An Uttar Pradesh Right to Information (RTI) activist has sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his comment on the "frivolous and vexatious use of the RTI Act" in his address at the 7th annual convention of information commissioners in Delhi Oct 12.
"There are concerns about frivolous and vexatious use of the (RTI) Act in demanding information, the disclosure of which cannot possibly serve any public purpose," the prime minister said.
"...Concerns have also been raised regarding possible infringement of personal privacy while providing information under the Right to Information Act."
RTI activist Urvashi Sharma said that after the observations by Prime Minister Singh, an RTI was filed with the office of Central Information Commission (CIC) asking for information on all such applications that were personal in nature and were made to hog the limelight.
In a letter (no.CIC/CPIO/2012/1850 dated 03-12-12), Director and Nodal CPIO-Central Information Commission Pankaj Shreyaskar informed Sharma that "no information in this regard is available with the commission".
She said the "last destinations of RTI applications are information commissions and the seven-year record of the CIC does not have even a single paper to validate the claims made by the prime minister".
"The reply is self-explanatory. It made it clear that no personal, frivolous and vexatious RTI applications have ever been filed in these seven years," the RTI activist told IANS.
She said that being a social and RTI activist, she was deeply hurt by the anti-RTI statement.
Through her notice, Sharma has asked Singh to "either put the documentary evidences to support your statement before the nation or take your words back and issue a public apology".
In case Singh does not withdraw his statement or apologize within 60 days, Sharma threatens to move court or a suitable forum against him.