`Information cannot be denied by questioning applicant's locus standi'

Special Correspondent

PANAJI: The Goa State Information Commission on Thursday ruled that under the Right to Information Act, 2005, neither locus standi nor "the reasons for seeking the information" could be mentioned as reasons for denial of information by public authorities.

This ruling was given following an appeal to the commission by Agostino Proenca of north Goa, who had been denied information related to a criminal case by the North Goa Superintendent of Police and subsequently by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, who is an Appellate Authority.

A. Venkataratnam, State information commissioner, on Thursday rejected an argument of the Police Department that "disclosure of information about a criminal case would amount to invasion of privacy of an individual because the applicant was neither the complainant nor the accused in the criminal case."

Mr. Venkataratnam told The Hindu though Goa was the second State in the country to have the Right to Information Legislation in 1997, the State Act, which had been superseded by the RTI Act, 2005, had the provisions where information could be denied questioning the locus standi of the applicant or questioning the "public purpose of the information".

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