500 plus RTI queries: Man loses right to seek info

500 plus RTI queries: Man loses right to seek info

A Punjab resident running riot with rampant applications under the Right to Information Act (RTI) has become a pain in the neck for the state authorities.

The state information commission on Friday forfeited Amarjit Singh Dhamotia’s right to seek information under the act from the local civic body. In an order, the commission has directed the civic corporation in Ludhiana to ignore RTI applications filed by Dhamotia.

The order said Dhamotia’s “unbridled desire to seek information” has left the civic body to deal with more than 500 applications.  The commission maintained that Dhamotia has been seeking “inane and voluminous information” which had become counter-productive to public interest. “The applicant filed more than 500 applications under the RTI Act to seek voluminous information which cannot be provided,” it said.

The commission held that the RTI applications filed by Dhamotia have drastically hampered the routine work of the civic corporation with many of its officers busy all-day in securing the information sought by him.

State Information Commissioner Yashvir Mahajan said, “The duty of the commission is to see that such blatant misuse of the RTI Act should not be allowed further and such situation needs to be appropriately dealt with, to secure the faith of the public and remove obstacles in functioning of public authority.”

Such misuse, Mahajan said, will prevent public authority from focusing on transparency. The commission cannot allow such “fishing operations” of the appellant, while maintaining that the commission sees his acts as a misuse, rather abuse, of the RTI Act with an unsavoury motive, which is why it directed the public authority to ignore his applications in the future.

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