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RTI applicants need not reveal their address: Centre

According to reports, the ministry of personnel has written to all central government ministries and departments, who act as public authorities mandated with providing information on RTI applications made to them, citing a judgement by Calcutta high court in this regard. 

‘The applicant need not disclose any personal detail, the authority should not insist upon his detailed whereabouts particularly when post box number is provided for establishing contact between him and the authority. In case the authority would find any difficulty with the post box number, they may insist upon personal details. However, in such case, it would be the solemn duty of the authority to hide such information and particularly from their website so that people at large would not know of the details,’ the high court judgment said.

The order had come following a writ petition by Avishek Goenka who sought the court’s direction that authority should not insist upon the detailed address of the applicant as and when any application is made under the Right to Information Act. The interested parties could cause a threat to the activist and there have been past incidents of unnatural deaths of activists in the field by persons having vested interests.

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