Explore use of advanced technology to give RTI replies to differently-able’ says SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court directed the Centre as well as the stste to explore the use of advanced technology in providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act  to differently-abled persons. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said such people should have a functional-facility to receive the information as permissible under the Act.

Observing that information makes an individual “empowered”, the top court said the right to acquire and disseminate information has been regarded as an intrinsic component of freedom of speech and expression. “They should not be deprived of the benefit of such a utility,” the court said.

On a writ petition filed by Aseer Jamal, the bench said, We think it appropriate to ask the authorities to explore any kind of advanced technology that has developed in the meantime so that other methods can be introduced,” the bench said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, however, said that according to the provision, it was obligatory on the part of the central public information as it prepares a reply in the printed format and forwards it to the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped where it is converted to Braille.  He said that Audio files were also being prepared.

In view of the submission, the top court said that if any representation was made of further difficulties the same shall be dealt not only with sympathy but also with concern and empathy.

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