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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Preamble
Supreme Court(Preamble)/ CIC(Preamble)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 W.P.(C) 2258/2012 and CM APPL. 4845/2012 High Court of Delhi 20 Feb, 2014 UNION OF INDIA Vs PRAVEEN GUPTA

Information Sought:
a) What steps has been taken by the Ministry to improve Hindi Language give details.
b) What steps has been taken by the Ministry to made Hindi as National Language. What kind of work is being done by your ministry in Hindi. How much percentage of work is being done in Hindi.
c) Steps being taken by the ministry for NGOs, Media provide details. Copy of orders notification issued in respect to this.
d) Provide tails and location of next World Hindi Sammellan.

CPIO's Reply:
Delay in supplying information.

CIC's Decision:
The CIC has imposed penalty on the PIO on the ground that the information had been supplied after lapse of hundred days instead of prescribed period of thirty days.

In the opinion of this Court, the primary duty of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs is to maintain good diplomatic relations with different countries and to promote as well as protect the political, economic interest of the country abroad. If the limited manpower and resources of the Ministry of External Affairs are devoted to address such meaningless and vague queries, this Court is of the opinion that the office of the Ministry of External Affairs would come to a standstill.

Decision by High Court:
The competent authorities under the RTI Act will have to maintain a proper balance so that while achieving transparency the demand for information does not reach unmanageable proportions affecting other public interests, which include efficient operation of public authorities and the Government, preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information and optimum use of limited fiscal resources. The order of CIC dated 13th October, 2011 imposing penalty on the PIO set aside. Section 7(9).

Observations relating to the spirit enshrined in the Preamble of the Act:
The court cited Supreme Court judgement in ICAI vs. Shaunak H. Satya, (2011) 8 SCC781 and observed that “The competent authorities under the RTI Act will have to maintain a proper balance so that while achieving transparency, the demand for information does not reach unmanageable proportions affecting other public interests, which include efficient operation of public authorities
2 W.P. 18407 (W) of 2012 18 Dec, 2012 Tanuj Paul Vs. State of West Bengal and Ors

Information Sought:
Answer Script – Re-evaluation – the petitioner made an application seeking information relating to the marks awarded in the written examination as well as in the Person Personality Test in the Mathematics subject – the answer script of the mathematics subject was supplied to the petitioner. The petitioner demonstrated before the Hon’ble High Court that the answer to Question No. 29 has been evaluated to be totally incorrect and, therefore, no mark was awarded. The petitioner annexed the answer script of another examinee wherefore it appears that the said examinee had also answered in the manner similar to that of the petition and was awarded full marks. The discrepancy in evaluation is apparent. The petitioner prayed for re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer script, which has been turned down by the School Service Commission, as there is no provision for the same.

Decision by High Court:
The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta held that there is no justification in denying re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since non-symmetry in evaluation of the answer scripts is apparent, the said school service commission should do re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. The Hon’ble High Court relied upon its own earlier unreported judgement, rendered in the case of Sharmistha Maji Vs. The State of West Bengal & Ors. (W.P. 10377 (W) of 2012) decided on October 10, 2012, wherein it was held that in order to achieve the declared goal of promoting “transparency and accountability”, the commission, a public authority, while shouldering responsibility, should evolve a mechanism for re-examination or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since the preamble of the RTI Act lays down the scope and purpose of the Act, re-examination or re-evaluation by the Commission would be a concrete step for promoting “transparency and accountability”, as it would dispel doubts about the manner of examination or evaluation of the answer scripts. In order words, merely furnishing an answer script does not promote accountability as the Commission has to explain the method or examination or evaluation which ca be done, if sought for, by a candidate by re-examination or re-evaluation of his answer script thus making the system transparent.

3 C.W.P. No. 10981 of 2012 (O&M) 30 Oct, 2012 Ved Parkash and others Petitioners Vs State of Haryana and others Respondents

The issue in this case was whether joint applications are valid or not under RTI Act.

a) Para 2. Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that the petitioners herein filed application seeking certain information from Public Information Officer, PWD, B&R, Jind Circle and deposited the requisite fee. As some sketchy and incomplete information was provided by the Public Information Officer, the petitioners preferred appeal before the first appellate authority, who vide order dated nil, endorsement dated 7.12.2011, directed for supply of the information and also warned the Public Information Officer to be careful in future. As the information was still not provided, the petitioners preferred appeal before the Commission, which was dismissed by holding that the petitioners have no right to invoke the provisions of the Act in terms of Section 3 thereof, as only a citizen individually has the right to seek information and not a group of citizens.

b) Para 3. Learned counsel further submitted that the petitioners, who are three in number, are citizens of India. The application was filed by them to avoid multiplicity of litigation as the information sought by them was common. It could be sought even by each one of them individually. It is not that if three persons had approached the authority under the Act jointly, their individual status would change. It will not become a legal entity as such different from their individual status which may not be termed as citizens of India, such as society or company. He further submitted that before taking up the appeal filed by the petitioners, the Commission did not even grant opportunity of hearing to them.

c) Para 4. Learned counsel for the State though tried to make effort to defend the order but could not successfully plead that if three individuals file a petition jointly, the information cannot be provided holding their application to be not maintainable. As far as merits of the controversy are concerned, learned counsel submitted that the entire information, as sought by the petitioners, has already been supplied. Copies of the Rules, as have been sought, will also be supplied and in fact, the grouse of the petitioners does not subsist and the petition deserves to be dismissed.

Decision by High Court:
Merely because more than one citizen had sought information by filing a joint application when their cause of action is same, it cannot be rejected holding that the same was filed by group of persons. The ultimate object is to avoid multiplicity. In case more than one individual can file separate application for same relief, they can always file a joint application.
4 W.P. 10377 (W) of 2012 along with W.P. Nos. 13269 (W), 10155 (W), 10193 (W), 13188 (W), 14583 (W),14168 (W), 14186 (W), 10694 (W), 15532 (W), 15533 (W), 15537 (W), 15561 (W), 15666 (W), 15839 (W), 22862 (W), 22862 (W) of 2012 10 Oct, 2012 Sharmistha Maji Vs. State of West Bengal and ORs.

Issue for determination was that whether the system of evaluation of the answer sheets can be the subject matter under RTI Act.

Information Sought:
An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority – Re-examination or re-evaluation of answer scripts.

The petitioners who appeared in the RLST, being dissatisfied with the marks awarded, filed written applications before the Commission under the RTI Act for having copies of their answer scripts – the Commission provided the copies of the answer scripts. The common grievance of the petitioners is that the said answer scripts were not evaluated in a proper manner. The petitioners stated that though applications were filed before the Commission for re-examination or re-evaluation of the answer scripts, however, those have been turned down in the absence of specific provisions in the West Bengal School Service Commission (selection of Persons for Appointment to the Post of Teachers) Rules, 2007. The petitioners contended that since the RTI Act is for promotion of transparency and accountability in the working of every authority, any order denying re-examination or re-evaluation or the answer scripts would be in breach or its object.

Decision by High Court:
The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta held that a Public Authority, while shouldering responsibility, should evolve a mechanism for re-examination or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since the preamble of the RTI Act lays down the scope and purpose of the Act, re-examination or re-evaluation by the Commission would be a concrete step in promoting “transparency and accountability”, as it would clear doubts about the manner of examination or evaluation of the answer scripts. In other words, merely furnishing as answer scripts does not promote accountability as the Commission has to explain the method of examination or evaluation which can be done, if sought for, by a candidate by re-examination or re-evaluation of his answer scripts thus making the system transparent.
5 L.P.A. No. 543 of 2009 11 Jul, 2011 The Commissioner (Appeal) of Central Excise and Service Tax, Ranchi Appellant Vs Central Information Commission, New Delhi

The Commissioner (Appeal) of Central Excise and Service Tax, Ranchi Appellant Vs Central Information Commission, New Delhi

The issue for determination is whether under the RTI Act could direct for reconstruction of the record and then furnish the information to the applicant.
Total Case uploaded: 5