RTI applicant wife filed complaints against the RTI applicant in not one but two police stations. The Puducherry police refused to give the copy of a complaint by the appellants wife and inquiry report, on grounds of physical safety, by invoking exemption under section 8(1) (g) of the RTI Act. Central Information Commission while hearing the case recorded that “as to how the physical danger to the wife’s safety is enhanced by the appellant knowing the contents of her complaint, since the substance of her charges is already known through the contents of the complaint filed in another police station made available to him through another RTI Application”. If you want to file RTI Online, do read our guide on how to file RTI online here!
Further, CIC observed that “Since the inquiry by Puducherry Police is over and the Complainant is signatory to the letter by the both parties for approaching the family court, due to which inquiry was closed- clearly strengthens his claim to get a copy of the documents. The inquiry is also not required in other cases.” Read more ›
While Public Information Officer denied the information on a question asked regarding steps taken for implementation of the DOPT guidelines regarding proactive disclosure of tours of officials of the rank of Joint Secretaries and above to implement and copies of all tour orders issued and details of TA/DA paid for each of Joint Secretaries of Central Vigilance Commission by quoting Section 7(9) of the RTI Act, however, on the other hand First Appellate Authority (FAA) has brought in a totally new provision by denying information u/s 8(1)(g) by quoting a CIC decision. FAA denied the information without giving a hearing to the RTI Applicant. What are your views? Use the comments in the article to post. You can discuss it at our forum too.
The Appellant had argued in front of the CIC that the FAA by doing this, has brought in a totally new provision for denial of information which is not tenable as he was not allowed an opportunity to question this and he was not given a hearing. He further submitted that the CPIO vide letter dt 2.8.13 has already provided information relating to foreign and domestic travel of officers of the rank of JS and above. When such information has already been provided, he would be satisfied if similar information is provided in respect of the remaining staff also. Read more ›
harassment of victims of crime through RTI
Central Information Commission had to intervene in a serious case where a murder accused tried to use RTI to obtain school details of son of murdered victim. However, by the time CIC could pass and prevent disclosure, the school had not minded the security issue of the child of murdered victim and had already disclosed part of the information. CIC recorded that “They should have not given any information to the accused RTI applicant and Commission directs no further disclosure of any information in this case.”
The questions that were sought under the RTI application were in no way helpful to accused in a murder case. Seeking school details of son of murdered victim posed a serious security threat to the school going boy. The Commission directed the school authorities not to create security problems to the boy by giving information which can be denied u/s 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.
CIC observed that “This is a case of misuse of RTI by the accused to harass the son of victim of murder. The Commission strongly recommends the Govt. of India to take necessary steps to prevent harassment of victims of crime by accused of that crime through the RTI channel, the objective of which is not to be a tool in the hands of accused. The appeal is rejected.” At our forum our members have listed many such cases of Misuse of RTI, please visit the link to read them. Read more ›
disclosure of information to third party
If the profile of the person seeking Information, in light of other attending circumstances, leads to the construction that under the pretext of serving public interest, such person is aiming to settle personal score against the third party, it cannot be said that public interest warrants disclosure of information to third party. The Public Information Officer under Right to Information Act, while dealing with the information relating to or supplied by the third party, has to constantly bear in mind that the RTI Act does not become a tool in the hands of a busy body to settle a personal score.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide decision dated 13/12/20012 Bihar Public Service Commission vs. Sayyed Hussain Abbas Rizvi & Anr [Civil appeal No. 9052 of 2012] has held that clause 8(1)(g) can come into play with any kind of relationship. It requires that where the disclosure of such information which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purpose, the information need not be provided. In other words if in the opinion of the concerned authority there is danger to life or possibility of danger to physical safety, the CPIO would be entitled to bring such case within the exemption of Section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.
Husband (RTI Applicant) has filed several RTI applications with the BSNL seeking various information relating to Lady employee of BNSL with whom he appears to have a matrimonial dispute and in response to communications to her by the CPIO under Section 11 of the RTI Act, she has objected to the disclosure stating that the information is of personal nature, does not involve any public activity or interest and would cause unwarranted invasion of her privacy. She has also contended that the appellant, who asserts himself to be her husband, has criminal intent and there is a threat to her physical safety, she has claimed exemption under Section 8 (1) (g) of the RTI Act. Read more ›