On a second appeal hearing filed in reference to leakages of Confidential Data filed by the Tax Payer, it was observed that maintaining the privacy, the record keeping in the public authority as explained by the Income Tax Department was in an outdated format and not upgraded utilizing the modern technological tools.
Commission after considering the gravity and seriousness of the issues raised by the Appellant, found that there is an emergent requirement to investigate the root cause of the leakages of Confidential Data filed by the Tax Payers and plug the loopholes forthwith. The commission asked Pr. CCIT to investigate the matter considering that it is essential to protect the Confidential Financial Data filed by millions of Tax Payers from falling into wrong hands in the larger public interest. Read more ›
‘Own records are not third party information.’
Central Information Commission objected to Public Information Officer interpretation that asking for information about self through RTI is Personal information and is exempt under Section-8(1)(j) of RTI Act. The PIO had rejected the application on the grounds that information about own file is third party information under RTI Act and cannot be disclosed.
CIC directed that PIO needs to understand that section 8 (1) (J) applies only in those cases wherein the information is sought by a third party, in the present case the information seeker is seeking her own information and in such cases the exemption cannot be applied.
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Without Disclosure of objections of the third-party information, the appellant cannot make an informed judgement about challenging the Appellate Authority (AA) decision. Denying the RTI Applicant the requested information will mean handicapping him in exercising his legal right. A decision not to disclose the information to the petitioner in view of the objections of the third-party is itself justiciable.
CIC noted that:
The petitioner has every right to question the decision of the CPIO or the AA about not disclosing a third-party related information ― a right which cannot be discharged unless the full facts about the reason for objection by the third-party is disclosed to the petitioner.
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Mr. S.C. Agarwal in his RTI application sought copies of communication made between the PMO and DoPT about IFS officer Mr. Sanjiv Chaturvedi. Commission by its Order had directed MoEFCC to provide pointwise information. Further, S.C. Agarawal in his RTI appeal stated that his RTI is concerned with larger public interest in constitutional governance and zero tolerance of corruption, and thus more information was allowed by CIC. Central Information Commission had directed the PMO to apply the doctrine of severability, while disclosing information of interdepartmental notes to the appellant, i.e., avoiding information which cannot be disclosed and provide the information about Mr. Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the IFS officer, whose name appeared in the RTI application filed an application stating that he came to know from media report that an order has been passed by CIC with respect to CBI investigation into Haryana Forestry Scam, in an appeal filed by Mr. Subhash Chandra Agarwal against M/o Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Mr. Sanjiv claimed that the matter was very vital for his career and thus he should be permitted to intervene in the matter. Mr. Sanjiv Chaturvedi submitted that the opinion furnished by the DoPT to the appellant would have a serious implication on his career. Read more ›
In an unprecedented decision, CIC imposed a penalty over RTI Applicant even though the RTI Act do not provide for the same. Central Information Commission while deciding the case recorded that “Though the RTI Act has not provided to impose penalty against the RTI applicant, the Commission record its contempt against RTI Applicant for misusing the RTI Act against the school child and imposed a penalty of Re. 10/ which is to be paid to the Principal of the School”.
Commission, also directed the then CPIO and the Principal of the School to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed on both of them and disciplinary action be initiated against both of them for not complying with the provision of Section 11 of RTI Act and causing breach of the privacy of the child and his parents. The Commission directs the Principal and CPIO to show cause why compensation of Rs 1000 each be paid to the child for the loss they caused by breaching his privacy.
The Commission holds that information exempted under section 8(1)(j) was disclosed and because of which the right to privacy of the child and his parents was violated by the Principal and CPIO. The Commission directs the CPIO and Principal not to disclose the personal information of the students to any person, much less to his so called relatives without following the procedure under Section 11 of the RTI Act. Read more ›