A.S Rawat v. Dawa Tashi AIR 2023 DELHI 252

Right to Information Act , 2005 .

S. 3: Right to information – Non -Citizens can also get the information under Right to Information Act – There is no bar.. [ S. 4, 5 ,6,7,18 Art . 5, 21, 226 ]

Tibetan national had sought information regarding the service benefits available to him . He had enjoyed privileges  as a Tibetan refugee with an identity card as a Tibetan .Public information officer ( PIO)  refused information on the ground that the applicant’s nationality is Tibetan  therefore information under RTI Act , cannot be provided . The appeal was rejected . On further appeal The Central Information Commissioner (CIC)) directed  in second appeal to provide the information sought by the RTI applicant . Simultaneously , the CIC also issued notice to the PIO  for levy of maximum penalty .     The PIO filed the writ petition against the said order ,  the Court held that  restricting the right to information only to citizens  would be contrary to the spirit of the Constitution as well as RTI Act . Section 3 have to be read as positive recognition  of right in favour of citizens but not as prohibition against non -citizens . Court also held that the approach of public Information Officer (PIO) refusing to give information to RTI applicant cannot be faulted to such a great extent as to be considered as malicious and mala fide merely on ground that information was initially rejected as RTI applicant had declared  himself to be Tibetan national . Finding of CCI that PIO’s conduct was mala fide and  imposition of penalty was not sustainable.       ( W.P.(C) No. 2670 of 2017 dt . 13 -3 -2023 )