Friday, July 9, 2021

"RTI replies not very reliable, do not cite RTI documents:" Supreme Court

Information obtained through the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) need not necessarily be reliable and lawyers should refrain from citing the same as authorities while arguing cases, the Supreme Court orally remarked on Friday (Ashish Kumar Saxena vs the State of UP)

The observation was made by a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna while hearing an appeal against an order of the Allahabad High Court.

"Do not cite a RTI reply. It is not very reliable as per our experience. If the letter ends with some other authority, the reply is something completely different," said Justice AM Khanwilkar.

The appellants submitted that illegal demolition was carried out by the authorities in their privately owned land. The plea stated that the Gorakhpur Development Authority carried out demolition on their land. If the process is not stopped, then six families with twenty-five persons will lose their shelter.

The appellant contended that as per information obtained under RTI, the concerned plot is reserved for the land use of residential and block park as per the master plan.

"This information was also issued by GDA i.e. the act under the Urban Planning and Development act," argued the appellant.

The top court asked the appellant not to rely on RTI replies.

"Do not cite RTI documents," the Court reiterated.

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