The Karnataka High Court recently held that, the provisions of the Right To Information Act cannot be resorted to, when any information can be accessed through the mechanism provided under another statute.
N. Anbarasan had filed RTI applications before the High Court seeking certified copies of notices received by the office of the Registrar General from Advocate Dr.S.Krishnamurthy seeking to desist from continuing to use pirated Surabhi 2000 Kannada software, and the replies issued by the High court to the said lawyer.
As the State Public Information Officer of the High Court denied some of the information sought, Anbarasan approached Karnataka Information Commission. The commission directed the State Public Information Officer to provide the documents sought for, free of cost. It was of the view that, even though the Applicant has a remedy under the Civil Rules of Practice to obtain the certified copies of the documents which he has sought under the application, there is no bar for filing the application under RTI and seek some documents.
Justice H T Narendra Prasad, considering the petition filed challenging this order, observed: "I am of the opinion, if any information can be accessible through the mechanism provided under another statute, then the provisions of the RTI Act cannot be resorted to."
Setting aside the commission order, the court further observed: "The information which is sought by the second respondent related to the legal notice which is issuer by the second respondent through his advocate. This is available with the second respondent. In respect of other documents related to O.S.No.4132/2010 which was pending in the Civil Court, Bangalore, he can obtain the same by applying for the certified copies as per the provisions of Rule 230 of the Rules of Practice. Since the second respondent is party to the proceedings he can apply for the certified copies and obtain the same."