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WHICH route to follow for information

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Some public authorities specially courts have their own mechanism to provide information and they mandate RTI applicant to use that route only there by subverting right of applicant under RTI Act. I attach CIC decision dated 05-05-2015 which decides that route to be followed has to be decided by information seeker and he cannot be compelled to use only specified route for getting information.


It is heartening to note that CPIO is worried about Rs.3/- loss per page. Presuming that in a year his Court supplies say 500 pages under RTI then loss would be Rs.1500/- only. He does not want to let go this petty amount to enable citizens/tax payers to exercise his fundamental right, while every one knows wastage of good public money by public servants not only in courts but other govt offices and outside. This is in addition to loot of public through corruption and horrible delays in offices. We are lucky to have such public servants who account for every paisa when it comes to common citizens who pay taxes which fund courts and govts.


I too was a public servant for 31 years.


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Central Information Commission

Mranurag Kumar vs Bank Of Baroda on 9 January, 2015


It was observed by the CIC that;


In the above context, we note that the matter concerning another RTI application, seeking


certified copy of a petition filed by the Respondents in that case in the Supreme Court and


the related documents, was considered and disposed of by us in our order No.


CIC/SH/A/2014/000215 dated 27.5.2014. In that order, we noted, inter alia, the


following observation made by the Commission in its order No. CIC/SM/A/2011/900950


dated 18.4.2012:* "In many decisions in the past, we have held that since the High Courts and


the Supreme Court of India have devised their own rules and procedures for disclosing


certified copies of judicial records including judgments of the Courts, the citizens must get


the copies of such records only under those rules and procedures and not under the Right to


Information (RTI )Act. The provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act cannot override


the disclosure provisions contained in these orders and rules since there is nothing


inconsistent in them. Therefore, in this case also, the Appellant has to get the copies of the


judicial records by adopting the procedure laid down under the Order XII Rule 3 of the


Appellate Side Rules of the High Court."

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This decision is contrary to settled principles of law.


The question whether a general enactment can abrogate an earlier special enactment came up before the Hon'ble Apex Court in the Case of Ashoka Marketing Limited and Another Vs. Punjab National Bank and Others reported in (1990) 4 SCC 406 in which the Hon'ble SC applied and explained the legal maxim: leges posteriors priores conterarias abrogant, (later laws abrogate earlier contrary laws). This principle is subject to the exception embodied in the maxim: generalia specialibus non derogant, (a general provision does not derogate from a special one). This means that where the literal meaning of the general enactment covers a situation for which specific provision is made by another enactment contained in an earlier Act, it is presumed that the situation was intended to continue to be dealt with by the specific provision rather than the later general one (Benion: Statutory Interpretation p. 433-34). One of the principles of statutory interpretation is that the later law abrogates earlier contrary laws. This principle is subject to the exception embodied in the second latin maxim mentioned above.


The Supreme Court in R.S. Raghunath Vs. State of Karnataka & Another, reported in (1992) 3 SCC 335, quoted from Maxwell on The Interpretation of Statutes, the following passage:


"A general later law does not abrogate an earlier special one by mere implication. Generalia specialibus non derogant, or, in other words, where there are general words in a later Act capable of reasonable and sensible application without extending them to subjects specially dealt with by earlier legislation, you are not to hold that earlier and special legislation indirectly repealed, altered, or derogated from merely by force of such general words, without any indication of a particular intention to do so. In such cases it is presumed to have only general cases in view, and not particular cases which have been already otherwise provided for by the special Act.”


The Hon'ble Apex Court again applied this principle in the case of Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur Vs. Thakur Manmohan Dey & Others, AIR 1996 SC 1931.


Later on this issue came up before Hon'ble Delhi High Court in the case of RoC Vs Dharmandra Kumar Garg and the Hon'ble Court held that the applicant should obtain the information in accordance with the provisions of Section-610 of the Companies Act, 1956.


In view of this, the present decision of the IC is illegal and contrary to law.

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