The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been named the top public authorities to have rejected the maximum number of RTI applications received by them during 2013-14, according to an annual CIC report released today.
The top slot in the list is taken by Ministry of Corporate Affairs which has rejected 28.85 per cent RTI applications received during 2013-14 followed by the PMO (20.49 per cent) and Ministry of Finance (19.16 per cent).
Following them closely are ministries of Power and Home, Cabinet Secretariat, ministries of Personnel and Defence, President’s Secretariat, Ministries of Housing and Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The data for 2013-14 shows slight change as for the previous three years, Finance Ministry topped the list of public authorities rejecting highest number of RTI applications received by it.
Another trend mentioned by the transparency watchdog in its report is that the public authorities are rejecting the RTI applications citing reasons which are other than those listed out in the RTI Act.
An RTI application can only be rejected under categories listed out in sections 8, 9, 11, and 24 of the RTI Act which gives various provisions under which information can be denied to an applicant.
The analysis by the CIC shows a whopping 44 per cent of RTI applications being rejected by the public authorities in 2013-14 citing reasons as “others” and not giving any of the reasons in the RTI Act for rejecting the requests for information.
“This calls for scrutiny and introspection by public authorities to ascertain the reason(s) for rejecting requests for information on the ground instead of judiciously applying provisions of Section 8(1), 9, 11 and 24 of the RTI Act,” the report says.