‘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

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

How Antyodaya Saral is simplifying everyday life in Haryana

From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter