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Circulars issued by the DoPT

Four numbers of Circulars on RTI Act has been issued by the DoPT on 22nd May 2009 and 1st June 2009 two each respectively. The copy of the same can be down loaded from the link http://righttoinformation.gov.in/Circulars/CircularReportForRTI.asp [Copies given below]

The Circular bearing No.l/7/2009-IR Dated 1st June 2009 referring the Ruling of High Court of Bombay and to say that the term 'information' as defined in the Right to Information Act does not include answers to the questions like 'why'.

The Circular bearing No 10/2/2008-IR Dated 1st June 2009 deals with the RTI applications received by a public authority relating to information concerning other public authority/authorities. This circular clarifies the earlier circular
issued on the similar subject on 12th June, 2008.It clarifies that that the OM dated 12.6.2008 does not propose to say that collection of information per se amounts to creation of information. The above referred statement has been made to emphasize that the public authority to whom the application is made is not required to collect information from different public authorities to supply it to the applicant.

The Circular bearing No 1/1/2009-IR Dated 22nd May 2009 addressed to all the Chief Secretaries of the State to advise the State Information Commission that decisions on the complaints and appeals should be taken by the State Information Commission as defined in Section 2(k) of the RTI Act, 2005 and not by the Benches of the Commission. One more Circular Similar in nature and addressed to the Secretary CIC.

[Posted by Mr Krishnamoorthi, Andaman on the Humjanenge group]

Click more for the copies of the Circulars

The copies of the Circulars are given below:

CIRCULAR No. 1/7/2009 -IR DATED 1ST JUNE 2009.

Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi

Dated: the 15t June, 2009

Subject: Decision dated 3.4.2008 of the High Court of Bombay at Goa in Writ Petition NoA19 of 2007 in the case of Dr. Celsa Pinto Vs. Goa State Information Commission regarding information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

****

The undersigned is directed to say that the High Court of Bombay at Goa in the above referred case has held on 3.4.2008 that the term 'information' as defined in the Right to Information Act does not include answers to the questions like 'why'. The relevant part of the judgement is reproduced below:

"The definition of information cannot include within its fold answers to the question "why" which would be same thing as asking the reason for a justification for a particular thing. The public information authorities cannot expect to communicate to the citizen the reason why a certain thing was done or not done in the sense of a justification because the citizen makes a requisition about information. Justifications are matter within the domain of adjudicating authorities and cannot properly be classified as information."

(K.G. Verma)
Director
Tel: 23092158

1. All the Ministries / Departments of the Government of India
2. Union Public Service Commission! Lok Sabha Sectt./ Rajya Sabha Secretariat/ Cabinet Secretariat/ Central Vigilance Commission! President's Secretariat/ Vice-President's Secretariat/ Prime Minister's Office/ Planning Commission / Election Commission.
3. Central Infomlation Commission!State Information Commissions.
4. Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, New Delhi
5. The Comptroller&Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
6. All officers/Desks/Sections, DOP&T and Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare.

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CIRCULAR No. 10/2/2008 -IR DATED 1ST JUNE 2009.

No. 10/2/2008-IR
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: the 1st June, 2009

Subject: RTI applications received by a public authority relating to information concerning other public authority/authorities.
***
Attention is invited to clause (iii) of para 3 of this Department's OM of even number dated 12th June, 2008 on the above noted subject which, inter-alia, states as follows:
"It is beyond the scope of the Act for a public authority to create information. Collection of information, parts of which are available with different public authorities, would amount to creation of information which a public authority
under the Act is not required to do."

2. The Central Information Commission while deciding an appeal has observed that collection of information cannot amount to creation of information and desired that the above referred OM should be modified so as to avoid any confusion among public authorities.

3. The undersigned is directed to clarify that the OM dated 12.6.2008 does not propose to say that collection of information per se amounts to creation of information. The above referred statement has been made to emphasize that the public authority to whom the application is made is not required to collect information from different public authorities to supply it to the applicant.

(K.G. Verma)
Director
Tel: 23092158

1. All the Ministries / Departments of the Government of India
2. Union Public Service Commission! Lok Sabha Sectt./ Rajya Sabha Secretariat/ Cabinet Secretariat! Central Vigilance Commission/ President's Secretariat/ Vice-President's Secretariat/ Prime Minister's Office/ Planning CommissionlElection Commission.
3. Central Information Commission/State Information Commissions.
4. Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, New Delhi
5. The Comptroller&Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
6. All officers/Desks/Sections, DOP&T and Department of Pension
& Pensioners Welfare.

Copy also to : The Central Information Commission with reference to the Commission's decision dated 6.4.2009 in appeals No.CIC/WB/A/2007/01551 & 1552.

***************
CIRCULAR No.1/1/2009-IR DATED 22ND MAY 2009.

No.1/1/2009-IR
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: the 22nd May, 2009

The Secretary,
Central Information Commission,
August Kranti Bhawan,
Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi

I am directed to say that the Right to Information Act, 2005 provides that a person can make a complaint or an appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, in the circumstances as provided in the Act and that the concerned Commission may take action on the complaint or appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

2. It is observed that the Central Information Commission and some State Information Commissions are taking decisions on the complaints and the appeals by constituting Benches. The matter has been examined in consultation with the Department of Legal Affairs who have pointed out that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commissions could function through Benches only if there was a specific provision in the Act regarding constitution of Benches. That Department has further opined that provision of Section 12(4) of the RTI Act does not empower the Chief Information Commissioner to constitute the Benches.

3, In view of this legal position, it is advised that decisions on the complaints and appeals should be taken by the Central Information Commission as defined in Section 2(b) of the RTI Act, 2005 and not by the Benches of the
Commission.

Yours faithfully

(K.G. Verma)
Director
Tel: 23092158

*****************
CIRCULAR No.1/1/2009-IR DATED 22ND MAY 2009.

No.1/1/2009-IR
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: the 22nd May, 2009

TO
The Chief Secretaries of all the States

I am directed to say that the Right to Information Act, 2005 provides that a person can make a complaint or an appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, in the circumstances as provided in the Act and that the concerned Commission may take action on the complaint or appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

2. It is observed that the Central Information Commission and some State Information Commissions are taking decisions on the complaints and the appeals by constituting Benches. The matter has been examined in consultation with the Department of Legal Affairs who have pointed out that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commissions could function through Benches only if there was a specific provision in the Act regarding constitution of Benches. That Department has further opined that provision of Section 12(4) or Section 15(4) of the RTI Act does not empower the Chief Information Commissioner to constitute the Benches.

3. In view of this legal position, you are requested to advise the State Information Commission that decisions on the complaints and appeals should be taken by the State Information Commission as defined in Section 2(k) of the RTI Act, 2005 and not by the Benches of the Commission.

Yours faithfully,

(K.G. Verma)
Director
Tel: 23092158
 
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