Reported in Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad, 2008-06-11 15:58:39
In a significant decision the Gujarat Information Commission has
allowed access to annual property returns (APRs) of government
officers to any citizen under the Right to Information (RTI) act.
The ruling came after activist Harinesh Pandya sought details under
the RTI of property of IAS officer Rajiv Gupta. Pandya wanted to know
the details of Gupta's property since he assumed office. He had also
sought to know the source of income for acquiring the property and
whether any of property was sold. The Public Information Officer had
refused to disclose the details on the ground that the information was
available with them in "fiduciary relationship" and there was no
larger public interest warranting disclosure.
Pandya filed appeal before the GAD and the appellate authority too
upheld the PIO's decision. However the GIC noted that CIC's decisions
on property disclosure were to bring transparency. But it directed the
GAD to inform Gupta that the details of his property are being
disclosed and to hear him.
(1) The non-disclosure of Annual Property Returns of the
officers/employees to the citizens under the Right to Information Act,
2005 under section 8(1)(e) is untenable.
(2) However, having regard to the situation that, the said property returns
may contain some part of personal information, in the present matter,
the respondent No.1 should, within five days from the receipt of this
order give a written notice to the concerned officer whose information
has been sought, that under the directions of this Commission, he
intends to disclose the information and should invite the concerned
officer to make his submissions in writing or orally and the respondent
No.1 shall, in his decision, take into account his submissions. The
respondent No.1 should give his decision within forty days from the
receipt of this order.
(3) As regards information sought as point Nos. (2) & (5) of the appellant’s
application, the respondent No. 1 should provide partial information,
which even under the GAD (RTI Cell)’s Circular dated 14-11-2005 can
be disclosed. Regarding the information, which cannot be provided, as
the Commission has held that section 8(1)(e) would not be applicable,
if the respondent No.1 is of the opinion that any other provision in
Some of the milestone , bold and most profound decisions have come out of Gujrat Information Commissioner,starting from disclosing of ACRs ,relevent portions and decisions of promotional meetings etc . And if details of aquisition of property by a govt servant ,during service are opened up/revealed under RTI in public interest ,it may check corruption to an extent ,even thugh old game of resorting to Benami deals will continue and flourish .
Siddharth,real problem actually starts after that ,with our investigating agencies and judiciary,simply nothing happens,I can quote "n" number of cases from available publc sources/media/govt enquiries for the past two decades involving chief secretaries,DGPs,CBDTs and so on.Till judiciary is also brought under RTI and made open to public wrt administration like HC and SC judges appointment,transfers ,aquisition of personal movable/immovable property and other assets, personal conduct wrt use/misuse of office , nothing much will happen except media TRP tamasha.
Sh Ganpat1956, can you please tell me,what happened to "edit" function that used to be available till about a week back,to correct/modify individual posts within a certain timespan after "submit". I experienced this embarrasment after making all posts yesterday and today.Major snafu Price Waterhouse methodology post ,this morning.