Coimbatore Corporation refuses to share affidavit, RTI activist cries foul

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE Coimbatore Corporation denying an RTI applicant a copy of an affidavit it had filed in the Madras High Court has come to light.

In his RTI application, activist S.P. Thiyagarajan asked for the copy of the counter-affidavit that the Corporation had filed in a case concerning a reserved site at Meenakshi Nagar in North Zone. He had sought the copy from the Corporation law officer in December 2021.

The Corporation refused to accept the registered letter containing the RTI application saying there was no law officer in the Council wing. After his application was not even received, the applicant preferred an appeal with the appellate officer, the deputy commissioner.

In response to the appeal, the Deputy Commissioner in February this year denied the information saying sharing the Corporation’s counter-affidavit would impact the course of the case and cited a Central Information Commission order to justify the denial.

Mr. Thiyagarajan responded with a letter to the Deputy Commissioner in March this year, arguing that the Central Information Commission had, in fact, ordered that documents be shared. He said the Commission had ordered, “Judicial proceedings and records thereof are public records and the appellant [in a case] has a right to secure desired information.”

In response to this letter, the Deputy Commissioner cited a State Information Commission order that in essence said judicial records concerning a case could not be shared.

The activist then sought a copy of the Corporation’s counter-affidavit, but this time under the Indian Evidence Act. After the Corporation yet again denied him the information citing the State Information Commission order, the activist moved the State Information Commission.

He said it was not at all surprising that the Corporation found one reason or the another to deny information as it had a bad track record on the issue.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 5:58:06 pm |