CJI Bobde wondered as to who are these people claiming to be RTI activists — is it a profession, he asked.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday favoured framing of suitable guidelines to prevent the abuse and misuse of Right to Information Act in order to resort to blackmail and criminal intimidation by the vested interests.
Pointing out that people who are in no way connected to an issue file RTI, a Bench headed by the Chief Justice S.A.Bobde and also comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Surya Kant said that " … sometimes it amount to criminal intimidation, which is a nice word for blackmail. We are not against the right to information. But there is need for guidelines. It cannot be an unrivalled right."
Noting that the objectives of the Right to Information Act are laudable, the court said there are instances where people misuse the transparency law for questionable ends.
Both CJI Bobde and Justice Gavai, recalled that there were a number of instances in Mumbai when RTI applicants misused the provisions to seek information relating to the award of commercial contracts.
While agreeing that there may be cases where business rivals may have taken recourse to transparency law to target their rivals in business, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for a PIL petitioner, said that many of the murkier things in power corridors have come to light through response to RTI queries.
He pointed out that entire issue relating to electoral bonds came out only in response to an RTI question. CJI Bobde wondered as to who are these people claiming to be RTI activists — is it a profession, he asked.