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  1. #1
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    J.P. SHAH
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    Commercial confidence


    Banks have been denying their policies to the bank users on vital services under pretext of commercial confidence under section 8 1 d. Will some one define what is 'commercial confidence'?


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  2. #2

    Re: Commercial confidence


    Dear jps50:

    Commercial confidence is same as trade secret. A trade secret is a commercially valuable plan, formula, process or device used in an industry that resulted from either innovation or substantial effort. Courts, in USA, have determined that information qualifies as a trade secret if disclosure is likely to hurt the competitive position of the person or company who submitted it or if the disclosure would impair the government’s ability to get such information at a future date. US courts have decided that the benefit to public, from disclosure, is immaterial. However the language of the RTI makes it clear that public interest should be taken into account.

    Under RTI even trade secret is to released to public if there is enough public interest that overrides the financial interest of the party.

    Hope it helps

    Satish Gupta

  3. #3
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    Re: Commercial confidence


    jps50,

    From perusal of nearly all CIC decisions and some SIC decisions, I have concluded that applicability of Sec 8(1)(d) and the consequent disclosure/nondisclosure largely depends on :

    1. The subject matter on hand
    2. How was the application drafted and the First/Second Appeal argued
    3. Which IC is hearing the case

    Just Search on CIC and some SIC websites for Sec "8(1)(d)" and you will get an idea as to how to approach for information which you feel that PIO might reject on the grounds of Sec 8(1)(d).

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    Re: Commercial confidence



    I am very surprised to know that the public organisations whose ownership is with Govt and ultimately the public at large not disclosing information in the name of trade secrets. The whole Govt and every its organ is under ultimate proprietorship of indian citizens and liable to disclose everything to owners. The publicenterprises are not only business organisations but ultimately working for the welfare of indian citizens.
    If anyone want to do secret business first promote business with own capital then do anything secretly.

  5. #5
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    Re: Commercial confidence


    @SN Gupta

    If anyone want to do secret business first promote business with own capital then do anything secretly.
    If at all the Act envisages exemption under 8 (1) (d), it is meant with a purpose and as RTI Act specifically covers Government of India, you need to be careful in making a skewed remark.

    A related discussion you might like to read is:

    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/39-res...under-rti.html

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    Re: Commercial confidence


    Kushal Sir,
    I know that section 8 and whole act is only applicable on Public offices only but section 8 is being wronlgy intrepreted by so many officers. In addition I want to mention here that before 2005 there was no act for transparency and now RTI 2005 has been enacted. If the officers will wrongly interpret the section 8 then this section will be deleted from RTI 2005.
    Kushal sir, I am a person fully devoted with transparency and accountability and I may favour any views more then what it is available in the act. If RTIIndia is not fully devoted site for RTI 2005 I am not interested to be associated with. I am assessing the RTIIndia only to favour transparency and accountability.

  7. #7
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    Re: Commercial confidence


    Exemptions under Sec 8:
    ===================

    Please remember:

    Access to information under Section 3 of the Act, is the rule and exemptions under Section 8, the exception. Section 8 being a restriction on this fundamental right, must therefore is to be strictly construed. It should not be interpreted in manner as to shadow the very right self.

    Please read my post:

    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/275-in...html#post11346
    Last edited by karira; 17-03-08 at 11:39 AM. Reason: formatting error

  8. #8

    Re: Commercial confidence


    Sec. 8(1)(d) of the Act only talks about the 'information including commercial confidence..., the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party,'. Obviously the Act talks about the info available with the Govt only because the Act is not applicable to others. If for example, a PSU has obtained the formula for making coca-cola from the coca-cola company , the company has given the formula only in commercial confidence to the Govt. The Govt cannot be expected to reveal it to an info seeker under the Act. That is why this exemption. At the same time, again for example, if the formula shows that a certain chemical which is likely to harm the health of consumers is added to the formulation, then that fact can be revealed since in that case the Govt may decide that larger public interest warrants disclosure of such information. While in business Govt cannot refuse to obey normal business norms such as not revealing matters of commercial confidence. That is perhaps why there is a view that Govt has no business to be in business.

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