Re: Can I ask for proceedings of a selection Committee
As reported by Rahul Mangaonkar of TNN in Times of India, Ahmedabad, on 28 March 2008:
After ACRs, now DPC doors open for Officers
Ahmedabad: Government officers have some reason to rejoice. Now they can be privy to what is discussed about them in the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) which decides about promotions.
The Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) after its landmark decision allowing officers access to annual confidential reports (ACRs) under Right to Information (RTI) Act, has now thrown open the DPC proceedings. This committee, comprising chief secretary, principal secretary (home), and senior police officers, in the case of IPS, meets regularly to assess officers who are due for promotions.
However, only the information concerning the officer seeking information will be provided. The ACRs and gradings in ACRs of other officers discussed in the DPC have been exempted. This decision was after an application by former additional director general of police H R Gahlot who was superseded. He sought copies of his as well as director general of police J Mahapatra’s ACR, of the last ten years. Both these IPS officers are now retired.
The government promoted Mahapatra who is junior to Gahlot, as DGP. As per the new rules, ACRs of the last 10 years are considered for promotions. Gahlot also wanted to know reasons for his supersession and copy of the DPC held for Mahapatra’s promotion. The home department provided Gahlot the copies of all his ACRs except of 2005-06. It said that this ACR was with the chief minister, awaiting his remarks, and had not come back.
Access to Mahapatra’s ACRs was denied as he was a third party. He had said that his ACRs being his personal information he didn’t want them disclosed. Copy of the minutes of the DPC was denied stating it contains information relating to other officers and on grounds of fiduciary relationship. GIC upheld the home department’s decision to deny Mahapatra’s ACRs, considering him as third party.
The GIC said that such other officers need to be treated as third parties, as the information contained in the ACRs relate to them. It agreed with a Central Information Commission’s decision which held that “the legality, objectivity and equity of these functions (DPC) is a governance related issue.
A process of preparation of the merit list of employees of a public authority in a given category is an essentially public activity”. GIC asked the home department to provide Gahlot, a copy of the full DPC minutes but without any details or the ACRs and the gradings of the ACRs of other officers.
The decision of GIC is very exhaustive and will help other members in drafting their applications/appeals. Several quotes from earlier decisions of GIC/CIC have been given as well as quotes from Supreme Court judgements.
The full decision of GIC is attached.