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Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

There is a time limit prescribed for the reply to be given by Public Information Officer (PIO) and Appellate Authority (AA).

Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru
Retd Justice K Chandru

CHENNAI: One can move High Court if RTI reply delayed unduly

The purpose of RTI is getting defeated, thanks to the apathy of the officials who delay and deny the necessary information sought. A query on top tax defaulters was allowed to gather dust for more than a month, and the delayed reply, instead of giving the information sought, just gave an unconvincing and vague reply stating that the computer software under the control of the Commissioner of Municipal Administration has only the details of overall tax defaulters and there is no provision for getting individual info about tax arrears of educational institutions and hospitals. A delayed reply only amount to the denial of the required info sought by the applicant. Is there no provision to acknowledge the receipt of an RTI application? Is not the official duty bound to provide information on the same within a specific period? What can a commoner or RTI applicant do in such a case of delayed and vague reply?

— Mohan Selvam, Kancheepuram

There is a time limit prescribed for the reply to be given by Public Information Officer (PIO) and Appellate Authority (AA). But unfortunately, the Information Commission (IC) doesn’t have a limitation to pass orders. We have held that in the case of banks, they can give advertisements regarding defaulters. It is high time that local bodies also start doing such public shaming. If the commission does not pass orders within a reasonable time, you can move the High Court for a direction.

Only registered RWA can force their bylaws on residents

For the convenience of residents in buildings, people form a society/association. Some of the societies are registered, while some are not. We can find even three-four decade-old building societies that are not registered. However, in both, whether registered or unregistered associations, they formulate bylaws, rules, and regulations based on the agreement by the owners at the beginning itself. Shouldn’t the members/owners in the society (registered or unregistered) abide by the bylaws/rules and regulations framed to live peacefully? If any owner is not following the same, can the association take any action?

— VS Narayana Swamy, Motilal Street, T Nagar

In the case of a registered Residents Welfare Association (RWA), the registered by laws are binding on its members. The same thing doesn’t apply to unregistered bodies. You will have to move the authorities to direct the association to get it registered.

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