Supreme court of India decision on Complaint under RTI ACT 2005

Discussion in 'Right to Information Act 2005' started by pansel, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. pansel

    pansel Member

    [​IMG]

    Chief Information Commr.& Anr vs State Of Manipur & Anr on 12 December, 2011
    Author: Ganguly
    Bench: Asok Kumar Ganguly, Gyan Sudha Misra

    Judgement
    GANGULY, J.

    1. Leave granted.

    2. These appeals have been filed by the Chief Information Commissioner, Manipur and one Mr. Wahangbam Joykumar impugning the judgment dated 29th July 2010 passed by the High Court in Writ Appeal Nos. 11 and 12 of 2008 in connection with two Writ Petition No.733 of 2007 and Writ Petition No. 478 of 2007. The material facts giving rise to the controversy in this case can be summarized as follows:

    3. Appellant No.2 filed an application dated 9th February, 2007 under section 6 of the Right to Information Act ("Act") for obtaining information from the State Information Officer relating to magisterial enquiries initiated by the Govt. of Manipur from 1980-2006. As the application under Section 6 received no response, appellant No. 2 filed a complaint under Section 18 of the Act before the State Chief Information Commissioner, who by an order dated 30th May, 2007 directed respondent No. 2 to furnish the information within 15 days. The said direction was challenged by the State by filing a Writ Petition.

    4. The second complaint dated 19th May, 2007 was filed by the appellant No. 2 on 19th May, 2007 for obtaining similar information for the period between 1980 - March 2007. As no response was received this time also, appellant No. 2 again filed a complaint under Section18 and the same was disposed of by an order dated 14th August, 2007 directing disclosure of the information sought for within 15 days. That order was also challenged by way of a Writ Petition by the respondents.

    5. Both the Writ Petitions were heard together and were dismissed by a common order dated 16th November, 2007 by learned Single Judge of the High Court by inter alia upholding the order of the Commissioner. The Writ Appeal came to be filed against both the judgments and were disposed of by the impugned order dated 29th July 2010. By the impugned order, the High Court held that under Section 18 of the Act the Commissioner has no power to direct the respondent to furnish the information and further held that such a power has already been conferred under Section 19(8) of the Act on the basis of an exercise under Section 19 only. The Division Bench further came to hold that the direction to furnish information is without jurisdiction and directed the Commissioner to dispose of the complaints in accordance with law.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  2. pansel

    pansel Member

    Apart from that the procedure under Section 19 of the Act, when compared to Section 18, has several safeguards for protecting the interest of the person who has been refused the information he has sought. Section 19(5), in this connection, may be referred to. Section 19(5) puts the onus to justify the denial of request on the information officer. Therefore, it is for the officer to justify the denial. There is no such safeguard in Section 18. Apart from that the procedure under Section 19 is a time bound one but no limit is prescribed under Section 18. So out of the two procedures, between Section18 and section 19, the one under Section 19 is more beneficial to a person who has been denied access to information.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016

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