Is the IPAB above the RTI Act, 2005?


It has been five years since Parliament has passed the Right to Information Act. The legislation which gives citizens a right to demand information from the Government has been a tremendous success across the board, right from the grass-roots level to the power-centre in Delhi. It however appears that this information revolution has swept past the website of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). Sections 3 & 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 requires all ‘public authorities’ to maintain on their websites details of the ‘Public Information Officers’ along with the procedure for filing RTI Applications.

A perusal of the websites of the Supreme Court of India, the High Courts of various states, the Ministries of the Central Government, the Patent Office indicates that all of them have published the relevant RTI information on their websites. The IPAB website however does not carry any such details although the IPAB is a ‘public authority’ as defined in the RTI Act since it has been established by a law of Parliament.

Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005 allows an aggreived party to approach the Central Information Commission and demand action against the IPAB for its failure to provide this information on its website. Any volunteers?

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Prashant Reddy

T. Prashant Reddy graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, with a B.A.LLB (Hons.) degree in 2008. He later graduated with a LLM degree (Law, Science & Technology) from the Stanford Law School in 2013. Prashant has worked with law firms in Delhi and in academia in India and Singapore. He is also co-author of the book Create, Copy, Disrupt: India's Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP).

5 comments.

  1. Nikyraja

    I think so that a board like IPAB is above this act as they are disposing the cases related with IP related issues, it is a board and not a single person unlike in other judicial system. This sort of information you can have from patent office or design office or trademark office etc. it is committee comprising experts doing the job just like in the judicial system where ever necessary they do form the bench.

    Reply
  2. Prashant Reddy

    @ Nikyraja,

    Actually, the RTI Act is applicable to all ‘public authorities’ and the IPAB is covered under the definition of public authorities as defined in the RTI Act, 2005.

    Cheers,
    Prashant

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    If one files any application under RTI Act with IPAB, it is DIPP which sends the reply. strange.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Now the replies to RTI applications are being sent by IPAB itself. It is the Court Officer of IPAB who signs the replies as Asst. CPIO.

    Reply

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