Thursday, July 29, 2010

Govt need not give copies of documents inspected under RTI

Govt need not give copies of documents inspected under RTI

Mayura Janwalkar / DNA

Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:09 IST

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday upheld the decision of the central government to not give copies of documents that were open to inspection.

The case was filed against Kanhaiyalal Talera from Pune who had alleged that his land near the Lohegaon airport in Pune was "wrongly acquired" by the airport authority, the ministry of defence and the civil aviation.

Talera had filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005, seeking the layout for the extension of the runway. He had sought the information stating that there was no need for his land to extend the runway. The air force allowed Talera to inspect the document pertaining to the airport and the runway map.

However, Talera said that if he was allowed to inspect the documents, he should also be given the copies of the documents under the RTI.

When the ministry of defence turned down his application, he filed subsequent appeals up to the Central Information Commission (CIC), which also refused to grant him any relief.

In the high court, arguing for the central government, advocates Jamshed Mistry and Anamika Malhotra stated that if copies of the information were distributed, it could put the security of the airport in jeopardy as they could be misused.

Citing section 8(1) (a) of the RTI Act, they said that the government was under no obligation to reveal information that could pose a security threat to India.

Upholding the government's decision under this provision, the court granted no relief to Talera and dismissed his petition.


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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