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1. Provisions in a law cannot be read in isolation, but all the relevant provisions have to be read along with together, for its harmonious construction: The basic principle to be followed in law, is that while interpreting any provision, it has be read along with all the other relevant & applicable provisions, for the correct interpretation of the provision in question. Sec 7 (1) is relevant & applicable while interpreting sec. 7(9) and therefore both these provisions will have to be read along with together for correct interpretation of sec. 7(9) of the Act . 2. Please find quoted below the text of section 7(1) & section 7(9) of the RTI Act, 2005 (emphasis added) : 3. Now, let us read sec. 7(1) along with 7(9) for its correct interpretation: As per sec. 7(1), a request for information can only be rejected for any of the reasons specified in sec. 8 & 9 of the Act. Therefore it can be reasonably construed from sec. 7(1) that a request for information cannot be rejected under any other provisions of the Act. As such, sec. 7(9) cannot be given a meaning / interpreted in such a way so that it of becomes a ground for rejecting a request for information, in addition to sec. 8 & 9 of the Act. 4. So, what is sec. 7(9) about? Sec. 7(9) is all about providing a requested information in a particular FORM. Especially, when there may be a choice before a PIO to provide an information in one particular form, from amongst the various other alternate forms available to him. Following are some probable examples for the purpose of understanding sec. 7(9): Example - 1 An information is requested in a printed hard copy form, The same information is available with a PIO in a soft copy form, The PIO may then decide to provide information in the readily available soft copy form citing sec. 7(9) that if the information is provided in printed hardcopy form it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority. Example - 2. A particular digitized form (say 300 dpi / gif / png etc. format) is requested of some very old documents, The information may have been scanned & archived long time back (in say 100 dpi / jpeg format) by a Public Authority. The PIO may then decide to provide the requested information in the "Available Digitized Form", citing sec. 7(9), if the information were to be re-digitized in the requested form then it the would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question if it . 5. Conclusion: A PIO cannot quote sec. 7(9) as a ground for rejecting a request for information, stating that no matter in whatever form the information is provided, it will disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority. But, in that case, the requested information has to be provided irrespective of the resources factor. 6. Link to a compilation of some useful judgments on the subject of sec. 7(9), by Shri jps50:
Please refer attachment which can be used while filing first or second appeal for denial of information quoting section 7.9 of RTI Act [Disproportionate diversion of resources] Disproportionate Diversion of Resources under RTI Act 2005 Section 7 (9) of RTI Act 2005 reads as under: In following cases it has been decided by CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION, NEW DELHI that Section 7(9) of the Act does not provide ground for denial of information. 1. Decision No. CIC/OP/A/ 2009/ 000204-AD dated 12-01- 2010 2. Decision dated 12-03-2009 in appeal No.CIC/ WB/ A/ 2007/01042: 3. Decision dated 25.2.06 in appeal No.10/1/ 2005-CIC 4. Decision dated 26.3.2008 in appeal No.CIC/ WB/A/ 2007/00349 5. Decision dated 9.1.2009 in appeal No.CIC/ OK/ A/ 2008/01256 6. Decision dated 22.10.08 in Appeal No. CIC/ WB /A/2007/00528-SM 7. Decision No. CIC/OK/A/ 2008/ 01256/ SG/ 0937 dated 09-01-2009 Denial of information can only be under Section 8 (1) or Section 9. 8. Extract from Judgement dated 07-01-2010 of HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS in W.P.NO.20372 of 2009 and M.P.NO.1 OF 2009 Available at http://judis.nic.in/chennai/qrydisp.asp?tfnm=22544 9. Judgment dated 30-08-2010 of Hon’ble Kerala High Court in WP(C).No. 6532 of 2006(C) NOTE: Despite Office Memorandum N0.12/9/2009-IR dated 24-05-2010 of Department of Personnel and Training, Govt. of India, PIO cannot refuse information. He has to provide it in the form in which it is available. DoPT cannot amend RTI Act 2005. Gist: Thus section 7.9 relates to only form in which information has to be supplied. If supplying information in the form requested by the applicant does not disproportionately divert resources of public authority, then information has to be supplied in the requested form only. However, if there is a disproportionate diversion of resources to supply in requested form, then information has to be supplied in the form it is available without changing the form. PIO will have to justify how there is the disproportionate diversion of resources in changing form from existing form to requested form. For example, if the applicant has desired information in CD form and public authority is holding information in hard copies only, then CPIO has to supply in CD form if there is no disproportionate diversion of resources. However, if a large number of papers are to be scanned which may require huge resources [say by way of manpower etc] then PIO can supply in hard copies only and not in CD. Disproportionate diversion of resources can always be disputed by applicant by factoring probable expenditure in changing form and total annual administrative expenditure of public authority. Please also peruse: