The vice-chancellor’s trips out of the city and the expenditure on the same are things that Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) refuses to divulge any information about. This was a question asked in an RTI application and the university refused to answer.
“To my mind, such applications are neither covered under the definition of information… nor do they do justice to the sacred objective of passing this (RTI Act) legislation,” the reply to the three RTI applications filed by activist Afroz Alam said. A copy of the RTI reply is with Hindustan Times.
The public information officer also states that the applications are voluminous and that this information may be used to “later harass and blackmail university officials into submission.”
The three separate RTI applications have sought information about the number of newspapers and magazines coming to the office of the vice-chancellor, number of RTI applicants who have gone to the Information Commission for a second appeal and total amount collected from the students of the university as games fee and its expenditure.
While the applicant has asked for a number of documents and the reply would be voluminous, the JMI authorities have wrongly withheld information.
Though Section 8 of the RTI Act 2005 lists out certain type of information that may be withheld, questions that Alam has asked do not fall under that category. “The reply is just absurd. How can they refuse information on the basis of it being voluminous? Also, their contention that I may later use it to blackmail someone makes me think that they are hiding something. These are not the correct grounds to withhold information,” Alam said.
The university media coordinator could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Other officials refused to talk as they are not authorised to speak to the media.