Sunday, February 27, 2011

Re: [HumJanenge] Centre must add purpose clause to RTI Act

Let me take an example

"A Mr. Ajmal Kasab applies from London UK to the CPIO of the Central Railways Mumbat asking to be provided building plans and 1:10000 scale blueprints of the building popularly known as Victoria Terminus Railway Station (Mumbai) including the inter-track tunnel system at the prescribed fees under RTI".

Is the PIO allowed to ask him to provide "evidence" that he is a citizen of India ?

How can the PIO assess the if the disclosure of such information would lead to incitement of an offence (like planting timed bombs in railways carriages)  or damage the security of the State unless he is allowed to ask reasons. Would it make a difference if a registered architect or a conservationist is seeking this information for research ? Unfortunately nobody has applied their minds to these questions.

Let me take another example. An Architect Mr Sudhir Vohra has won a case in High Court to get blueprints of Delhi Metro Rail's structures. Why cannot a terrorist or their proxy apply for the same in RTI ? In the old days the OSA ensured that such info would not be given, now all our lives are at risk because of RTI..


On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 10:42 PM, Dwarakanath <> wrote:
Friends, The Indian Evidence Act does not have a place for 'suspicion' or for recognising 'suspicion'.  If the CPIO suspects contravention of other provisions of the Act or other laws in force, he can keep and store his suspicions within himself.  The RTI Act in the relevant sections have used the mandate "SHALL" INSTEAD OF "may".  The PIO can make as much suspicision as he wants but cannot attribute those suspicisions as reasons for rejection.  If the suspicisons are well founded, he is at liberty to inform the concerned Police/CID/COD, invstigation agencies or the Income Tax Authorities, about his suspicion for further action found suitable by them. Regads dwarakanathdm, nbca.

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 9:31 PM, Sarbajit Roy <> wrote:

I concur that when a High Court prescribes rules under RTI Act it must be made within the 4 corners of the Act.

In the specific case of 6(2) whereas the Act only requires that an applicant requesting information cannot be required to give reasons for seeking information or inessential personal information, there is no bar in the Act to a CPIO requiring such information as a precondition to disclosing information if he has reason to suspect contravention of other provisions of the Act or other laws in force.

In this light, 6(2) is certainly open to question / challenge in a fit case.


On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM, Justice Kamleshwar Nath <> wrote:
Dear Sri Sarbajit ji,

       Statutes mean what they say, not what  may follow from them. If the
High Court has to make rules in respect of RTI Act, they must be made within
the four corners of  RTI Act. The Court cannot make Rule to demand
disclosure of reason, because it would be ultra vires of Section 6(2); the
same would apply to Governments. The Parliament will  have to amend Section
6(2) of the Act; but that may be violative of the Fundamental Right
independently of RTI Act. On second thoughts, it may be permissible for
Parliament to amend Section 6(2) and provide for reason; but that would be
violative of the 'spirit' of FR/RTI Act which may not be 'illegal' but
certainly would be 'ill-advised'. The Court cannot question the wisdom of
legislature. After all, RTI Act does provide for exceptions  in Section 8
and elsewhere. The 'reason' issue will certainly be open to question.


From the Desk of :

Justice Kamleshwar Nath
: Up-Lokayukta ( Karnataka ), Vice Chairman - C.A.T ( Allahbad ),
 Judge - High Court ( Lucknow & Allahbad )
`Gunjan', C - 105, Niralanagar, Lucknow : 226 020. Uttar Pradesh, India
Res. :
Mob. :
+91-522-2789033 & +91-522-4016459

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Sarbajit Roy
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2011 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: [HumJanenge] Centre must add purpose clause to RTI Act


Art 225 actually clarifies that the pre-Constitutional powers of the
EXISTING High Courts (incl. their powers to frame their rules) are
henceforth (26 Jan 1950) subject to the Constitution and any laws made
under the Constitution (which includes RTI Act).

You are correct Sir that the rules I referred to concern enforcement
of Fundamental Rights which now includes the Right to Information. My
point was that if a High Court can lawfully restrict citizens from
filing Writs by demanding all kinds of personal information and
reasons for filing writs, then by analogy the State can do so too when
it comes to giving effect to a particular right AT THE APPELLATE STAGE
(since the application stage faces a legal bar in the RTI Act)


On 2/25/11, Justice Kamleshwar Nath <> wrote:
> Dear Sri Sarbajit,
> Thanks. Rules of the Bombay High Court seem to concern Petitions filed in
> the High Court under Writ Jurisdiction for enforcement of Fundamental
> Rights. High Court's power to frame Rules for its own business are
> in Article 225 of the Constitution. That has nothing to do with RTI Act.
> It is correct that I retired long ago (1988) and there may be laws or
> interpretation of which I may not be aware. That is why I wished to have
> latest information from you.
> Thanking you again and with regards,
>                          KN

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