Ansari proposes penalty on frivolous RTI applications

Majority of the info commissioners against the idea of curbing frivolous applications


Danish Raza | October 13, 2010

Professor M M Ansari, one of the information commissioners at the central information commission believes that the government should impose cost on frivolous and vexatious applications to discourage such applications. In his paper, circulated at first foundation day lecture of CIC held in the capital on Tuesday, Ansari has said that the cost to the government in servicing an RTI application varies between Rs 10 to Rs 30,000, the ultimate burden of which is borne by the tax payer.

“Even though the net benefit of the use of the information laws may be higher than the cost to the society, there is need to discourage frivolous and vexatious applications,” said he.

“Suitable provisions for awarding costs -- similar to the one enjoyed by courts and the proposed provision in Whistleblower Act should be considered
so as to minimise misuse the provisions of the RTI Act by disgruntled
elements,” he added.

Curbing frivolous and vexatious applications has found mention every time the government has hinted at making amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act.



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