Petroleum min asks RTI applicant to prove citizenship

The RTI act requires the applicant only to give his contact address


Danish Raza | November 3, 2010

The ministry of petroleum and natural gas (MoPnG) has asked an RTI applicant to prove his nationality if he wants to inspect certain documents exercising the right to information (RTI) act.

According to the RTI act, an applicant is not required to give any personal detail except those that may be necessary to contact him. 

The case refers to recommendations given by the parliamentary committee on petition chaired by Prabhunath Singh in its fortieth report. The report was submitted to the Lok Sabha in March 2008. 

Bharat petroleum corporation limited (BPCL) was a party in the case probed by this committee.

On September 17, Delhi based advocate V Sudeer filed RTI application with (MoPnG) asking if BPCL had settled the issue within three months as recommended by the committee; details of the officers who were entrusted with the task of implementing the committee’s orders and photocopies of all the internal communication made between the ministry and BPCL to implement recommendation of the committee on petition.

Sudeer filed a similar application with the BPCL the same day.

While BPCL has not yet replied to the query, the MoPnG has told Sudeer that he can inspect the concerned files available in the ministry and can take photocopy of the desired documents. “At the time of inspection of the files you are advised to bring your identity proof, showing that you are a citizen of India. As per clause 3 of the RTI act, 2005, only citizens of India enjoy the right to information,” read the reply.

The applicant has written to the ministry that producing any such identity proof is not required as per the law.

“Inspecting the documents will not serve my purpose because I want to know the details of officers because of whom the recommendations of the committee could not be implemented. I want this in a written reply from them,” said Sudeer, an advocate practicing in the Delhi court for 14 years.




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