Understanding the Legality of RTI Documents in Court
Yes, documents obtained by RTI are valid in the court in India. However, the admissibility of RTI documents in court depends on a number of factors, including:
- The nature of the document
- Whether the document is a certified copy
- Whether the document is relevant to the case
Certified copies of public documents obtained under the RTI Act are admissible in court as evidence without any further corroboration. This is because Section 77 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 provides that certified copies of public documents may be directly read in evidence.
However, if the RTI document is not a certified copy, or if it is not a public document, then it will be treated as secondary evidence. This means that the party seeking to rely on the document must first prove the authenticity of the document before it can be admitted in evidence.
In addition, the court will also consider the relevance of the RTI document to the case. If the document is not relevant to the case, then it will not be admissible in evidence.
Here are some examples of RTI documents that have been held to be admissible in court:
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Land records
- Educational certificates
- Income tax returns
- Police reports
- Government circulars and orders
It is important to note that the law on the admissibility of RTI documents is still evolving, and there have been conflicting rulings from different courts.