Ministry fails to upload law on website, pulled up
NEW DELHI: For Bangalore-based RTI applicant Vansh Sharad Gupta, asking the Ministry of Law and Justice for the email ID of the Central Public Information Officer of the legislative department turned into a long legal battle. Since Sharad didn’t receive any information from the ministry, he approached the Central Information Commisson (CIC).
All Sharad wanted was access to the Christian Marriage Act, 1972, from the website as the bare act — the law as published by the government — was not properly formatted, and the ministry website was not helpful. He requested such bare acts be provided in PDF format. It was in this context that he wanted the email ID of the legislative department official.
In his order the CIC said it was the state’s duty to inform citizens about the law. The order was subsequently challenged by the ministry before the Delhi High Court.
The court directed the Centre to upload all laws enacted by Parliament on the website. Justice Manmohan also asked the government to recover `10,000 from the salaries of its officials, taking strong exception to “unnecessary” litigation. “This court is not an appellate court of the CIC. Technical and procedural arguments can’t be allowed to come in the way of justice. The directions given by the CIC in the impugned order are fair,” it said.