CIC denies info on legal opinions received by Govt.
New Delhi, May. 13 (PTI): Turning down an RTI application seeking legal opinions as received by the Home Ministry in respect to a Delhi High Court decision, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has said divulging such details could compromise the government's position.
"The government's interest or the interest of the public authority shall be irretrievably compromised if the communication between that authority and its counsel is made available to the very parties the government or the authority is contesting," said Information Commissioner A N Tiwari in a recent order.
The CIC's comments came on an RTI appeal of one K G Bafana, who sought copies of legal opinion received by the Home Ministry after the Delhi High Court had directed the government to take a decision on an arbitration award over a particular issue.
Denying such information on the legal opinion as had been received by the government, the commission noted that such a disclosure would be against the relationship between a counsel and his client which is customarily considered to be fiduciary and confidential.
"If the legal advice received by the public authority is disclosed, then the next step would be to disclose even the material which it furnished to its counsel to the opinion. This relationship will, therefore, cease to remain either fiduciary or confidential," it observed.