An RTI application cannot be transferred from one office to the other and the Public Information Officer is supposed to provide all information sought, subject to legal exceptions, the Delhi High Court has held.
Justice Vibhu Bhakru said so, while setting aside two letters issued by the Public Information Officer of Directorate of Education/ Deputy Director of Education by which the RTI application of petitioner and advocate Shikha Bagga was transferred – first from the office of Director of Education to Deputy Directors’ office and from there to over 1,400 schools.
In its defence, the PIO, Directorate of Education, told the court that the information sought by Bagga was confidential in nature and, thus, the Director may not be in a position to supply the same.
“The question involved in the present case does not entail examination of whether the information sought for is confidential or is to be withheld from the petitioner. The petitioner’s grievance is regarding transfer of her application to other PIOs and thereafter to various schools,” the court noted.
“Clearly, transferring the petitioner’s application to various schools is unsustainable. The PIO is required to provide all such information as sought for, subject to the exceptions as provided under the Act,” Justice Bakhru said.
While asking the PIO of the Director of Education office to consider Bagga’s application as per law, the court left it for the PIO to decide if the information so sought is confidential.
In this case, Bagga's lawyer Khagesh B Jha had contended that the transfer of his application to the Deputy Director and then to the schools would entail that the petitioner would have to take his remedies against all the schools, which would be approximately 1,400 in number.
He also submitted that law obliges Directorate of Education to possess the information which the petitioner had sought and the transfer of the application is only to delay/ deny furnishing of information.
Read the Order Here