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Right to Information Act UPSC NOTE

 What is Section 8 of the Right to Information Act is about 

  • Section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 deals with situations where the Public Information Officer (PIO) can reject a request for information

  • It lays out exemptions to the general right to information. 

  • Exemptions: The section specifies categories of information that public authorities are not required to disclose. 

  • These exemptions are in place to protect certain interests, such as national security, personal privacy, or commercial confidentiality.

  • Specific Exemptions: The Act lists out specific reasons for exemption, like information that could:

    1. Harm national security or sovereignty of India

    2. Hinder relations with foreign countries.

    3. Be a breach of privilege of Parliament or state legislature.

    4. Be forbidden to be published by a court.

    5. Violate trade secrets or endanger someone's safety.

  • Public Interest Test: An interesting aspect of Section 8(2) is that it allows for a public interest test. 

  • Even if information falls under an exemption category.

  • The PIO can still disclose it if the public interest in knowing outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

  • Time-Bound Disclosure: There's a special provision for information relating to events that happened more than 20 years ago

  • Such information generally cannot be denied under RTI.

  • In essence, Section 8 balances the right to information with the need to protect certain kinds of information. 

  • It ensures that individuals can access information while safeguarding legitimate concerns of the government and other entities.

Is it possible to refuse information under RTI because it is ‘bulky’?

  • A public authority cannot refuse information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in India simply because the information requested is voluminous or bulky.

  • Legal Precedent: The Delhi High Court has specifically ruled against this practice in the case Indian Institute of Foreign Trade v. Kamal Jit Chibber.

  • The court stated that denying information on the basis of volume would be tantamount to adding an unauthorized exemption clause to the RTI Act.

  • Exceptions in the Act: The RTI Act itself lays out specific reasons for exemption under Section 8.

  • These exemptions are designed to protect certain interests, and volume is not one of them.

  • Alternative Solutions: Public authorities are expected to find alternative solutions to deal with voluminous requests



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Right to Information Act UPSC NOTE
Right to Information Act UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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