Locus standi or the intention of an applicant seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act cannot be questioned, the Bombay High Court ruled on Monday.
“Provisions of the act state that an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him,” observed a division bench of justices BH Marlapalle and Amjad Syed.
They dismissed a petition filed by the Board of Management of the Bombay Properties of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, challenging a directive of the Central Information Commission (CIC).
Acting on a plea filed by Colaba resident Kayumas Mehta, on February 15, 2010, the CIC had held that the board was a public authority and directed it to furnish the information requested by the applicant. Mehta had sought details about three flats in the city, which are owned by IISc Bangalore.
The public information officer of the board and the appellate authority rejected his application, filed in September 2007. Thereafter, Mehta had moved the office of the information commissioner.
Aspi Chinoy, counsel for the board, argued that though IISc Bangalore was public authority, the board could not be held so since the properties under its management were not owned by IISc.
The bench dismissed the petition saying no fault could be found with the CIC’s findings and the directive to furnish the details sought by Mehta.
The CIC had taken into account the fact that three of the four members of the board were government officers, and one was nominated by the Central Government.
It had also taken into consideration the scheme of establishment of the board.