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Delhi High Court Upholds Right to Information: Information Cannot Be Denied Solely on Grounds of Bulkiness

Last Updated on April 27, 2024 by News Desk

Introduction:


In a recent ruling, the Delhi High Court emphasized the fundamental right to information and clarified that authorities cannot refuse disclosure solely on the basis of information volume. The case, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade v. Kamal Jit Chibber, involved the denial of information sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) on the grounds of voluminous nature.

Issue:


The central issue revolved around whether denying information solely due to its bulkiness constitutes a valid reason under the provisions of the RTI Act, specifically Section 8, which outlines exemptions to information disclosure.

Rule:


The Court, led by Justice Subramonium Prasad, highlighted that accepting such a contention would effectively introduce an additional exemption under Section 8 of the RTI Act, contradicting its spirit of transparency and accountability. The RTI Act mandates disclosure unless information falls under specific exemptions outlined in Section 8.

Analysis:


The Court scrutinized the arguments presented by IIFT, which cited the voluminous nature of the requested information and the strain it would place on resources. However, it found no legal basis to deny information solely on these grounds, especially considering that the requested information did not fall within any of the exemptions outlined in Section 8 of the RTI Act.

Conclusion:


Ultimately, the Delhi High Court upheld the order of the Central Information Commission (CIC), directing IIFT to provide the complete information requested by Kamal Jit Chibber. The Court rejected IIFT’s petition, asserting that denying information based solely on its bulkiness would undermine the core principles of the RTI Act. This ruling reaffirms the importance of transparency and accountability in governance, ensuring that citizens’ right to information is upheld without unjustified barriers.

Through this ruling, the Delhi High Court sets a precedent that emphasizes the primacy of the right to information, preventing arbitrary denials based on administrative convenience or resource constraints.

Written by — Athi Venkatesh AVD

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