Indian Commissioners Seek to Limit Vexatious Requests

1 December 2015

The Indian Central Information Commission and the state information commissions are proposing to amend the Right to Information Act to prevent vexatious and frivolous applications.

The recommendation came from the National Federation of Information Commissions, a body headed by the chief of CIC, according to an article in the Economic Times. 

“We have had talks with the state commissions. They are unanimous in their view that genuine applications need to be separated from frivolous applications,” Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma was quoted as saying. “Vexatious and frivolous applications are clogging the system,” he said.

As an example, Sharma said a retired Air Force official had filed 3,588 applications in two years with Air Force authorities seeking almost similar information.

Anjali Bharadwaj of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information responded by saying, “It is absolutely impossible to objectively define ‘vexatious’ or ‘frivolous’.” She urged proactive disclosure as a solution to complaints of burdensome requests.

“Our study shows less than 1% of applications can be classified as vaguely frivolous,” she said.

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