In what situations will the information recovered through RTI applications be admissible as evidence in courts?
Answer: Under Section 2 (j) (ii) of the Act, the applicant can ask for certified copies of the documents or records. This certified copy of the document giving information can be admitted in the Court as Secondary Evidence. Note that under the RTI Act, the right to information includes the right to inspection of work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; and taking certified samples of material held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. A citizen has a right to obtain information from a public authority in any relevant form including inthe form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through print-outs provided such information is already stored in a computer or in any other device from which the information may be e-mailed or transferred to diskettes etc.
Reasoning: Information obtained under the RTI Act is part of the documents held by Public Authority, who are Gazetted officers. Any certified copy of a document received by virtue of RTI Act is secondary evidence according to the Evidence Act, 1872. It can be used as Secondary Evidence in Court, since it is part of the Government records and provided by Govt. Authorities, certified under Govt. Seal.
Effect: For information obtained under the Act to be admissible in Court, it is essential that a certified copy of the same is obtained. The information can become important evidence a