NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has directed the union urban development ministry to disclose lease agreement documents of the land for the Moolchand Hospital within a week.
Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said the information as sought by the appellant Harvinder Singh, a resident of Lajpat Nagar here, is undeniably one which every citizen has a right to know.
Through his RTI application, Singh had demanded from the Ministry the lease agreement of the land for Moolchand Hospital, the copy of documents submitted by Moolchand Kharaiti Ram Charitable Trust for the allotment of the land and the policy under which the land was allocated to it.
The Ministry official responding to his RTI query asked him to furnish documentary proof to establish his stake in the Moolchand Khairati Ram Trust within 10 days.
Under the RTI Act, a Central Public Information Officer cannot ask an information seeker the reasons behind raising the query.
"After hearing parties and perusal of record, the Commission finds that no legitimate exemption in terms of RTI Act have been cited by the Respondent (the ministry) to deny disclosure of information," Azad said.
He said the ministry has taken the "unusual route" of questioning the purpose of the query and the locus standi of Singh in seeking the information.
"It is clear from the averment of the Respondent (the Ministry) that the custodian of information is the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India which awarded the land under lease agreement to the Moolchand hospital," Azad said.
He directed to disclose all the material sought by Singh.