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Basics of RTI Act

  • Right to Information Act of 2005 replaced the Freedom of Information Act of 2002.
  • The RTI Act enables the citizens to exercise their rights to ask pertinent questions to the concerned public authorities.
  • It helps maintain transparency in the working of the government.
  • Public sectors, co-operative sectors, private sectors, NGOs fall under the ambit of RTI. Recently, the office of CJI also has been brought under the ambit of the RTI.

About the Plea

  • The plea was filed before the Apex Court in March 2021 through Advocate Harsha SR and drawn by Advocate Reepak Kansal. It sought directions to introduce the contempt of locus standi of the applicant seeking information under the Right to Information Act based on strict scrutiny of the Applicant’s intentions.
  • According to the plea, a heavy load of frivolous and repeated applications by habitual RTI activists, under RTI defeat the purpose and object of the Act. This affects the functioning of the government.
  • The plea emphasizes the need to reduce the misuse of the RTI Act and implement guidelines to check the locus standi of RTI Applicants. The plea states that in the judicial system first the locus standi requirement is fulfilled and then the parties are heard but in RTI there is a lack of such requirement which is the reason behind the misuse of RTI.
  • The plea stated that if a person can show the cause that relates him to the public office, the entire system would be solemn and would work to make it more limpid and efficacious.
  • It also cited the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Judgment in the case of CBSE vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors. which held that “Indiscriminate demands under the RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information need not be met”.

Court’s Order

  • The Bench of Hon’ble Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy have adjourned the plea in pursuance of the letter been circulated seeking the same.

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