UP cabinet amends RTI rules to check petitions for ‘imaginary info’
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Right to Information Rules 2015 to ensure that no information is sought under the Right to Information Act if there was already a provision to provide such information under other government rules.
It also provides that any information available in government files will be provided to the applicant under RTI Act though ‘imaginary’ information not available in files will be denied.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath presided over the cabinet meeting that approved the Uttar Pradesh Right to Information (1st amendment) Rules 2019 to make these two provisions.
“There are separate rules to seek copies of documents from the courts or from revenue offices etc. To avoid duplication, such documents cannot be sought under the RTI Act now,” said a senior functionary aware of the state cabinet’s decision.
The state cabinet also decided that information available in government files about ‘why’ a decision was taken can be given to an applicant under the RTI. “The RTI rules provide to give information about a decision taken. Earlier, there was a provision to deny information why a decision has been taken. The state cabinet has now decided to give information about ‘why’ if information about this is available in files,” said the functionary.
UP government spokesperson and minister for energy Shrikant Sharma, who along with minister for medical and health Siddharth Nath Singh, briefed media persons, later said the rules have been amended to check those seeking ‘imaginary’ information.
Amendment to rules would smoothen disposal of RTI cases. A need to carry out the amendments was felt on the basis of views of public information officers and first appellate officers expressed at a training programme some time back.
Uttar Pradesh state chief information commissioner Javed Usmani said the state information commission had suggested the amendments.