Ahmedabad: While section 19 of the Birth and Death Registration Act 1969 clearly states that the registrar must place annual death and birth figures in the public domain, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) think, on the contrary, that it is “third party information”.
In an RTI app, CMA’s Birth and Death Registration Service was approached by a citizen for the monthly number of death and birth certificates issued as well as requests made by the public.
The registry superintendent responded by saying the information sought was “voluminous” and most “employees in the department may need to be involved in collecting information during these times of Covid.” The superintendent refused to part with the information.
The request for birth and death figures for the years 2018, 2019, 2020 was made by Kalupur resident Pankaj Bhatt on June 14.
“Certificates are processed online and I only requested numbers which are updated every day. My application does not ask for copies of the birth and death certificates issued by the office. It is clearly a means of blocking information to the public, ”explains the applicant Bhatt.
He added: “I have copies of the monthly birth and death data provided by the same office two years ago under the RTI Act. What makes the same information bigger this time is strange. I filed for a first appeal, ”Bhatt says.
This is not the first time that the department has rejected requests from the RTI Act asking for death figures for the city of Ahmedabad for 2020.
The department cites two Gujarat Information Commission orders from 2007 and 2008, a Delhi high court order from 2009 to deny RTI’s claims on death figures in the year 2020 Covid. The CMA in total rejected four requests making similar demands between October last year and June this year, says a senior CMA official.