Want Reply To RTI? Show Proof Of Citizenship First: Lucknow University's Bizarre Demand
As protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) sweep the country with proclamations of 'Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge' (we won't show papers), Lucknow University's demand for Citizenship proof in response to an RTI application, is shocking.
RTI activist Alok Chantia had sought information on financial irregularities, misuse of grants sanctioned to the Lucknow University by various agencies, and details of appointment of Principals, especially in self-financed colleges, and appointment of teachers in the university in 2004, from the university's RTI cell.
The Lucknow University (LU) refused to provide the information sought by the activist who filed the Right to Information (RTI), asking him to prove to be an Indian Citizen.
On being asked about this issue, spokesperson of Lucknow University, Durgesh Srivastava, told The Logical Indian that the matter has been noted and an investigation is underway.
"This is an old matter, we are aware of it. The university will respond to his RTI queries as per rules," said Srivastava.
Rule 6 (2) of the Act clearly states that 'An applicant making a request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.'
Chantia had also lodged a complaint with the vice-chancellor of the university but even then he could not get the desired information.
"It is shocking how the university has twisted the RTI law as per its whims and fancy. It does not have any authority to do so," said the RTI applicant.
"It is possible that some applicants who may not be familiar with the provisions of the RTI, may have furnished proof of their citizenship to the varsity to get the information but that cannot become a rule," he pointed out.
Instead of responding to his queries, the university's RTI cell had allegedly sent a letter asking him to attach a document of identity that establishes his Indian citizenship.
"He was only asked for a general Identity proof, the matter is being escalated to create a nuisance," Shrivastava said.