When the Right To Information Act was envisioned as a tool to ensure transparency, the founders would never have imagined misuse of this proportion — to hurl abuses and settle personal scores.
An angry Delhi High Court on Wednesday slapped a fine of Rs 75,000 on an NGO, which used the Act to abuse two MCD engineers and seek distasteful personal details about them.
Though the plea in the court was for probing the corruption indulged in by the two engineers, the court found NGO Pardarshita Welfare Foundation had questioned the parentage of the engineers through an RTI application.
Observing it amounted to abuse of law, judges chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Manmohan said, "Seeking information on parentage of a person and his medical history is unwarranted and uncalled for. RTI law was not enacted for abusing people and seeking personal details."
According to the NGO, several letters were written to MCD officials but no action was taken against the engineers.
"We cannot give any type of clean chit to the MCD engineers but the information sought exposes vindictive attitude," said the bench.
The RTI also asked whether they suffered from sexual disorders, if they had carried out a DNA test for their mother, whether their mother was a surrogate or stepmother and also sought the name of their biological father and step mother.
The NGO defended itself saying the engineers were blackmailing it and also used "unparliamentary" language and that was the reason such questions were raised.