The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently ruled that right to information cannot be denied under the Right to Information Act merely because a statutory mechanism is evolved and prescribed under a different Act where alternative procedure and conditions are prescribed.
“The right to information, thus, cannot be denied under the RTI Act merely because a statutory mechanism is evolved and prescribed under an Act, which is also applicable, obliging a public authority to share the same by following a prescribed procedure subject to fulfillment of prescribed conditions”, the Court said.
The Court said that if there being no inconsistency under the RTI Act and the provisions of the other statute/law, the option and prerogative is with the citizen to select and choose to exercise his right under such Act/law or the RTI Act.
Even in case of any inconsistency between the provisions of RTI Act and other Act/law, the RTI Act shall prevail, the Court added.
However, the Court said that that the information under the RTI Act can only be denied if the same is exempted from disclosure of information under the provisions of RTI Act itself such as Sections 8, 9 and 11 thereof.