Monday, August 21, 2023

[rti4empowerment] Re: Amendment to Section 8(1)(j)

Still I feel section 8(1) and all exemptions are doubly covered if read section 8(2). 

Govt has removed one qualified exemption of 8(1)(j), however as every exemption 8(1)(j) is also still have some protection in sec 8(2),  whereby it is possible to compel Public Authorities to share information disclosure of which would cause wider public interest. Ofcourse every applicant will not be so literate and empowered. But now it is our duty to propogate that information of public interest will have to be shared and the exemption stands as it is in spirit.Only acid test of what is provided to legislature can be provided to an applicant citizen is removed is great loss. One outer layer of wording and provision is removed. 8(2) still will keep guarding.

Let us read it thoroughly to understand the implications and what inbuilt remedies the RTI Act provided.

Pralhad Kachare

On Mon, 21 Aug 2023, 10:57 Venkatesh Nayak, <> wrote:
Dear all,
I agree with Zagade saheb completely. Prahladji, please read the Bill as tabled in Parliament and compare it with the draft Bill of 2022. The comparative reading will make it clear as to what has changed in Section 8(1)(j). The Draft Bill of 2022 sought to omit the second limb of the exemption which contains two tests for the disclosure of personal information or otherwise. The third limb contains the public interest override. The draft Bill sought to omit these two limbs. The Bill tabled in the Parliament reversed this by saying, what it will retain in Section 8(1)(j). The extract from the RTI Act was attached to that Bill. It contained the entire Section 8(1)(j) and the proviso. Out of this the Act only retains the first limb of the original Section 8(1)(j). Therefore, Section 8(1)(j) becomes a category or blanket exemption like Section 8(1)(e) and Section 8(1)(f) which do not contain harm tests. So the public authority is most likely to use rejection as the default option and we will have to argue overriding public interest by using Section 8(2) in every such case. The PIO only has the burden of showing that the information sought is personal information. He does not have to show what harm will be caused by disclosing such information as was the case earlier (at least in theory). In any case, until the Government brings the DPDP Act into force, the original formulation of Section 8(1)(j) will continue to hold the field. Every action of a public authority to invoke Section 8(1)(j) in its amended form must be contested until the DPDP Act is brought into force (i.e., when GoI makes the Rules and issues a notification saying on which date this part of the DPDP Act will come into force).

On Mon, 21 Aug 2023 at 08:23, Mahesh Zagade <> wrote:
The change in (j) represents a significant and far-reaching alteration, as it effectively imposes a complete prohibition on the sharing of personal information under the Right to Information Act. 
This change has profound implications for transparency and accountability, as it restricts the public's access to crucial information that is vital for holding individuals and institutions accountable. By barring the sharing of personal information, this amendment undermines the very essence of the Right to Information Act, which was designed to empower citizens with the ability to access and scrutinize government records and information.


Mahesh Zagade, IASx,
Ex-Principal Secretary to Government of 

On 21-Aug-2023, at 7:44 AM, Adv. Pralhad Kachare <> wrote:

I have checked final copy of DPDP Act published by Mety GoI the link is below and copy is attached.

Section 44(3) 

(3) In section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, in sub-section (1), for clause (j),the following clause shall be substituted, namely:—

"(j) information which relates to personal information;".

From the above what is substituted is not clear, does it mean there seems to be no damage to section 8(1)(j) as it was published in the draft bill,   apparently  ? 

Pralhad Kachare
Cell- 9422750464

<Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 (1).pdf>

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