DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST IN INFORMATION SOUGHT UNDER RTI

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Introduction

Right to Information (RTI) in India is basically governed under Right to Information Act, 2005 as this act sets out set of rules and regulations regarding the citizens of India’s right to information. Before we understand how does Right To information works in India lets first understand the objective of RTI act, The primary goal is to empower citizens while also ensuring openness and accountability in government processes. , combat corruption, and make our democracy truly function for the people It goes without saying that a well-informed citizen is better able to maintain a close eye on the tools of governance and hold the government responsible to the people. The Act is an important step towards keeping individuals informed about government operations. Now that we understand the purpose of the act  let’s see how does RTI work in India, to begin with the full Right to Information Act, 2005 is available in Hindi and English on the website of Department of Personnel and Training then the concerned citizen can file an application to public information officer(PIO)now if for some reason PIO rejects citizen’s request for information or the citizen isn’t satisfied with the PIO’s response then the citizen can file an appeal with the first appellate authority under section 19 (1) of the right to Information Act and if the information is still not available with the citizen then they can opt for the last resort in the act which is a second appeal . They can file second appeal with the Information Commission.

 

Is disclosure of interest in information sought under RTI required?

Now that we have a basic understanding of what is RTI and how does it work in India, let us address the issue of whether a disclosure of interest in information sought under RTI is required.

To address this question let us look at the observations made by the Delhi high court in January 2021 where the court had said on 12 January that This Court is of the judgement that wherever information is requested under the RTI Act, declaration of an interest in the information requested would be essential to demonstrate the bonafides of the applicant. Non-disclosure of the same might result in unfairness to numerous other impacted people, whose information is requested this become a very controversial observation made by court as this was in contradiction of section 6(2) of the RTI act, 2005 where the section mentions that the applicant requesting for the information need not give any reason for the request or need not give any personal information other than that which may be required to contact them. However later on in the same month they clarified on their observation that the interest in information is only required when the applicant requests for personal information so that the court understand the intention of the applicant as in the case where they had made this observation the father had requested information relating to the appointments made for multi-tasking staff of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, and his daughter had applied for the same post.

Conclusion

After looking at the case in Delhi high court we can conclude that there is a need for disclosure of interest in information sought under RTI, when the information requested asks for personal information, the need arises so that the concerned authorities can understand the intention of the applicant as to whether is applicant doesn’t have any hidden interest in it as then the information given would be used negatively. As seen in the case where the father had asked information relating to appointments made for multi-tasking staff of the Presidential Estate as his daughter had also applied so he had a vested interest in this and if he would have been asked to disclose his interest behind gaining this information then his ulterior motives would have been caught. Hence this disclosure of interest is very important in the cases where personal information is sought as it would help the concerned authorities catch people if they have requested information for their own ulterior motives.

Artcle By:-Prakhar rai

References

  1. https://rti.gov.in/rtiact.asp
  2. https://rti.gov.in/
  3. section 6(2) rti act,2005
  4. section 19(1) rti act,2005
  5. https://www.conservationindia.org/wp-content/files_mf/What_is_Right_to_Information_and_how_to_use_it_final.pdf
  6. https://www.theleaflet.in/disclosure-of-interest-necessary-in-information-sought-under-rti-delhi-hc-modifies-order-adds-personal-before-information/

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