Timely reply under the RTI Act

The appellant sought certain information about the enrollment number an advocate, authenticated copy of certificate of enrolment and other supporting documents, educational qualification etc. The PIO admitted that reply to the instant RTI Application was not provided, but submitted that their office has been receiving repeated RTI Applications asking for similar information about third parties, i.e personal information of other advocates and on all instances, their office has duly replied to these RTI Applications. In the instant case also, the information stands duly exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. Noting that no reply was provided to the Appellant, the CIC observed that it is a violation of the provisions of the RTI Act. The PIO was directed to send a proper written submission to the CIC along with supporting documents to show cause as to why no action should be initiated in the matter under Section 20 of the RTI Act for not providing any reply to the instant RTI Application within the stipulated time frame of the RTI Act and even thereafter.


The appellant had not claimed any larger public interest for disclosure of information which was sought. However, the PIO committed the folly of not responding to the RTI application within the prescribed time limit and is facing a show-cause notice for his failure to do so. All PIOs must ensure timely replies to RTI applications lest they find themselves in a serious condition.

Citation: R Karanjai v. Bar Council of West Bengal, CIC/BCOIN/A/2022/134939; Date of dicsion: 03/05/2023

Dr Anuradha Verma ( is a RTI Consultant currently working with IIM Visakhapatnam. She has co-authored the books, RTI Right to Information - Law and Practice and PIO’s Guide to RTI. She offers consultancy on RTI matters and Third party audit. Her other articles can be read at the website of RTI Foundation of India at the link


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