Tag of ‘RTI Activist’ is no gateway for claiming information

Tag of ‘RTI Activist’ is no gateway for claiming information

Says Chief Information Commissioner Dr. Suchetana Swaroop

Mysuru:  Citizens who want to obtain information under RTI (Right To Information) Act 2005, with the tag of ‘RTI Activist’ entering the government offices, have no right to do so, stated Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Dr. Suchetana Swaroop.

He was interacting with the officials of the various Departments at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on Monday and said that these days a few private individuals are coming to the government offices and introducing themselves as RTI activists.

When an official brought this issue to the notice of the CIC and asked whether information can be given, he said that under RTI Act there is no provision to provide the information to such people.

“If this person in the name of an organisation applies to seek information then it need not be considered,” he clarified and added “however, if a person has not identified himself with any organisation or as an activist then in the interest of the public he can be given information.”

He also made it clear at the same time that all government offices, except the President of India, come under the purview of the RTI Act. However, there is a move to bring in nearly 50 per cent of the organisations who are getting grants from the government under this Act.

Under this Act, investigation reports, photocopies of spot mahazar, confidential information of government servants, private organisations, hospitals and action taken against government servants need not be given. But in a few cases it is left to the discretion of the respective Regional Officers to give information, he said.

The CIC said that a Department need not transfer application to another Department if it has no information sought by an applicant under RTI Act 2005.

“The Department can transfer the application to the authority concerned under Section 6 (3). It is also not necessary to provide the information of several years. The application can be disposed off by providing information for one year,” he said.

MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha, MUDA Secretary Savitha, Women and Child Welfare Deputy Director Radha, Tahsildar Ramesh Babu and others were present.

August 8, 2018

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