Right to ‘Inspection Of Work’ of any Public Authority under Section 2(j) of Right to Information Act does not include ‘Inspection Of Property’: High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judge, Justice Yahwant Sharma in the case of Ansaar Mohammad v. State of Rajasthan (W.P.(C) 3883/2022) held that right to ‘Inspection Of Work’ of any Public Authority under Section 2(j) of RTI Act does not include ‘Inspection Of Property’

BRIEF FACTS: This writ petition was filed  against the order of 28 September 2021 in terms of which an application made by the petitioner purporting to invoke the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 was rejected.  From a perusal of the application as tendered, it transpires that the petitioner was essentially aggrieved by non-completion of certain civil works in a government quarter which had been allotted to him. It was in that connection that the provisions of the Act were sought to be invoked.  Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the inspection of premises and properties would fall within the ambit of the Act in light of the provisions made in Section 2(j). According to learned counsel, the use of the word “work” in Section 2(j) would indicate that the provisions of the Act could extend to the prayers as made and laid before the respondents. 

FINDINGS OF THE COURT:  In the considered opinion of the Court that the submissions of the learned counsel of the petitioner was thoroughly misconceived for certain reasons. The court remarked “The Act essentially confers a right on citizens to seek information. It enables them to secure information that may be within the control and possession of public authorities. When Section 2(j) uses the word “work”, it is referring to the inspection of documents and records and it is in that light that the said phrase is liable to be understood. The word “work” is to be read in conjunction with the expressions “documents” and “records”. It thus must necessarily draw color therefrom’’. The court dismissed the petition by remarking that as it construed the provisions of the Act, it was manifest that the application that was made was thoroughly misconceived. 

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