The Tamil Nadu Information Commission has held that the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 has been enacted to provide for setting out a practical regime of right to information for citizens and not for intimidating public authorities by information-seekers.

The Commission made this observation while initiating contempt proceedings against a person who sent several letters for allegedly scandalising the Commission and Commissioners.

O. Homer Lal of Thakkalai in Kanyakumari district, stood as an appellant before the Commission after the public authorities denied information he sought under RTI. He, over a period of time, has sent letters/ appeal petitions with slogans in derogatory and foul language to the Commission.

A Full Bench headed by State Chief Information Commissioner K.S. Sripathi took up the issue last month and held that the action of appellant was nothing short of attempting to scandalise the Commission and was in the nature of bringing down the dignity of the institution. [Copies of the order have been made available only now].

The Commission said it should be borne in mind that Right to Information Act has been created for the avowed purpose of Right to Information and not right to intimidation.Relying on a Supreme Court judgment, the Commission said it had the power of a civil court and directed the registry to initiate contempt proceedings against Mr.Homer while treating his apology perfunctory in nature.

The Commission said, “This pernicious pressure tactics should not be allowed to yield the result which the person concerned expects. The public authorities intended to serve the society and hence they should be insulated from the onslaught of the pseudo and self-styled champions of the poor and down-trodden. It is the social responsibility of the Commission to identify, expose and isolate such perverse persons and deal with them sternly.”

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