Can we provide xerox copy of Govt Notesheet to a private person under RTI act? Please reply.
Section 2(f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, defines “information” as under:
“(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force;”
It is clear from the above wide definition that Government Notesheets or the file notings are also covered within the definition of “information”. There should, therefore, be no doubt that copies of the note-sheets or the file notings in a Government department are also required to be supplied under the RTI Act. However, if the information contained in any note-sheet is exempted from disclosure under Section 8 of the RTI Act, then such notesheet need not be communicated. Of course, charges for photocopying, as prescribed, may be charged from the applicant.
In this regard, it is pertinent to mention that vide Office Memorandum No.1/20/2009-IR dated 23rd June, 2009 Government of India [Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Department of Personnel & Training] has clarified (as under) that copies of such file-notings may be provided under the RTI:
“It is hereby clarified that file noting can be disclosed except file noting containing information exempt from disclosure under section 8 of the Act.”
There have, in fact, been a large number of cases wherein copies of official note-sheets have been obtained by citizens under RTI from various departments.
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