High Court`s Judgements on RTI

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Judgments of various
High Courts on RTI
Act,2005
DECISION IN SLP (CIVIL) NO.34868
OF 2009 BY THE HON’BLE SC
 In Khanapuram Gandaiah Vs Adminstrative
Officer cum Assistant State Public
Information Officer & Others the SC has held
that:
 The information which already exists with a
PA OR accessible by a PA under an existing
Law is supposed to be given to citizen.
 A Citizen is not entitled to get ‘why such
opinion, advices, circulars ,orders etc’.
Section 2 (h) – Public Authority
 WP No. 288/09 was filed by the CPIO Supreme
Court of India against the order of CIC.
 The issue for consideration was whether the CJI is a
PA as defined under RTI Act and also whether the
office of CPIO of SC is different from that of CJI.
 Another issue was regarding the declaration of
assets by judges is an information as defined u/s
2(f)
 The HC held that CJI & office of SC are PAs and
declaration of assets is information and accordingly
directed the CPIO to furnish the information
 Against the said judgment the CPIO of SC
filed appeal before Division bench.
 The division bench upheld the judgment of
the Single Bench observing that the Pa as
used in the Act is of wide amplitude an
includes an authority created by or under
the Constitution of India ,which description
holds good for CJI
Information held or under the
control of a PA
 In WP (civil) No. 6265 of 2007 the Delhi High
Court has held that the definition given in
section 2(f) & 2(j) has to be read
harmoniously.
 If a PA has a right to access information from
a private body, under any Law, it is
information as defined u/s 2(f) and has to be
furnished to citizen.
 It further said that a private body need not be
a PA and the term private body has been
used only to distinguish the term PA
 The HC has further held that as per definition of
Third Party u/s 2(n) TP includes not only the
PA but also any private body or person other
than the person making the request.
 A private body or third party can take
objection under section 8 before a PIO or the
IC
 The HC further held that to deny information
the case must be brought under any of the
clauses of section 8.
PIO is a Quasi –Judicial authority.
 In Special Civil Application No. 17067 of 2007 the HC of
Gujarat has held that the presence of a lis or contest
between two contending parties before a statutory
authority is sufficient to hold that such a statutory
authority is quasi-judicial authority
 In the absence of a lis before a statutory authority ,the
authority would be quasi judicial authority if it is
required to act judicially.
 This principle was held by SC in Indian national
Congress Vs Institute of Social Welfare and others.
 Applying this principle the HC of Gujarat has held that
PIO is a Quasi – Judicial Authority and hence the PIO
has to pass a reasoned order in the 3rd party’s case
Third Party’s Rights
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The Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat
have very deeply discussed the
rights of a third party in the said case
The HC has divided the rights of a
third party in to two:Pre-Decisional rights and II.PostDecision Rights
Pre-Decisional Rights
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To get a written notice if PIO intends to
disclose or supply the information.
The details/nature of information asked by
the applicant.
To treat the information as confidential at
any stage.
To be invited for making his submission.
To take in to consideration the submission
of third party by PIO.
Right of being heard.
Right to get a speaking order.
Post-Decision Rights
 To get a stay order if PIO dec ided to disclose
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the information till the appeal period is over or
appeal is disposed.
Right to get a notice in writing of the decision
of PIO with statement therein that the TP is
entitled to prefer an appeal . [Sec .11(3) &(4)]
Right to prefer First Appeal . [Sec.19(2)].
Right to prefer Second Appeal . [Sec.19(3)].
Right to get a chance for personal hearing
before First and Second AA
Personal Information
 Decision in writ petition no.1 of 2009 by the Bombay
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high court
As far as a public servant is concerned nothing
remains personal while he discharge his official duty.
A public servant continues to be a public servant for
all 24 hours
When a citizen asks about leave availed by a public
servant such information is to be supplied and there
is no question of privacy at all.
Application for leave is not a medical record at all and
it also to be given when requested by citizen.
Every citizen is entitled to have the information which
parliament can have.
HC of Punjab & Haryana
 WP(C) No.1869/2008
 In this case an amount of Rs.25000 was imposed
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on petitioners for not furnishing the information
within time.
The petitioners challenged the order alleging that
it was not their fault alone, but of Tahsildar.
According to HC The IC had examined the matter
in detail before fixing the liability.
The HC observed that the officers are trying to
blame each other and they are equally liable for
non-supply of information to citizen.
Hence the HC justified the order of IC
HC of Andhra Pradesh
[WP No. 4108 of 2008]
 In this case the petitioner filed an application under
RTI to Government for list of all such IAS officers
against whom Anti corruption Bureau conducted
enquiries and recommended departmental action
and also the cases in which the government did not
accept the recommendations of the ACB and
dropped further action.
 Since the petitioner did not get the information he
approached the CIC u/s 18.
 At that time The Govt. secretary issued an order
stating that the information sought by the petitioner
is exempted u/s 8(1) (h) and 8(1) (j)
 The CIC directed the PIO to furnish the
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information.
Since the petitioner did not received the
information he filed a Writ above.
During the pendency also the PIO did not furnish
the information in spite of sufficient time granted
by HC.
The HC allowed the petition with the observation
of lethargic attitude of officers and government.
The HC finally ordered to furnish the information
within 2 weeks
HC of Punjab & Haryana
[CWP No.1785 of 2008]
 The petitioner was an Advocate. He applied to
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PIO for certified copies of various documents.
The PIO furnished the information , but with
delay. He filed appeal before SIC.
He argued and proved before SIC that the delay
was not deliberate or wilful. SIC admitted and
dismissed the appeal
Against this the petitioner filed WP.
HC held that there is no merit in the WP
 HC observes that there are numerous situation
for imposing penalty on PIO under section 20 of
the Act.
 A period of 30 days has been provided u/s 7(1)
for furnishing information and delay beyond 30
days has to be without any reasonable cause.
 In this case there is no room for us to believe
that the delay was not reasonable or wilful or
delay was actuated by malafide intention
HC of Allahabad
 The petitioner made request to Amitabh Bachan for
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certain information relating to an advertisement
telecasted in some channels,
The PIO did not furnished within time and so he filed
appeal before SIC.
After hearing SIC held that the provisions of RTI Act
is not applicable to Bachan.
He filed WP before the HC
Considering the relevant provisions under section 2
(h), 2 (j) and 11 of the Act. The HC held that Bachan
had merely acted in the advertisement without
accepting any amount as he was a Branch
Ambassador.
 The HC observed that Shri Bachan was a honorary
member of UP Development Council also and he
has not availed any facility attached to these posts.
 The HC further held that the alleged advertisement
of Baachan was not financed by the State
Government directly or indirectly.
 Holding the HC held that the provisions of RTI Act in
respect of the alleged advertisement is not
applicable to Shri Bachan and hence the petition
was dismissed by HC at the admission stage itself.
HC OF HARIYANA
CWP No.19682 of 2006
 In this case the petitioner advocate information
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concerning group insurance and benevolent fund
scheme mandatorily prescribed by the Punjab Bar
Council for practicing advocates.
The matter came up before SIC.
During the pendency the Bar Council filed WP
alleging that the SIC has no jurisdiction to deal with
the issue under the provisions Advocates Act 1961.
The HC upheld the contentions of the Bar Council .
The HC held that the state of Punjab, Hariyana and
UT Chandigarh have no control over Bar Council.
 Hence they cannot be construe has appropriate
government within the meaning of the section 2 (a)
of the RTI Act.
 The HC further held that the appropriate authority in
the case of bar council would be Central
Government and therefore the Central Information
Commission would be competent to deal with the
issue raised with the petition and the HC set-aside
all the proceedings pending before SIC
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HC OF KARNATAKA
CCC No. 525 of 2008
 The contempt petition has been filed for non
implementation of the order passed by the
Karnataka IC.
 The material point for consideration of the HC was
whether the contempt petition filed by the petitioner
for disobedience of the order passed by the
Karnataka IC in exercise of powers and functions
under section 18 and 19 of the RTI Act is
maintainable.
 The HC observed that the RTI Act itself provides for
penalty on the defaulting officer by levy of fine and
also by recommending disciplinary action. Thus RTI
Act itself provides for the procedure and remedy.
 The HC further held that the RTI Act itself is a self
contained code and even if it has specifically spelt
out it must be deemed to have been confirmed upon
the commission the power to make its order
effective by having recourse to Sec.20 .
 Accordingly the HC held that the complainant has to
seek relief before SIC and the petition is hence not
maintainable.
Thank You
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