CPIO is bound to implement the Order of FAA

CIC observed that no additional reply had been provided to the appellant even after a direction from the FAA to provide the requisite information vide his order dated 03.08.2018. CIC expressed its extreme displeasure towards the irresponsible attitude of the then CPIO who had not even paid heed to his own FAA’s order and had flouted the FAA’s order and is responsible for denial of information and issued a strict warning to the CPIO to be careful in future.

D T Eshwaran vs. CPIO., Central Govt Employees Welfare Housing Organization,

File no.: – CIC/CGEHO/C/2018/170303 DD 17-3-2020

 

Refusal of information should be justified under any one of the clauses under S.8

Delhi High Court in Dy. Commissioner of Police v. D.K. Sharma, WP (C) No. 12428 of 2009 dated 15.12.2010, has held:
“6. This Court is inclined to concur with the view expressed by the CIC that in order to deny the information under the RTI Act the authority concerned would have to show a justification with reference to one of the specific clauses under Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act. …..
Dr J K Trivedi vs. Under Secy. (INM) & CPIO, Dept. of Agriculture,
File no.: CIC/DOA&C/A/2018/631149 DD 17/03/2020

Rejection of information relating to tour diary and T.A. bill details upheld

RTI applicant had sought 1. Copy of the attendance register, 2. Approved tour diary and 3. Details of T.A bill drawn by one Venugopal. PIO denied disclosure of items 2 and 3 being personal information and exempted u/s.8(1)(j). Regarding item No.1 it was submitted that the concerned officer was not obliged to mark his attendance. CIC upheld PIO’s decision
Vaishali Geetha vs CPIO, EPIO
CIC/EPFOG/A/2018/636037 D.D.16-3-2020

CIC has held that S.8(1)(j) applies only to individuals or persons

CIC has held that in common language, the adjective “personal‟ is found applicable to “person”, an individual and not to an Institution or a Corporate; that the term “personal” cannot be related to Institutions, Organisations or Corporates and S. 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act cannot be applied when the information concerns Institutions, Organisations or Corporates.
CIC has also relied upon the decision dated 22.11.2011 passed by the Delhi High Court in Jamia Milia Islamia vs. Sh. Ikramuddin.

Raj Kamal Bhatia vs. PIO/Dy. General Manager-(HR)/PGO, BHEL
S.A. No. CIC/BHELD/A/2018/132261 D.D. 17-3-2020

Information relating to commercial data of 3rd parties refused

CIC has upheld PIO’s decision to refuse disclosure of 3rd parties commercial data observing that disclosing of the commercial data of third party(s) has the potential of affecting their competitive position; that the appellant had not mentioned his relation with the concerned companies in the RTI application nor established any larger public interest in the matter and hence the information relating to third parties being in the nature of commercial confidence is exempted under Sec. 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act, 2005.
CIC further held that the appellant had sought very wide and non-specific information about the aforesaid companies for which the CPIO cannot be expected to analyse and interpret the documents in order to create the information in the manner sought by the appellant. In support of its stand, the CIC has relied upon the decision dated 07-01-2016 of the Delhi High Court in LPA 24/2015 & CM No. 965/2015 – The Registrar of Supreme Court of India v. Commodore Lokesh K Batra & Ors.,
S.A.No. CIC/CRAIL/A/2018/626208 DD 13-3-2020
Pravin Shrivastava vs CPIO, M/o. Railways

PIO need not certify that the information provided is the copy of a genuine document.

High Court of Kerala in titled in its decision in John Numpeli (Junior) v. PIO, – WP(C). No. 31947 of 2013 dated 31-01-2014 – has observed as follows:- “In the event of an applicant’s request for information being granted all that the Public Information Officer would have to do is to certify that the copy is one issued under the Right to Information Act, 2005. He is not called upon to certify that it is a copy of a genuine document. …..”
Complaint No. CIC/ISPNR/C/2018/626089 DD 12-3-2020
Varun Krishna vs. CPIO, India Security Press, (SPMCIL), Nashik,

 

Request for disclosure of reasons for passing award refused

Applicant had sought information regarding the reasons on the basis of which award was given to Mr. Satish despite causing loss to the company with respect to maintenance of spare parts. The same was not considered.
CIC agreed with the PIO observing that the appellant had not sought any specific documents and therefore, the CPIO cannot be expected to analyse and interpret the documents/rules for creating the information in the manner sought by the appellant. CIC relied upon the decision dated 07-01-2016 of the Delhi High Court in LPA 24/2015 & CM No. 965/2015 titled as The Registrar of Supreme Court of India v. Commodore Lokesh K Batra &Ors., wherein, it was held as under:- “15. On a combined reading of Section 4(1)(a) and Section 2(i), it appears to us that the requirement is only to maintain the records in a manner which facilitates the right to information under the Act. As already noticed above, “right to information” under Section 2(j) means only the right to information which is held by any public authority. We do not find any other provision under the Act under which a direction can be issued to the public authority to collate the information in the manner in which it is sought by the applicant.”
7. The CPIO is also not obliged to provide reasons to the appellant on the basis of which award was given to Mr. Satish Kumar Singh. This sort of queries seeking clarification from the CPIO are not covered within the definition of ‘information’ u/Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005”.
S.A. No. CIC/NCFLT/A/2018/129426 DD 16-3-2020
L. K. Choubey vs. CPIO, Northern Coalfields Limited,

 

RTI applicant not entitled for copies of her own documents

CIC has held that the appellant is not entitled to seek her own documents in terms of the judgment of the Madras High Court in W.P. No. 26781 of 2013 and M.P. No. 1 of 2013 titled as The Central Information Commission v. B. Bharathi dated 17.09.2014, wherein, it is observed as follows:- “24. Insofar as query (iv) is concerned, we fail to understand as to how the second respondent is entitled to justify his claim for seeking the copies of his own complaints and appeals. It is needless to say that they are not the information available within the knowledge of the petitioner; on the other hand, admittedly, they are the documents of the second respondent himself, and therefore, if he does not have copies of the same, he has to blame himself and he cannot seek those details as a matter of right, thinking that the High Court will preserve his frivolous applications as treasures/valuable assets. Further, those documents cannot be brought under the definition “information” as defined under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act. Therefore, we reject the contention of the second respondent in this aspect.”
S.A. No. CIC/EIRSA/A/2018/122828 DD 16-3-2020
Ms. Firdous Altaf Hussain Inamdar vs CPIO, M/o. External Affairs, New Delhi.

During the pendency of the inquiry information need not be disclosed

RTI request was rejected as the case was still under investigation. CIC agreed with the said stand observing that even if the enquiry was complete at the Institute Level, the matter cannot be said to have attained finality if it is pending with any higher authority.
In this regard, CIC relied on the decision in the matter of K.S. Prasad vs SEBI CIC/AT/A/2007/007/00234, wherein it is observed: “…as soon as an investigation or an enquiry by a subordinate Enquiry Officer in Civil and Administrative matters comes to an end and, the investigation report is submitted to a higher authority, it cannot be said to be the end of investigation. … which can be truly said to be concluded only with the decision by the competent authority.” Thus the above ratio clearly indicates that the term “investigation” used in Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act requires a wider interpretation and shall be read as inclusive of an enquiry conducted as part of the disciplinary proceedings”.
File No. -CIC/CAVRI/A/2018/168025/03150 File no.: – CIC/CAVRI/A/2018/168025 DD 16-3-2020    C K Beura VS CPIO Central Avian Research Institute
DE., investigation pending 8(1)(h)

CIC – collection and collation of information diverts the resources

Appellant had sought information regarding use of fly ash bricks by contract agency in construction work in Deolali cantt. PIO provided him an opportunity of inspection but he did not avail it.
On Second Appeal, CIC held that information sought will require collection and collation of inputs disproportionately diverting the resources of public authority, attracting Section 7(9) of the RTI Act, that the CPIO provided opportunity of inspection to the Appellant which he has not availed of the same and agreed with the PIO
File No : CIC/IARMY/A/2018/153657 DD 16-3-2020
Mukundraje R Potdar vs. CPIO, Cantonment Board

LIC to publish FAQs regarding cancellation of its policies

Applicant had sought information whether repudiation code 1-101 was sufficient enough to cancel the policy; reasons for accepting the premium due on 2/2017 after informing repudiation of claim and other issues related thereto.
On a query from CIC whether any FAQs had been answered and placed in public domain on such and related matters, PIO had replied in the negative but had assured that in the larger public interest, they would attempt to prepare a set of question and answers on this and related queries and place it on their website for the benefit of their customers.
CIC having regard to the facts of the case and the submissions made by the LIC, has directed it to furnish a set of FAQs on such related matters for the benefit of the public at large especially its customers for the ease and ready reference, within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.
Anil Kumar S vs CPIO & Manager (CRM), LIC of India,
No. CIC/LICOI/A/2018/150362-BJ DD 12-3-2020

Husband’s current monthly salary and designation ordered to be disclosed

Wife had information regarding the current monthly salary of her husband along with his present designation, etc. CPIO denied disclosure of information u/s 8(1) (e) and (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 on the ground that the third party had objected for the disclosure of the information.
CIC directed disclosure of the information sought by relying upon the Division Bench decision of the High Court of M.P. in the matter of Smt. Sunita Jain vs. Pawan Kumar Jain and others W.A. No. 168/2015 and Smt. Sunita Jain vs. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and others W.A. No. 170/2015 dated 15.05.2018 where the applicants had sought the salary details of their husbands from the employer and the High Court had held as under:
“While dealing with the Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the appellant and the respondent No.1 are husband and wife and as a wife she is entitled to know what remuneration the respondent No.1 is getting. Present case is distinguishable from the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) and therefore the law laid down by their Lordships in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) are not applicable in the present case. In view of the foregoing discussion, we allow the appeal and set aside the order passed by the Writ Court in W.P. No.341/2008. Similarly, the W.A. No.170/2015 is also allowed and the impugned order passed in W.P. No.1647/2008 is set aside.”
Ms. Dola Mukherjee vs. CPIO Manager (CRM), LIC of India
No. CIC/LICOI/A/2018/150381-BJ DD 12-3-2020

 

PGIMER Chandigarh directed to publish on its website the security details provided to its women working in the night shift

Appellant had sought information regarding details of security arrangements made for the safe passage of Women OTA staff working between 8:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. from the place of duty to their home by the PGIMER, etc.
CIC while directing the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh to reexamine its response to the RTI application, considering the sensitivity and criticality of the information sought, has instructed the Public Authority to suo motu disclose the details on its website and also disclose the contact details of the official in charge of the safety / security of the women employees within 15 days
Ravi Verma vs. CPIO Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Sector
No. CIC/PGIME/A/2018/150818-BJ Date of Decision : 12.03.2020

Legal opinion furnished by the law officer to the public authority is exempted from disclosure

CIC by relying upon the decisions of the Supreme Court in B.P Singhal vs. Union of India (2010) 6 SCC 331 and in CBSE vs. Aditya Bandhyopadhyay, (Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011) has held when information sought pertains to the legal opinion issued by the government appointed law officer to a public authority, the existence of a lawyer-client relationship between the two cannot be negated and consequently, the protection afforded under Section 8(1)(e) of RTI Act is available to such legal opinion by virtue of the fiduciary element subsisting therein.
File No : CIC/IARMY/A/2018/148494 DD 11-3-2020
Kapeesh Jain vs CPIO, Cantonment Board

Applicant fails to get clarification regarding ‘VIPs’

Appellant had sought information as to which officials are considered as VIPs. PIO stated that he was not supposed to create information or to interpret information or to solve problems raised by the appellant or to furnish replies to situational queries or to furnish clarification.
CIC upheld the stand of the PIO and has relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the matter of CBSE vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay (C.A. No. 6454 of 2011) dated 09.08.2011 and of the Delhi High Court dated 04.12.2014 in case of The Registrar, Supreme Court of India vs. Commodore Lokesh K. Batra [W.P.(C) No. 6634/2011] wherein it is held that in terms of the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, the CPIO is not supposed to create information; or to interpret information; or to solve problems raised by the appellant; or to furnish replies to situational queries; or to furnish clarifications; that the CPIO only provides information available with him or held by him and that 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; that the law is now well settled that the Act does not enjoin a public authority to create, collect or collate information that is not available with it and there is no obligation on a public authority to process any information in order to create further information as is sought by an applicant.
Gejesh George vs. CPIO, M/O. Railways, Railway Board
No. CIC/MORLY/A/2018/140232 DD 05-03-2020