Most RTI applications rejected for ‘other’ reasons

Increasing number of government departments are rejecting RTI applications citing reasons other than exemption clauses of the transparency law.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2011, 21:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Increasing number of government departments are rejecting RTI applications citing reasons other than exemption clauses of the transparency law, annual report of the Central Information Commission for 2010-11 made public on Wednesday said.
"On 57 per cent of occassions, RTI applications have been
rejected, fall in `others` catgory; in so far as reasons for
rejection are concerned," the report tabled in Parliament
today said.

In 43 per cent cases, the public authorities have invoked
exemption clauses of section eight, nine, 11 and 24 to deny
information to RTI applications.

As per the data given by the Commission, over 21,600 RTI
applications were rejected during 2010-11 which is 5.2 per
cent of the total 4.17 lakh applications received by the
Central Government public authorities.

Although the rejection of application was on decline, the
report said it "could have been matter of satisfaction" if all
the public authorities have submitted their annual returns but
only 67.5 per cent of them have done so.
"There has been a significant rise of approximately 24
percentage points over 2009-10 in the rejection points over
2009-10 in the rejection of the applications for reasons
termed as `others.`," the report said.

`Others` are reasons which are not included in the
exemption clauses given in the law.

"This calls for scrutiny and closer introspection by
public authorities to `ascertain and identify` the provisions
other that those in sections 8(1),9,11 and 24 being used for
rejecting the requesting information; since there are no other
exemption clauses stipulated in the Act for rejecting a
request for information," the report said.

PTI