In a webinar organised by Moneylife Foundation, former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi explained the common misconceptions under which requests for information under the Right to Information (RTI) act are illegally rejected and also how an applicant can counter such refusals.
Enactment of the RTI Act (2005) has empowered many citizens and has given them a right to seek information from government organisations. Those that are aware of this right, have used it not only to seek information, but also hold the government accountable and to promote transparency. However, even after 16 years of its enactment, the Act and its provisions are still misinterpreted and public information officers (PIO) sometimes wrongfully reject an application made under RTI.
Options for an applicant after rejection are limited to either a first appeal or a second appeal as the case may be, but they will still have to counter the argument made by the PIO in rejecting the application.
Mr Gandhi started his presentation by elaborating on the various reasons why a PIO might incorrectly reject an application and then proceeded to explain the how each rejection can be countered by provisions in the Act. The event was attended by over 170 people across Zoom, YouTube and Facebook channels of Moneylife Foundation.
A video recording of the webinar can be viewed here: