Public authority need not collect or collate non available information

Under the provisions of the RTI Act, the Public Authority is expected to provide only that information which it holds.
In CBSE & Anr. vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & ors. (C.A. No. 6454 of 2011) the Supreme Court has observed that :
“35……… where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non-available information and then furnish it to an applicant……………”
C. Lakshmi Narasamma vs CPIO: Reserve Bank of India
Second Appeal No.CIC/RBIND/A/2018/121083 DD 31-1-2020

Legal heir certificate necessary to obtain information relating to deceased father

Appellant had sought information pertaining to KCC loan records of his late father.
CPIO submitted that death certificate and legal heir certificate had not been submitted by the appellant along with his RTI application as well as the first appeal and in the absence of this, the information could not be provided as it is third party information under Section 8 (1) (e) & (j) of the RTI Act.
Appellant during the hearing agreed to provide the documents to the respondent. CIC directed the CPIO to provide the information on receipt of proper legal heir certificate issued by the competent authority
Second Appeal No.CIC/SBIND/A/2018/122563 DD 31.01.2020
Suryaprakash Samaiya VS CPIO: State Bank of India

 

No need to provide hard copy of the information if it is available in public domain

Appellant’s contention was that a hard copy of the information sought had not been provided to her. Respondent’s stand was that the information was already available in public domain, hence, the question of providing hard copies of documents would not arise.
CIC dismissed the appeal holding that the RTI Act does not cast obligation upon the CPIO to provide hard copies of documents/ information which are already available in public domain.
Rekha Nellypally vs. Union Bank of India,
Second Appeal No.CIC/UBIND/A/2018/140313 DD 31-1-2020
http://Microsoft Word – 140313 SK.docx

RTI Act does not enable seeking clarification

The appellant wanted to know as to why he was not considered for appointment to the post of Railway Sub Inspector. PIO’s stand was that the appellant had sought information in the form of a query that is not covered within the definition of ‘information’ u/S 2(f) of the RTI Act. CIC., following the decision of the Supreme Court in CBSE and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay – 2011 (8) SCC 497 observed that the appellant is seeking clarification which is not covered within the definition of ‘information’ u/section 2(f) of the RTI Act and that the CPIO is not expected to give advice/interpretation to the appellant

SA No. CIC/NRAIL/A/2018/115657 DD 29-11-2019 Vidya Sagar vs. CPIO, M/O. Railways, Northern Railway,

Caste Certificate not disclosed

CIC in S.A. No. CIC/SERLK/A/2018/115309 DD 29-11-2019 – Dr. Bimal Kumar Raj … vs CPIO, M/o. Railways, South Eastern Railway following the decisions of the Delhi High Court dated 08.11.2013 in W.P.(C) 5812/2010 in UPSC v. Pinki Ganeriwal, and the order dated 01.07.2019 in W.P.(C) 776/2016 & CM. No. 3376/2016 in Baljeet Singh v. The PIO, Industrial Training Institute, Jahangirpuri held that the ‘caste certificate’ of an employee is exempted under S. 8(1)(j) r/w S. 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act, 2005 and no element of larger public interest had been established in the matter.

CIC declines disclosure of settlement dues, appointment letters & pension details, etc.

CIC in S.A. No. CIC/SERLK/A/2018/115309 DD 29-11-2019 Dr. Bimal Kumar Raj … vs CPIO, M/o. Railways, South Eastern Railway, following the decision of Bombay High Court dt 22-08-2013 in W.P. No. 1825 of 2013 in Subhash Bajirao Khemnar v. Shri Dilip Nayku Thorat declined disclosure of the details of the service records such as settlement dues, appointment letters and pension details of other employees are in the nature of ‘personal information’ which cannot be supplied to the appellant in the absence of any larger public interest.

 

CIC directs disclosure of official’s attendance details

RTI applicant had sought an official’s posting details, copy of attendance register, reasons for his absence and details of penalties imposed upon him. Directing disclosure of attendance details, CIC has observed that it is the duty of every public servant to attend the office on time and remain present during the working hours and that the citizens have every right to check/know the attendance timings of public servants; that the very purpose of RTI Act, 2005 is to ensure accountability of public servants and right of access to the citizens regarding the public activity of the public servant has to be provided. The attendance details of public servant relate to public activity and hence cannot be denied to the appellant. However, CPIO is not obliged to provide the reasons of the leave taken by the official which is in the nature of personal information and exempted u/Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005 and the details of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the official is a matter between employer and employee covered by the ratio of the judgment of Supreme Court in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v. Central Information Commissioner

Second Appeal No. CIC/WRAIL/A/2018/115813 DD 29-11-2019 Nishakant Parasnath Mishra … vs. CPIO, M/O. Railways, Western Railway,

 

RTI Act does not allow seeking futuristic or presumptive information

RTI application related to the requests regarding initiation of action for appointment of 74 employees. CIC has observed that the appellant is seeking futuristic /presumptive response w.r.t. redressal of his grievance, which the PIO is not obliged to answer under the RTI Act, 2005 in terms of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in CBSE and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors., 2011 (8) SCC 497.

No. CIC/NCRAL/A/2018/107581 D.D. 30-9-2019 Shrikant Gupta vs CPIO, M/o. Railways, North Central Railway, Allahabad.

Caste Certificate is exempted from disclosure

Delhi High Court in its order dated 01.07.2019 in W.P.(C) 776/2016 & CM. No. 3376/2016 titled as Baljeet Singh v. The Pio, Industrial Training Institute, Jahangirpuri & Anr has observed as follows:- “11. In the case in hand, the respondent no.2 has sought the caste certificate issued to the petitioner. The information is personal information as the caste to which the petitioner belongs is an issue inter-se between the respondent no.1 and the petitioner i.e. between employer and employee and this aspect is governed by service rules. The disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity. In fact, it is held so by a Coordinate Bench of this court in UPSC v. Pinki Ganeriwal, W.P.(C) 5812/2010 decided on November 8, 2013.”

No. CIC/ERAIL/A/2018/106616 D.D. 27-9-2019 Bindu Saha vs CPIO, M/o Railways, Eastern Railway, O/o Chief Medical Superintendent, Andal, W.B.

Caste Certificate is exempted from disclosure

CIC has held that the ‘caste certificate’ of an individual employee is an exempted information as per the provisions of Section 8(1)(j) r/w Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act, 2005 …………… This position has also been upheld by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in its order dated 08.11.2013 in W.P.(C) 5812/2010 titled as UPSC v. Pinki Ganeriwal, wherein, it was observed as under:- “5. In the present case, the information such as date of birth, institution and year of passing graduation, field experience, and caste is the personal information of the selected candidates. There is no finding by the Commission that it was in the larger public interest to disclose the aforesaid personal information of the recommended candidates. Even in his application seeking information, the respondent did not claim that any larger public interest was involved in disclosing the aforesaid information. In the absence of such a claim in the application and a finding to this effect by the Commission, no direction for disclosure of the aforesaid personal information could have been given.” No. CIC/ERAIL/A/2018/106616 D.D. 27-9-2019 Bindu Saha vs CPIO, M/o Railways, Eastern Railway, O/o Chief Medical Superintendent, Andal, W.B.

Educational Certificate is exempted from disclosure

CIC has held that copies of educational certificates of Ms. Krishna Sen Gupta available in the records of the public authority in a fiduciary relationship is exempted under Section 8(1)(e) r/w Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. ………. This position has been upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its order dated 06.08.2013 in the Civil Appeal No. 6362/2013 titled as UPSC v. Gourhari Kamila.

No. CIC/ERAIL/A/2018/106616 D.D. 27-9-2019 Bindu Saha vs CPIO, M/o Railways, Eastern Railway, O/o Chief Medical Superintendent, Andal, W.B.

CIC – A group of persons cannot maintain one RTI application

RTI Application had been filed by a group of persons under different contact details and Indian Postal Order of Rs. 10 had been drawn under the name of the Appellant alone. CIC has observed that the information sought concerns the collective interest of a group of five employees who have signed the RTI Application under their name and contact details. However, the RTI Act nowhere provides for a group of persons to collectively seek information by filing a single RTI Application and single IPO. It would have been appropriate for only one of the five employees to have filed the RTI Application; alternatively, the five employees could have filed separate RTI Applications.

No : CIC/CVCOM/A/2018/121362/SD D.D. 8-8-2019

 

List of officers who had opted for transfer not disclosed

Appellant had sought the list of officers (scale-wise) who had opted for their transfer from Delhi to Jaipur and vice versa and related issues. Respondent gave the total number of officers i.e. 520 officers who had given preference for transfer from Delhi to Jaipur and vice versa but denied the list under section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act. The respondent contended that the individual preferences which were private to them and not to be disclosed for want of public interest. CIC observed that preference of posting which was subject to the approval of the competent authority involves the privacy of a person, and agreed with PIO’s stand. No.CIC/SBIND/A/2018/151991 D D 7-8-2019

 

 

Phone call details, entries in visitors record are exempt from disclosure

Appellant had sought phone call details of Under Secretary from April 2017 to December 2017 and copy of visitors record book of Sena Bhawan with respect to all visitors came from Nagaur (Rajasthan) which was not provided as it was not available. FAA had dismissed the first appeal holding that the information was exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. CIC has observed that information sought was without any timeline and not specific and that the FAA’s order denying the information under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act was upheld.

File No: CIC/DEXSW/A/2018/124701/SD DD 7-8-2019