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DoPT circulates decision of Bombay High Court on definition of "information"


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  • Super Moderator
karira

In a circular dated 01 June 2009, DoPT has informed various authorities about a Bombay High Court (Goa Bench) decision which has stated that:

 

 

"The definition of information cannot include within its fold answers to the question "why" which would be same thing as asking the reason for a justification for a particular thing. The public information authorities cannot expect to communicate to the citizen the reason why a certain thing was done or not done in the sense of a justification because the citizen makes a requisition about information. Justifications are matter within the domain of adjudicating uthorities and cannot properly be classified as information. "

 

The circular is attached to this post.

1_7_2009-IR.pdf

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  • 6 months later...
vnatarajan

Can someone well versed on tis try to extract relevant part of judgment cited & Om issued as per the information my friend KSrinivasan of Railways has furnished:

 

"Judgment of GOA high court issued in Apr 2008. Latest DOPT guidelines issued on 5th Oct 2009 to PIO/AA clearly states para 9 PROVIDING REASONS FOR DECISIONS. The public authorites take various adminstrative and quasi judicial decisions which affect the inteerests of certain persons. It is mandatory for the concerned publi authority to provide reasons for such decisions to the affected persons.

 

HIS SUGGESTION: "RTI Applicants instead of using the words "Why" should simply ask " Kindly provide reasons for .."

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vnatarajan

Thanks Karira.

 

I liked the remarks therein:

 

"So, please follow the same attitude. When anyone quotes a DoPT circular, just say "Oh that is only a circular. Is it a Law or in the Act somewhere ? Has it been Gazetted ?".

 

Same rebuff I have given in some of my queries. I use the CPIO's submission itself in the issue I am fighting out (Injustice to pre-2006 Pensioners) where he conveys to defend himself (for violating the Cabinet Decisions) stating that "OMs are only calrifications/ modifications and hence they do not require Cabinet Approvals"- It suits him to answer so.

 

In my appeal I have used the same explanation to point out that all those "clarificatory OMs" are nothing short of waste paper and hence pensioners need not be made to suffer from them as they are not mandatory Rules/ Cabinet decided verdicts!

 

Anyhow- underdogs are Citizens!

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pooorabyoura

OMs may be so much waste paper for you and me, but for subordinates in that O, these OMs are orders which the subordinate cannot ignore, violate, pass judgment on or remark upon.

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OMs may be so much waste paper for you and me, but for subordinates in that O, these OMs are orders which the subordinate cannot ignore, violate, pass judgment on or remark upon.

 

If subordinates violates/ignores/passes judgement on OM what you and me can do?

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pooorabyoura
If subordinates violates/ignores/passes judgement on OM what you and me can do?

 

My reference was to attempts at coaxing/encouraging subordinates to violate or ignore OMs issued.

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  • 1 month later...
venkatesans

Reasons or justifications for decision taken are noted in Note File. As per this Act, Note file is open document. Then, why the citizen should not ask for the copy of the note file also, instead of asking the same by the word "Why?"

 

Dr.S.N.Venkatesan, RTI trainer, Chennai.

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  • Super Moderator
Reasons or justifications for decision taken are noted in Note File. As per this Act, Note file is open document. Then, why the citizen should not ask for the copy of the note file also, instead of asking the same by the word "Why?"

 

Dr.S.N.Venkatesan, RTI trainer, Chennai.

 

Dr Venkatesan,

 

DoPT issues circulars which are based on "their own" interpretations.

This point regarding Why, etc. has already been addressed in a recent decision of CIC. Please see:

 

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/42513-received-sent-questions-sec-4-1-d-turning-entire-sec-4-1-its-head.html

 

Just for your information and to buttress my point about how DoPT works and interprets the Court orders, please also read this funny interpretation of DoPT of another High Court order :

 

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/5524-dopt-circular-regarding-central-information-commission-state-information-commission-not-allowed-refund-right-information-fees.html

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  • Moderators

Reasons for a govt decision which are recorded in records of govt are accessible under RTI Act 2005 under section 4.1.d. However, applicant cannot compel PIO to create reasons of his own, if none is on record.

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