For More Info Log on to

Google Groups Subscribe to RTI Group
Browse Archives at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

PIO says “File destroyed”? Use this RTI format, based on Public Records Act, to expose lies

Dear fellow activists,


Public Information Officers sometimes falsely say that the file or document sought by you has been destroyed or disposed of. However, they cannot support this statement with evidence. Now you can use the Public Records Act & Rules to demand evidence or to expose improper and unlawful disposal.

Central Public Records ACT 1993 (Section 9) and Maharashtra Public Records Act 2005 (Sec 8) lay down strict terms & conditions, and procedure to be followed before destroying any government document. Public Records RULE no 9 (of both Centre & State) says that no public record shall be destroyed without being recorded, reviewed and properly documented. Public Records Act Sec 10 (Maharashtra Sec 9) states that improper destruction, defacement etc. is punishable with 5 years imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine.

By demanding details of the procedure by which this document or file was supposedly disposed of, you can create pressure on government departments to disclose information. Ask for the following details:

1) Name & designation of the persons who destroyed/disposed of the above-mentioned Public Records.

2) Name & designation of your department’s Records Officer appointed as per Public Records Act and Rule 3 of Public Record Rules

3) Pages of Standing Guard file (maintained by Records Officer as per Rule 4) which refers to the document or file that has supposedly been disposed off

4) List of destroyed records maintained as per Rule no. 9(3)

5) Report, log-book and other records of burning or shredding in the presence of Records Officer

6) Half-yearly report furnished by Records Officer to Director General or Head of Archives as per Rule no. 9(4), especially the reviewing and weeding record.

7) All correspondence with reference to the above-mentioned destruction and disposal of public records

MARATHI & ENGLISH SPEAKERS PLEASE NOTE: The Maharashtra Act & Rules are almost exact translation of the Union Public Records Act & Rules. So, it will be sufficient if you can read and understand one of them. But take care while citing Section numbers of the Act, which are slightly different e.g. Section 10 (Penalties) in Union Act corresponds to Section 9 in Maharashtra Act.


  1. Maharashtra Public Records Act 2005

  1. Maharashtra Public Records RULES 2007


  1. Central Public Records Act 1993

  1. Central Public Records RULES 1997

Friends, please study the Public Records Act & Rules, and start using them. They will be as useful as the RTI Act 2005, because they will enable RTI activists to become more effective!

Warm Regards



No comments: