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sidmis

Every time I seek information, I add the following line at the bottom.

 

During the Inspection I am intending to take photographs of Records, Documents, Objects that I am allowed to Inspect.

 

Invariably the PIOs [CPIO/SPIO] deny the same saying that taking photographs is not allowed in the Act.

 

So what is position? Any members of this forum ever used camera to take photographs during file inspection?

 

Any feedback/suggestion/decisions which may help me?

 

Sidharth

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sandeepbaheti

Never tried it. But as per my understanding, even if the act is silent in this regard, photography is just another way of taking notes/copies which is expressly allowed in the act. And if the inspection relates to public places like roads under construction etc. there is nothing to prevent you from taking photographs. Even if it relates to documents, right to take photographs is very much incidental to the right to inspect. I suggest you should take up this matter separately when you have to go to CIC/SIC the next time. If you present your case properly it is highly likely that they allow this and may be even make a rule in this regard.

Furthermore you can modify the line as:

"During the inspection I am intending to take notes, extracts or photographs of records, documents, objects that I am allowed to Inspect."

 

Sandeep

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sandeepbaheti

There you are. Here's what I found in the link provided by you:

"The standard method of photocopying is not the only available procedure for

taking out copies of documents.....It should be possible to explore alternative technological solutions for photocopying

delicate documents, such as using static cameras and other similar instruments to take

snaps of the pages.....

 

Anyways the act allows taking copies. It nowhere uses the word "photocopy". As is clear above, CIC regards photography as another way of taking copies. So it is perfectly ok to take photographs.

 

But take it for granted that PIOs, who are always willing to create all sorts of difficulties for information seekers will not allow you to take photographs even after a logical explanation. As pointed earlier we will have to take up the matter in CIC sometime. May be the next time you or any of us goes to CIC. Till then things will continue as they are.

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dssampath

Vow! it is splendid to note down the threads from all experts. Normally, we don't go thro the act inch by inch. Thanks to Karira.

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rajub

Incidently I found one order where taking photographs was allowed but in a different context. Any more such decisions can help me in my case.

 

http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_31012007_17.pdf

 

Thanks Sidharth,

 

Very useful citation.

 

I may have to use it sometime in future.

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Sunil Ahya

iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;

 

It is debatable.

 

If the information already exists in the form of video cassette or in any other electronic mode it can be obtained in the same format.

 

Similarly if the information exists in the computer it can be obtained in the form of printouts, floppies, diskettes etc.

 

But to use video camera and generate a video cassette to obtain information would be debatable.

 

Ofcourse one can equate photographing to photocopying because although the methods are different they will generate the same information in different forms.

 

But what information can be obtained by a video camera, they actually capture approx, by thumb rule 25 photographs per second (25fps) and when one views them in sequence it appears to be a movie, so if the information already exists in the form of video cassette it can be obatined but generating a video cassette is a ?

 

And also to prove the authenticity of a video as well as photograph would be difficult because it would be difficult to certify them, whereas a photocopy can be authentic as it can be easily certified.

 

But it needs to be debated and clarified at the CIC level.

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karira

abhi987,

 

What is describe is covered in the definition of "record" in section 2(i):

 

i) "record" includes—

a) any document, manuscript and file;

b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;

c) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and

d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device;

 

Always read Sec 2(f) which defines "information"

along with Sec2(i) which defines "record"

and Sec 2(j) which defines "right to information"

 

"Information" includes "record"

"record" includes "image" (which means photograph)

Therefore, as you say correctly, you can take a "image" which is available on "record".

 

However, "Right to Information" under Sec 2(j) includes the right to obtain information in the form of ".....video cassettes or any electronic mode....". This section describes the "form" in which the information can be obtained.

So I can go and ask under RTI to be allowed to take certified samples, inspect and also record on a video cassette and take pictures.

 

I have successfully taken a video while a road was being constructed and taken samples of the material being used.

 

It is very easy to prove the genuineness of the video/picture. Just make sure that one of the contractors or the PA's employees are in the picture. If possible take the days news paper along and make someone hold it up.

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sidmis

As members have said rightly taking sample in the form of Photographs(digital,analog,video etc.) is permitted.

 

So I will do my inspections under protest and intend to take the issue all the way to SIC/CIC level for a final decision.

 

I also request other forum members do these type of request and see what is the reply.

 

P.S. I may have to urge the PIOs to disallow it so that the case can be taken up further.

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rajub

 

It is very easy to prove the genuineness of the video/picture. Just make sure that one of the contractors or the PA's employees are in the picture. If possible take the days news paper along and make someone hold it up.

 

May I put my slightly different opinion ?

 

If you only shoot the day's newspaper it proves the video is taken on or after the date of newspaper.

 

If the person holding the newspaper say today is so and so date and I am holding today's newspaper then it would decisively prove the date of the video.

 

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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sidmis
If you only shoot the day's newspaper it proves the video is taken on or after the date of newspaper.

 

Good Idea.:)

 

But how to make it. :confused:

 

We have to ask someone(of our own) to hold out a Newspaper of that day in the Background, since no CPIO/SPIO or anyone in the PA's office will do that for you.

 

So you have to have both 1.) a PA Employee in the Background and then 2.)a person holding a Newspaper of that particular day in a Single frame.

 

Can we accomplish that?

 

One day I shall certainly give it a try, no matter how difficult it appears.

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sandeepbaheti

In one of the other posts (regarding unbranded petrol) Karira has posted that he actually made the petrol pump manager stand with a newspaper in his hand and photographed him. You should should ask him how he managed that. :D

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colnrkurup

However, whenever I seek inspection next, I will defenitely add following request also in my application:

 

" I request that I may please be facilitated to inspect the document No...........in terms of Section 2(j)(i) and obtain the record including its photograph produced by my digital camera (any other device) in terms of Section 2(i)(iv) of the Act wherever I find it expedient"

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Sunil Ahya

I appreciate the point of view, but what if I choose to hold a one day/month/year old newspaper and get the PIO in the same frame. It is taking my word that I did not do that, I am a honest person.

 

To prove the authenticity shall be difficult, unless someone can clarify how they can be certified.

 

Ofcourse this video/ photograph can be useful as a collateral evidence to substantiate the case, and more importantly can be used as a psychological tool.

 

I understand that in a number of sting operations, where videos have been taken, the authenticity of the tapes have been challenged, I am not sure in which such case the authenticity of the tape has been upheld as being genuine and not manipulated. I would appreciate if the members of the forum are aware of any such case where ultimately such tapes stood the test of time.

 

But nevertheless the job is done because of the media coverage, hence it has a great phsychological value.

 

If allowed it should be definetly used, because it will immediately put the PIO on backfoot.

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Justice

I am a bit curious. With many govt buildings sporting notices "Photography strictly prohibited" - a hangover from older national security concerns, now almost irrelevant, will officials be running for cover using that?

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sidmis

I am a bit curious. With many govt buildings sporting notices "Photography strictly prohibited" - a hangover from older national security concerns, now almost irrelevant, will officials be running for cover using that?

 

Most pertinent point.

 

I have no idea on who issues such a notices and who maintains

a register on such buildings/objects etc.?

 

Can you tell us more?

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rajub
Good Idea.:)

 

But how to make it. :confused:

 

.............................

............................

Can we accomplish that?

 

One day I shall certainly give it a try, no matter how difficult it appears.

 

Who said "the word impossible is not in my dictionary"?;)

 

 

 

I understand that in a number of sting operations, where videos have been taken, the authenticity of the tapes have been challenged

 

 

If the "information" and the person holding the newspaper is in the same frame and the person in the video testifies on oath then it will be irrefutable evidence. (it is almost impossible for the opposite party to refute it). I am not a lawyer so I cannot say it with certainty but my common sense says this should be the case.

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sidmis
(Apologies for sounding like a professor !)

 

You definitely sounded like an Old Professer.

 

Nonetheless a very Good Lecture indeed.

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Sunil Ahya

Kariraji is an institution.

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sandeepbaheti

What an analysis! Hats off to you.

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Justice

Regarding Photography being prohibited notices

I think these things originated after 1962 or 65. I have seen many of these in Kerala. Let me prowl around & check if they are still being maintained as such and will photograph a notice.

The problem with the govt is that any anything once done will continue perpectually without any thought of current relevance. (Newtons first Law of motion)

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clinsmalhotra

Can applicant take photographs of the records using camera at the time of inspection ?

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jps50

yes. It is advisable to inform in the RTI appln that U would be using camera for photocopying, so that at the last moment there is no dispute.

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clinsmalhotra

dear Mr. Shah , I would appreciate if you just provide a reference .

I met PIO of commission today and posed same question . The Gentleman PIO was amazed and said that he was not sure if such permission could be granted and said he would consult Commissioners on this and then commit himself . Then he raised issue of fee for photographing the record and said he was not sure how to charge fees , if any .

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