Can the documents sought under RTI be certified from notary?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED), seeking certified copies of a number of documents relating to his own personal file and to various Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) proceedings. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided information extending to 600 pages of documents. The appellant complained to the First Appellate Authority (FAA) that the documents were not certified. The FAA informed the appellant that the documents could be certified only through a notary provided the appellant agreed to bear the cost.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that looking to the volume of information (some 600 pages), providing certified copies would be a highly time consuming exercise and it would disproportionately divert the limited resources of the TRIFED. The respondent further submitted that their organization had not laid down any particular mechanism for certifying records and documents for the purpose of giving it to the citizens under the RTI Act and in the absence of any such procedure they were willing to get the documents certified through a notary public provided the appellant was willing to pay the charges.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that putting the signature and seal on 600 pages of documents would indeed be a very time consuming task and has the potential to disproportionately divert the resources of the organization. The Commission further stated that section 7(9) An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. of the RTI Act clearly states that the PIO will not be obliged to provide information which would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority concerned. The CIC ruled that if the appellant is interested in getting some specific documents to be attested or certified by the PIO or the officer concerned in charge of the records in the TRIFED, he may send those copies to the PIO who can return those documents back to the appellant after getting it duly attested or certified with the seal and signature.
Citation: Mr. Nathu Lal Jangid v. Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/902789
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/756
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