The Right to Information (RTI) allows and empowers the Indian citizens to promote transparency and accountability in the working and functioning of the government, control corruption, and make the democracy work for the people in the sense it is meant to be. The main aim to provide this right is to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of government and make the government more responsive to the people. It empowers the Indian citizens to inspect the government work, take notes and get certified photocopies to know the status of work.
The RTI has been a boon for the common people since it has improved the government functioning drastically due to continuous monitoring by people, media, NGOs, etc.
However, there have been quite a handful of instances where people have tried to exploit this right and used it to ask absolutely unnecessary queries.
In 2008, a girl from UP made a complete mockery of the National Human Resource Commission, by asking about the 'ladoos' she had sent on 'Rakshabandhan' to George W. Bush, who was the, then President of the USA and why they had not reached him. Moreover, she demanded appropriate action by the commission on the serious issue of the missing ladoos.
In this hilarious application by 26-year-old Ajay Kumar from Mumbai inquired if India could defend herself without Will Smith during an alien/zombie apocalypse? He was referring to the Hollywood actor who fought zombies in the film 'I am Legend' to survive after the zombie apocalypse and also fights and destroys aliens on earth in the 'Men in Black' movie series. The government in its apt reply ridiculed the application stating it to be an extremely hypothetical situation.
People confuse the Right to Information with the right to stupidity. In an absurd query, a Delhi resident in 2010 filed an application asking for details of the quantity and quality of tobacco and paan chewed and spat on the walls by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi officials. Furthermore, he also wanted to know the ingredients of paan in the supari which was consumed by the officials.
An intrigued citizen interrogated about the speed of the internet at the Prime Minister's office. In his explanation of the plea, he wanted to know if his data provider was as slow as other citizens of the nation. The government in its reply stated that the speed at the PM's office was 34 Mbps and that the internet bill was included in the phone bill. It seems the PM has a private postpaid plan.
This is probably the craziest yet the gutsiest incident where a disturbed citizen filed an application seeking what kind of underwear should be worn before the Prime Minister. The question was straight forwarded to the PM's office asking for the exact 'specification of underwear'. This was done in revolt to him being arrested previously where he had stripped down to his underwear which had drawings with anti-government slogans in a government convention addressed by the then PM, Manmohan Singh.
A 47-year-old man from Gujarat filed an application demanding information on the eligible females in the government department for marriage. This insane demand was made to the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission. Moreover, in his bizarre application, he admitted to being okay with any eligible match from any department of the commission.
In 2010, an inquisitive person in another total ludicrous query from Hyderabad wanted the details from the Andhra Pradesh Governor on how many times he visits the temple. This was not it, the curious soul even wanted to have the copy of the dinner menu from his official residence.
In this extremely unusual application in 2009, an RTI activist claimed that the local politicians from his area tried to spy on him and his activities to not let him investigate their own illegal activities. He claimed this was so that they could continue their unlawful activities without getting detected and challenged. This is unusual since the activist had challenged another RTI application (by the local politicians) filed against his activities.
In this laughable plea to the PM's Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra, a curious citizen demanded to enquire if the PM had ever taken his subordinates on a picnic and how much money was spent on such an outing. The PM's office had replied that there had been no picnic nor a leisure activity organized by the PM's office or the Principal Secretary.