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Disclosure of interest in info under RTI necessary: Delhi HC

THE DELHI High Court has observed that the disclosure of interest regarding the information being sought by an applicant under the RTI law would be necessary to establish their bonafides.

“This court is of the opinion that whenever information is sought under the RTI Act, disclosure of an interest in the information sought would be necessary to establish bonafides of the applicant,” Justice Prathiba M Singh said in a judgment. The single bench added that non-disclosure of interest could result in injustice to several other affected persons whose information is sought.

The court made the observation while dealing with a petition seeking information with regard to appointments made for Multi-tasking Staff of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhavan. While dismissing the petition, the court imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner for concealing the fact that his daughter had also applied for the post. It said that the fact did not find mention in the petition, and further noted that perusal of the writ petition shows that the petitioner himself was earlier working in the

Presidential Estate on an ad-hoc basis from 2012 to 2017.

“The present writ petition is cleverly quiet about the fact that the petitioner’s daughter had applied for being considered for appointment for the post of Multi-tasking Staff at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The seeking of above information, especially after the petitioner’s daughter did not obtain employment, clearly points to some ulterior motives,” the order read.

The applicant, Har Kishan, had sought information regarding appointments in 2018. While he was provided most of the information, his particular query for information pertaining to residential address and father’s name of selected candidates was declined on the ground that it was personal information.

Section 6(2) of the RTI Act, 2005, states that “an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him”.

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