Poll: Should Annual Confidential Report of Officials be disclosed under RTI?

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  1. #417
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    Sajib Nandi
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Reported by Ibnlive.in.com on Aug 24, 2012
    SC seeks Govt response on plea to make ACRs public under RTI, IBN Live News

    New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court today sought the Centre's response on a plea for disclosure of annual performance appraisal reports (APARs) of public servants under the Right to Information law. A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya issued a notice on the petition filed by RTI activist R K Jain challenging a Delhi High Court verdict rejecting his plea for disclosure of the annual performance appraisal reports, also known as ACRs, of public servants. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Jain, said the petition raises a short but important question of law as to whether APARs (previously known as ACRs) are liable for disclosure under RTI Act or not as there has been difference of opinion between various high courts. "There is a clear difference of opinion between the High Courts of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. While the High Courts of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have held that appraisal reports cannot be withheld from public and ought to be disclosed, the Delhi High Court in the judgement has held that appraisal reports are 'personal information' of the concerned public servant," he said. The appeal has been filed against the April 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court which had said there was no merit in the case. The High Court had said that APARs were "personal information" under the RTI and hence, exempted from disclosure unless it was established that a "larger public interest" warranted the disclosure. RTI activist Jain had sought a direction to the Centre to disclose alleged "adverse" remarks in ACR of Jyoti Balasundaram, a member of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in 2000-01. (More) PTI AAC RKS RT


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  2. #418
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    "There is a clear difference of opinion between the High Courts of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. While the High Courts of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have held that appraisal reports cannot be withheld from public and ought to be disclosed, the Delhi High Court in the judgement has held that appraisal reports are 'personal information' of the concerned public servant," he said. The appeal has been filed against the April 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court which had said there was no merit in the case. The High Court had said that APARs were "personal information" under the RTI and hence, exempted from disclosure unless it was established that a "larger public interest" warranted the disclosure. Hon'ble members-Here this question arises that when the Hon'ble High Courts of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have held that appraisal reports cannot be withheld from public and ought to be disclosed then how Delhi High Court declared the A.C.R. as personal information and addressed the writ concerned with disclosure of A.C.R.as merit-less. Government servant delivers public services and A.C.R. is prepared on his good and bad performance then how this information can be exempted from disclosure. Hon'ble member-THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
    No. 22 of 2005
    [15th June, 2005.]
    An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for
    citizens to secure access to information under the control of public
    authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the
    working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information
    Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected
    therewith or incidental thereto. Here this question arises that whether Right to Information Act 2005 can achieve its goal in this way. In view of your friend , judicial member must meditate before noting any thing in its order because it affects entire society not only petitioner and respondent
    .

  3. #419
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    lissing perme
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    I thinks all the remarks and file nothing in any body APARs are corollary of his/her public duty while holding a public post.There is nothing in APARs that reflex personal life of Public Servant.So APARs cannot be a Personal Information.

  4. #420
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act



    When the individual who got adverse comments in his Annual Confidential Reports communicated and offer his remarks if any in support of his claim against the Adverse comments/remarks made by the reporting officer, there is quite transparency among the individuals who were effected by the ACR.

    The RTI activists should get clarifiction from the CIC whether the Official Secrecy Act is still prevailing or withdrawn in lieu of RTI Act.

  5. #421
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Quote Originally Posted by sreemumtaz View Post
    The RTI activists should get clarifiction from the CIC whether the Official Secrecy Act is still prevailing or withdrawn in lieu of RTI Act.
    There is no need to go to the CIC for clarifying this.

    Sec 22 is very clear:

    The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

    Please read the full RTI Act here:

    Right to Information Act 2005
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  6. #422
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Hon'ble member-
    The RTI activists should get clarifiction from the CIC whether the Official Secrecy Act is still prevailing or withdrawn in lieu of RTI Act. Hon'ble member- Please take the perusal subsection 2 of section 8 of Right to Information Act 2005 as follows. 19 of 1923.
    (2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the
    exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may
    allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the
    protected interests.

  7. #423
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    Dr.V.S.Prasanna Rajan
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    The official confirmation on the enforcement of the Official Secrect act or if the act is repealed, can also be obtained by filing an RTI to the Ministry of Law & Justice.

    However, the over riding effect of the RTI act, comes into effect only when there is inconsistency between the provisions for disclosure in the RTI act and the provisions to the contrary in other statutes.

    Rajan.

  8. #424
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    Sarbajit Roy
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Quote Originally Posted by vsprajan View Post
    The official confirmation on the enforcement of the Official Secrect act or if the act is repealed, can also be obtained by filing an RTI to the Ministry of Law & Justice.

    However, the over riding effect of the RTI act, comes into effect only when there is inconsistency between the provisions for disclosure in the RTI act and the provisions to the contrary in other statutes.

    Rajan.
    The OSA is very much in force.
    The role of RTI Act in context of OSA is as follows :-

    IF a person is found with secret material constituting an offence under OSA, AND IF the accused can establish the material was obtained / disclosed under RTI, THEN it is a defence ELSE it is an offence.

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