Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Under the RTI Act, does a citizen have the right for inspection and even for collecting samples of air conditioning machines installed in government offices?
State information commissioner Rahul Singh ruled that inspection of a machine didn’t come under the definition of work, record or document. Hence, such permission can’t be granted.
As per the order, an RTI applicant from Rewa sought inspection of AC (air conditioners) installed at a government office.
The applicant Neeraj Shukla filed an application under Right to Information (RTI) with Singrauli Municipal Corporation seeking inspection of ACs installed at the corporation office and also purchase related information of the ACs.
The deputy commissioner of corporation who happens to be the public information officer (PIO) gave invoice regarding details of the purchase of the ACs but didn't address the issue of inspection.
Aggrieved with the decision of the PIO, Neeraj Shukla filed first appeal before the Singrauli Municipal Commissioner, but couldn't get the inspection of ACs done.
The applicant filed the second appeal with State Information Commission and pleaded that it was his right to inspect ACs at the government office and the inspection be allowed.
During hearing of the RTI appeal before state information commissioner Rahul Singh, the PIO informed that due to a mistake, inspection issue was not addressed at the time of disposal of RTI application but now if it was required inspection may be facilitated.
The RTI applicant pleaded during hearing that inspection was required as he assumed that there was a huge corruption in the purchase of ACs at the office.
The state information commissioner Rahul Singh ruled that section 2 J (i) of Right to Information Act (RTI) Act reads "Inspection of work, documents, records" but it does not talk about inspection of other things. Hence, ACs installed at government offices do not come under definition of work, records and documents.