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Thread: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest

  1. Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    Central Information Commission


    Decision No.292/IC(A)/2006
    F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00588

    Dated, the 21st September, 2006


    • Name of the Appellant : Sh. Sharabh Dubey, 11/7 Civil Lines, Kanpur –208 001. (U.P.)
    • Name of the Public Authority: The British India Corporation Limited, 14/136 Civil Lines, P.B. 77, Kanpur-208 001.

    DECISION

    Facts of the Case:

    1. The appellant is an employee of the respondent. He was transferred to another Unit of the company. The office order was challenged by him in the Court, which adjudicated on the matter. Subsequently, he has filed a few more petitions on service related matters in the Court. In this backdrop, he has sought documents relating to the legal opinion obtained by the respondent, file notings by the senior officials on the issue of transfer, letters/correspondence with other officials, etc.
    2. The CPIO has denied the information and sought exemption u/s 8(1)(d) & (g) of the Act.
    3. The case was heard on 12.9.06. The appellant could not be present. The CPIO and the appellate authority were present. In the course of hearing, the CPIO showed a copy of the petition filed by the appellant in the Court, whic hcontained almost all the documents asked for by him. The CPIO contended that the documents asked for by the appellant relate to the various petitions filed by him in the Court. He, therefore, pleaded that the disclosure of the documents might adversely affect the disputed cases. Hence, the relevant documents are treated as confidential.


    Commission’s Decision:

    1. There is a dispute between the appellant and the company on service matters, including transfer of the appellant to another unit. The matter is pending before the Court for adjudication. There is every possibility that the appellant would get opportunity for his effective defense. The information sought is in the interest of the seeker. And, as such, there is no overriding public interest, u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act, for disclosure of the information.
    2. The appeal is therefore dismissed.


    Sd/-
    (Prof. M.M. Ansari)
    Information Commissioner



  2. #2

    Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    I doubt very much whether the exemption under sec 8(1)(j) could be invoked in a case where the information sought for pertains to one's own - that is when the information-seeker asks for some information pertaining to himself! In that case he cannot be blamed for invading into his own privacy. Many times such confusing stand is taken. Sec 8(1)(j) comes into play only when an information-seeker asks for an information concerning a third person and such information is likely to invade the privacy of that third person. I dont think any information can be denied branding that the information sought is in the interest of the seeker and no public interest is involved.

  3. #3

    Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    Decision of CIC may not be correct.
    Last edited by ganpat1956; 06-08-08 at 07:48 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest



    Information seeker is is part of public. Hence his interest should also be considered as public interest.
    Last edited by ganpat1956; 06-08-08 at 07:48 PM.

  5. Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    Quote Originally Posted by vijendra singh View Post
    Decision of CIC may not be correct.
    The decision is correct. CIC cannot go against the decision of the Supreme Court of India. This may have been discussed during or after the hearing, but not mentioned in the decision. For the interest of this list members, the Supreme Court had ruled that transfer was a part of Government Service, to the staff member who had been transfered is supposed to join the new place of posting first and then later on, he should represent against it. Only if this representation fails, he should approach court.

    We always know that when Government Staff members are caught by the CBI / ACB and other organizations, the first thing that the Head of the Dept. does is transfer the staff member. The staff member in turn approaches court and gets a stay on this transfer. This has been going on for years, hence the harsh ruling by the Supreme Court.

    Best wishes

    Manoj

  6. #6

    Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    CIC observed that appellant demanded the info for using in his defence. Law of natural justice says that alleged party must be given every oppurtunity of defence. Moreover , info on transfer cases can not be denied. Moreover , the appellant had the info with him already. In view of all above ,PIO can not deny the info.

  7. Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    The difference between law and justice is marked here.
    I have got a stay against my employer insurance company who transferred me to a post in which I was neither employed nor promoted.Under the RTI act they sometimes say my previous post continues ,however other times they state that post has been changed.

  8. #8

    Re: Service matter which benefit the seeker in court doesnot serve public interest


    This is a very old decision. Subsequently the CIC in a full bench decision dated 23.04.2007, has clarified the ambit of Sec 8(1)(j) nicely as follows: "This Section has to be read as a whole. If that were done, it would be apparent that that “personal information” does not mean information relating to the information seeker, but about a third party. That is why, in the Section, it is stated “unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual”. If one were to seek information about himself or his own case, the question of invasion of
    privacy of his own self does not arise. If one were to ask information about a third
    party and if it were to invade the privacy of the individual, the information
    seeker can be denied the information on the ground that disclosure would
    invade the privacy of a third party. Therefore, when a citizen seeks information
    about his own case and as long as the information sought is not exempt in terms
    of other provisions of Section 8 of RTI Act, this Section cannot be applied to
    deny the information."

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