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Information so gathered, can that be used in court of law?


crusader
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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?

 

The information provided under RTI can be starting point for redressal of grivances during the process of redressal the competent authority can ask for information from the concerned office if required.

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chanda_s

kushal thats a wonderful piece of analysis that you made.

if a person wants a copy of a letter under rti, the copy is provided but not signed as a certified true copy. that itself makes that paper value less in any judicial proceedings.

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ganpat1956

I have some reservations over this issue. The law of evidence permits that documents may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence. Sec.65 of the Evidence Act provides for the admissibility of secondary evidence under certain circumstances. In the instant case, eventhough the document obtained under RTI is not a certified copy, if the litigant files a sworn affidavit to the effect that he has obtained the copy of the documents through RTI and that the original is in possession of the party against whom the document is sought to be proved, then what will be the status of admissibility of this uncertified document. If there are any legal practitioners among our members, please clarify on this point.

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karira

Can someone please clarify on this.

I have a pending matter where I need to use the document obtained under

RTI for filing a case against the Govt. as well as complaining to the Vigilance cell.

Any clarification will be welcome.

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I am inclined to agree with Mr.Ganpat. In fact, applicants have been using the information obtained under the RTI Act in the Income Tax Tribunals, High Court and CJMs and the courts have taken cognisance of such information, which were not counter signed/attested/ certified by the CPIO. The fact that CIC also recognises this fact, though not specifically stated so, in Decision No.40/IC(A)/06/ F.No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00109 Dated, the 16th May, 2006, stating,

"The matter is sub-judice and the Income Tax Department cannot, in the absence of Court’s orders, be made a conduit for supply of third party information in what is essentially a civil dispute."

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ganpat1956

if a person wants a copy of a letter under rti, the copy is provided but not signed as a certified true copy. that itself makes that paper value less in any judicial proceedings.

 

U/s 2 j (ii) of the RTI Act, the right to information includes " the right to extracts or certified copies of documents or records". If an applicant specifically asks for certified copies of documents, then the PIO is left with no alternative than to provide the information in the manner sought for by the applicant.

 

This provision of the Act somehow escaped my attention, when I made the earlier posting on the admissibility as evidence of a document obtained under RTI Act.

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I have some reservations over this issue. The law of evidence permits that documents may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence. Sec.65 of the Evidence Act provides for the admissibility of secondary evidence under certain circumstances. In the instant case, eventhough the document obtained under RTI is not a certified copy, if the litigant files a sworn affidavit to the effect that he has obtained the copy of the documents through RTI and that the original is in possession of the party against whom the document is sought to be proved, then what will be the status of admissibility of this uncertified document. If there are any legal practitioners among our members, please clarify on this point.

 

Section 6 (2) of the RTI Act clearly read as "An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him."

 

Further all such documents received under the RTI Act are considered as public documents Section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, while certified documents are deemed to be originals under Section 77 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872.

 

Reading allof the above together, the receiver of documents under RTI ACT can them for any purpose he wants to without any questions being asked.

 

I am not a legal expert. :D

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slchowdhary

In most of my RTI cases I have obtained 'Satyapit Pratilipi' duly signed by PIO. I do not see any reason why any law will prevent use of such documents until there is some valid opp from opposition. Let the law develop.

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karira

I have presented documents obtained through RTI as part of a WP in the AP High Court without any problems.

 

Moreover, I have seen several judgements of the Delhi HC and the Punjab & Haryana HC wherein the judges themselves have suggested to the petitioner to obtain documents through RTI and approach the court once again. The matters under consideration by the court were not related to RTI at all.

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colnrkurup

I too fully agree with Mr.Ganpat.The information or copy of letter provided by the PIO has tobe certified copies of documents or records. There is no reason why it should not be used as an evidence. Of cource by mere production of a document obtained through RTI Act or even otherwise does not automatically become a valid piece of evidence in a court case. Such documents has to be PROVED. Proved means someone has to enter into witness stand and produce the document. He can be examined and cross examined and the document has to be marked a evidence.

 

In the case of documents obtained through RTI, the Opposition Advocate may insist on calling the PIO or even the person who is the custodian of the original document to produce it failing which they may refuce to accept it as evidence. Of cource based on the type of evidence the Judge may give appropriate decision.

I have a case where the Munsiff has accepted a defendents document without proving despite my repeated pleding against it. Even though there are specific decisions staing that a documnt cannot be admitted in evidence without proving, in my case the decision adverse to me is made by the Munsiff purely based on above unproven document. So everything is possible in our present judicial system.

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opsharma

In the beginning only I must confess,I am not a lawyer,

also, I gather none of you above are .But I do agree with Karira and Col. on their interpretations and Col for his practical experience fighting RTI cases.The Indian Evidence Act, Sec 65(secondary evidence) and Sec 76(certified copies of public documents) are very clear on admissibility .However, even if common sense dictates that a copy provided by PIO should be admitted as second evidence,it still falls under dictum: "omina praesumuntur rite esse acta" (all acts are presumed to be rightly done). It is a "prima facie" evidence (Sec79-90).

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The Great

Dear Sirs,

I have obtained certified copy of the document through RTI,it were sealed & signed by the PIO. So, wonder how it will not be accepted as evidence in the court? Also I came to learnt that, one of our Association member(Of work place),has filed several tribunal cases with the help of these documents.

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jps50

I think certified copies of record obtained under RTI can be relied upon in courts and tribunals. If need be, the seeker of the record can himself produce the same in court/tribunal and declare that the same is obtained through RTI. In extreme cases, PIO or the custodian of the record may be summoned.

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opsharma

Mishra The Great,I think either you didnot read my post or you missed the gist.IT IS ADMISSIBLE as a secondary evidence,there isn't even iota of doubt in that. But it is a prima facie presumption,for your benefit, I quote The Indian Evidence Act,"But though the Courts are directed to draw a presumption in favour of official certificates,it is not a conclusive presumption-it is rebuttable".

Notwithstanding the nittygritty,semantics and presumptions ,suffice to say that a certifid copy ,from PIO or any other designated public authority,is admissible as secondary evidence in the court of law.

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ganpat1956

Friends, Let us discuss only the issue and not the individuals. All on a sudden this thread gets activated after 10 months and there are 7 new posts in a single day in as many hours. Is there any change in the position of law after Mr Manoj Pai has made his post?

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karira

ganpat,

 

New members keep joining this forum.

Some of them go through all the threads or those old threads which they find "interesting" and post comments.

So, suddenly you see activity in a thread long forgotten.

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When asking information it is always required to keep in mind for what purpose information required.If certainly to produce in judicial proceeding better to ask certified copies.In fact I have received certified copies when asked for.Moreover if copies of notings etc too if not certified certainly it carries a forwarding letter of PIO in original and same shall serve its purpose without any difficulties.Moreover if opposite party casts a question on veracity of such documents produced in xerox ,court may be asked to summon the persons keeping them or get from them confirmation as in no case original is the property of the party producing them

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Is the document made available by the central/state public information officer is admissible as evidence in a court of law?

I had submitted a petition under section 6 of RTI act to the state public information officer of Kolkata Police who is an officer of joint Commissioner rank.He first gave me a reply with a cover note under his signature but the sheet which contained the information was not signed.I sent it back claiming that I wanted an authenticated information and I got itafter 7 days .Since then I had occasion to seek information on three more counts and every time I got the information under his seal and signature.

adil

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