4 out of 10 RTIs rejected on grounds not permitted under Act

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While the Government of India received a record number of 9.76 lakh RTIs, four out of every 10 RTIs rejected were on grounds not permitted under the RTI Act, according to the Central Information Commission's 2015-16 annual report.

A quick analysis of the report carried out by Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) found that during 2015-2016, 9.76 lakh RTI applications were said to have been received by registered public authorities which is 2.21 lakh or 22.67% more than that received in 2014-15.

The analysis carried out by CHRI found that the public authorities rejected 6.62 per cent of the RTI applications processed during 2015-2016. This seems to have come down by 1.77% from the high of 8.39 reported in 2014-15.

The analysis found that the highest proportion of RTI applications was not rejected under permissible exemptions but in the mysterious category of “others”. Of 43% rejections recorded under this category, more than 4 out of every 10 RTI applications rejected were for reasons other than those permitted by the RTI Act.

The Prime Minister’s Office is one of the public authorities that employed this device frequently.

Forty seven per cent of the 9.76 RTIs were rejected under various clauses in Section 8 of the RTI ACT. One per cent was rejected under Section 9 and 7% were rejected by the 26 security and intelligence organisations partially excluded under Section 24 of the RTI Act.

The analysis of the CIC report by CHRI also said the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs have not reported their RTI statistics despite registering with the CIC. On the other hand, only 33 % of the public authorities from the Ministry Of Road Transport and Highways reported their RTI statistics to the CIC.