to bring in uniformity in the fee structure. The present RTI gives states and the judiciary right to determine their own fees. “This is virtual denial of information. It is against the spirit of the RTI. I've taken it up with the CIC,” says UP Information Commissioner Justice (retired) M A Khan who is in Delhi to participate in the first three-day convention of the CIC. In its rules formulated on RTI, the Delhi HC says an information seeker will have to pay Rs 500 per application for information on all matters other than quasi-judicial and administrative. For the quasi-judicial and administration information, which will be available only to the affected persons, the fee has been pegged at Rs 50 per application. The court has also specified speed money (Rs 10 per page) for persons who want pages of information urgently.
  3. Can I ask for information which I can use in the court. Do I need to tell to the PIO that I am going to use this document in the court of law?
  4. Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, a public authority cannot withheld an information merely on the ground that the matter is sub-judice. Even in regard to the matter where the prosecution is still continuing, the CPIO can provide the information subject to provisions of Section 10(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 by applying the doctrine of severability.
  5. Central Information Commission Decision No.292/IC(A)/2006 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00588 Dated, the 21st September, 2006 Name of the Appellant : Sh. Sharabh Dubey, 11/7 Civil Lines, Kanpur –208 001. (U.P.) Name of the Public Authority: The British India Corporation Limited, 14/136 Civil Lines, P.B. 77, Kanpur-208 001. DECISION Facts of the Case: The appellant is an employee of the respondent. He was transferred to another Unit of the company. The office order was challenged by him in the Court, which adjudicated on the matter. Subsequently, he has filed a few more petitions on service related matters in the Court. In this backdrop, he has sought documents relating to the legal opinion obtained by the respondent, file notings by the senior officials on the issue of transfer, letters/correspondence with other officials, etc. The CPIO has denied the information and sought exemption u/s 8(1)(d) & (g) of the Act. The case was heard on 12.9.06. The appellant could not be present. The CPIO and the appellate authority were present. In the course of hearing, the CPIO showed a copy of the petition filed by the appellant in the Court, whic hcontained almost all the documents asked for by him. The CPIO contended that the documents asked for by the appellant relate to the various petitions filed by him in the Court. He, therefore, pleaded that the disclosure of the documents might adversely affect the disputed cases. Hence, the relevant documents are treated as confidential. Commission’s Decision: There is a dispute between the appellant and the company on service matters, including transfer of the appellant to another unit. The matter is pending before the Court for adjudication. There is every possibility that the appellant would get opportunity for his effective defense. The information sought is in the interest of the seeker. And, as such, there is no overriding public interest, u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act, for disclosure of the information. The appeal is therefore dismissed. Sd/- (Prof. M.M. Ansari) Information Commissioner
  6. I want to know that I have got information from Nagar nigam, Can I use it as an evidence in the court of law? What are the provisions related to that?
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