‘Frivolous RTI pleas’ is frivolous argument

PMO has not received any frivolous RTI application in last five years


Danish Raza | May 4, 2011

Nailing the government's lie that it wants to amend the RTI act to discourage vexatious and frivolous applications, five public authorities including the PMO have said that they have not received even a single frivolous application in the last five years.

Other public authorities include the supreme court, ministry of external affairs (MEA), department of personal and training (DoPT)- the nodal department for the implementation of the transparency act and the Indian embassy in Washington DC.

The information has been obtained by Noida based RTI activist Commodore (rtd) Lokesh K Batra and Los Angeles resident Vishal Kudchadakar.

To the query asking the total number of RTI applications which were considered as frivolous queries, the PMO said, “No categorization is being made as frivolous applications.”

While the DoPT said that it did not have any information on frivolous applications, Indian Embassy in Washington DC was silent on the query. MEA said that details of such applications were not readily available with it and needed to be compiled. 

The five public authorities were randomly selected by the RTI applicants to find out if frivolous applications were actually increasing the work load of public authorities.

“The toughest task was to get data from DoPT which has 47 central public information officers. After getting over 50 interim responses the final data was received on 18 April 2011,” said Batra.

The issue of frivolous applications has been a matter of debate since the introduction of the transparency act in October 2005.

The civil society is of the view that it is not possible to define ‘vexatious' and ‘frivolous' in terms of RTI applications and the provision will be misused by the public authorities to withhold information.

The government and some information commissions believe that such applications are increasing the work load of the government the objective of the applicant should be considered while treating the application.

The RTI act is silent on the matter.

In December 2007, a central information commission bench headed by then information commissioner O P Kejriwal had come down heavily on an RTI applicant ruling that the application was ‘frivolous and even bordering on the absurd’.

According to a survey by Parivartan NGO released In September 2007, only 11 percent information commissioners were of the opinion that frivolous applications did exist.

Information commissioner M M Ansari has advocated penalty on applicants filing frivolous applications.



Other News

“I pray to God that such an incident never happens in future”

Life is slowly limping back to normalcy in Bahanaga, a block headquarters town in Odisha’s Balasore district that witnessed one of the deadliest rail disasters of the century. Train operations have resumed as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun the probe into the accident that claimed

Gandhi’s Triumph over the Fear of Death

The Essential U. R. Ananthamurthy Edited by N. Manu Chakravarthy and Chandan Gowda Aleph Books, Rs 899, 312 pages

Bird walks for youngsters to be held across India

Early Bird and the Rainmatter Foundation have announced five bird walks, led by naturalists, across India on June 10. The walks, to be held in Agartala, Dehradun, Mysore, Panjim, and Tirupati early in the morning, are part of the Rainmatter Foundation’s Walking Lightly campaign, being observed throug

India celebrates Environment Day with thrust on Mission LiFE

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India organized the World Environment Day on Monday with a thrust on Mission LiFE. The concept of LiFE, i.e., Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by prime minister Narendra Modi at the World Leaders` Summit in Glasgow at COP26, when

Green banking: an emerging way forward

Green Banking is an initiative taken by the banks to promote environment-friendly practices and reduce carbon footprint of their activities. Green financing (a part of ‘Green Banking’) is a broad term that can refer to a financial investment flowing into sustainable development projects and ini

GST revenue in May clocks 12% y-o-y growth

The gross Good & Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of May, 2023 is ₹1,57,090 crore of which CGST is ₹28,411 crore, SGST is ₹35,828 crore, IGST is ₹81,363 crore (including ₹41,772 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹11,489 crore (including ₹1,057 crore collecte

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter