RTI Judgement Series: Suo moto disclosures by all public authorities under Section 4
Moneylife Digital Team 18 April 2013

The CIC asked health departments of GNCTD and MCD, which run and maintain a large number of hospitals and clinics in Delhi, to suo moto publish all information as required under Section 4 of the RTI Act. This is the 76th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing a complaint, asked

the Additional Commissioner (Health) at Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Principal Secretary (Health) at Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to make available suo moto the details of Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) at all offices and hospitals under its control.


While giving this judgement on 4 November 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “These boards (showing detailed information about Public Information Officers—PIOs and First Appellate Authorities-FAAs)—shall be installed at all hospitals, maternity centres, polyclinics, dispensaries and all other non-administrative and administrative units and offices of the departments.”


New Delhi resident Sushma Prasad, had filed a complaint to the Commission under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Here is what she said in her request to the CIC...


"Section (4) of the RTI act, envisages suo moto disclosures by all public authorities. 

The Department of Health Services, GNCTD and Department of Health, MCD, run and maintains a large number of hospitals and clinics in the city.  However, if one wishes to make a request for information under the RTI act, it is practically impossible to find out the details of the PIO, etc. It is welcomed that this information is available on the website of the departments; however the Commission may take into consideration the fact that a majority of patients coming to these hospitals hail from economically weaker sections of the society and thus, it cannot be assumed that all of them have access to the internet."


Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, while allowing the complaint said the Commission considers this as a bona fide request and observes that this information is a basic requirement under the Act and that the concerned departments ought to have done this earlier. However, that is not the case. There is a clear and unambiguous provision for the same in the Act, in the form of explanation to Section 4 of the RTI Act.


In his order, Mr Gandhi, said, “A sign-board of appropriate dimension shall be installed, mentioning the name(s), designation(s), contact details including the office address/room number, availability hours and telephone numbers of the PIOs, APIOs and FAA, as the case may be, who have been notified under the RTI Act, 2005 (in case of a change of PIO or Appellate Authority, the sign-board will be updated within ten days of the said change.) Information regarding the requisite fees to be paid under various provisions of the RTI Act 2005, modes of payment and the office where such fee will be accepted. Information regarding information handbook/manuals published under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Act; their location and time when they can be accessed should be also mentioned on the board. The exact link/URL to the page on the website of the department where the information handbook can be viewed will also be mentioned. No acronym/ abbreviation should be used. This information shall be inscribed both in Hindi, English, and shall be installed at a location having maximum public view. This will be maintained by the head of the public authority/head of institution as the case may be, or the officer(s) so directed by them in writing, so long as the RTI act is in force. This should be done by the 15 December 2010."


The CIC also asked the Additional Commissioner (Health), MCD and The Principal Secretary (Health), GNCTD to send a consolidated report of compliance of the above directions to this Commission by 20 December 2010.




Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001324/10035


Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001324


Complainant                                : Sushma Prasad,

                                                            New Delhi - 110 087


Respondents                            : (1) The Additional Commissioner (Health),

                                                        Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD),                                                                                            Room No. 28, Town Hall, 

                                                        Delhi - 110 006


                                                        (2) The Principal Secretary (Health),

                                                        Govt. of NCT of Delhi,

                                                        Room no. 907, A - Wing, Delhi Secretariat,

                                                        I.P.Estate, New Delhi - 110 002

Free Helpline
Legal Credit