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‘No need to invoke RTI Act at first instance’

The Madras High Court has held that the Right to Information Act, 2005, cannot be invoked at the first instance, if an effective alternative remedy is available to obtain such information.

‘No need to invoke RTI Act at first instance’
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Justice V Parthiban, while hearing a petition challenging an order of the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission wherein it had refused to direct a sub-registrar at Tiruchendur to furnish information regarding registration of two sale deeds, said, “I am unable to persuade myself that RTI Act can be invoked for all purposes regardless of the fact that there is existence of an alternative mechanism provided under the respective departments for seeking information.” 

The petitioner S Robinson, who had challenged the stand taken by the Commission, had contended that information sought under the Act cannot be refused unless the same falls under Section 8 of the RTI Act, which exhaustively provides exemptions from disclosure of information. He had further contended that the RTI Act has an overriding effect over other laws. The judge, in his order, also held, “Such an interpretation would run contrary to the other provisions of the Acts of similar nature.”

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