“Right to Information (RTI) is a very effective tool of obtaining information but equally important is we should take care writing the application to get accurate and proper information,” says Sulaiman Bhimani, an RTI activist and Founder-President of Citizens Justice Forum. He was speaking at an RTI workshop, “How to write a good RTI application for getting accurate and proper information”, organised by Moneylife Foundation’s RTI Centre in Mumbai.
Mr Bhimani answered to various questions on filing RTI application, the works to be used, and how to frame queries for getting proper accurate desired information.
This workshop was broadcasted live on Facebook. Mr Bhimani replied to several queries asked by viewers on Facebook.
He urged everyone who wants to use RTI to be more specific about what to be mentioned in the application so that information cannot be denied or manipulated by the public authority.
Mr Bhimani, while replying to a query from Tanmay Dwivedi, said that it is necessary to share mobile number and email ID in RTI application as without contact details the PIO may not be able to contact you, if required.
Mukesh Mehta had asked about penalty if the PIO try to hide or fail to provide information asked. Mr Bhimani said, “As per Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, the PIO can be penalised only by the State Information Commission or the Central Information Commission, if he/she tries to hide the information without any reason specified u/s 7 or 8 or RTI Act 2005.”
Replying to other question, Mr Bhimani says, one can obtain information about hospital records of a MLA, MP or Ministers, who is jailed but admitted in a hospital for medical treatment.
In the end, Mr Bhimani helped file an RTI application with regard to a public issue of money spent for lighting of Juhu beach.