Can’t demand signed copies of on-line RTI functions: CIC to Army

New Delhi, July 12

Demanding a signed copy of an internet RTI software negates the entire function of such a mechanism, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has stated whereas cautioning the Army to chorus from such a apply.

Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha held that searching for citizenship proof in case of demand of delicate info is justified however searching for a signed copy of the applying doesn’t appear acceptable as the web portal doesn’t mandate importing of signatures.

Sinha was listening to the plea of an Odisha-based RTI applicant who had sought from the Army info concerning the implementation of guidelines beneath the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, in all defence institutions.

The Army didn’t present any info to the applicant, the CIC famous.

Akhand approached the Commission with a criticism that the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the military has demanded a signed copy of his on-line RTI software in addition to id proof earlier than offering him with the information.

“In this regard, it may be noted that as far as the CPIO’s request for citizenship proof is concerned, the same is not questioned as Commission in its prior decision(s) has held the view that Armed Forces stand on a slightly different footing as there may be instances that involve the disclosure of sensitive information, and for such reasons, it may be rational for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof,” Sinha famous.

He, nonetheless, stated the info of the moment case “do not suggest disclosure of sensitive information”.

A Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment could also be referred within the matter of Fruit & Merchant Union vs Unknown, selected November 2, 2012, which has validated the necessity for RTI candidates to supply id proof, he stated.

However, asking for a signed copy of an internet RTI software didn’t appear acceptable as the web portal didn’t mandate importing of signatures, Sinha stated.

“…if the applicants do so voluntarily by uploading a signed copy of the RTI Application under the supporting documents head, it is acceptable but insisting on a signed copy of online RTI Applications cannot be a norm and delaying the provision of information for want of a signed copy of online RTI Application negates the whole purpose of filing an online RTI Application,” he stated.

Sinha directed the CPIO to train due warning whereas coping with on-line RTI functions in future. PTI

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