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    High Court Cases
    S.No. High Court Case No. Appellant Respondant Link
    1 Delhi WP(C) No. 3114/2007 Bhagat Singh Chief Information Commissioner and Ors Click
    2 Bombay WP No. 1887 of 2010 "The Board of Management of the Bombay Properties of the Indian Institute of Science through its Secretary" "The Central Information Commission, The Information Commissioner, Kayumars F. Mehta and The Union of India (UOI)" Click
    3 Jharkhand at Ranchi L.P.A. No. 543 of 2009 "The Commissioner (Appeal) of Central Excise and Service Tax, Ranchi" "Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission, New Delhi & Anr" Click
    4 Delhi W.P.(C) 5945/2010 and CM APPL No. 11697/2010 Commissioner Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sangathan Santosh Kumar Click
    5 Delhi W.P.(C) 8529/2009 ICAI Central Information Commissioner & Anr Click
    6 Delhi W.P. (C) 4596/2007 IFCI Ltd. Ravinder Balwani Click
    7 Delhi W.P.(C) No. 8219 of 2009 Indian Railways Welfare Organization D.M. Gautam & Anr Click
    8 Delhi W.P.(C) 6129/2007 Krishak Bharati Co-operative Ltd. Ramesh Chandra Bawa Click
    9 Delhi W.P. (C) 2234/2010 Manish Kumar Public Information Officer and Anr Click
    10 Madras W.P.NO.16070 of 2009 and M.P.NO.1 OF 2009 M.Kaliaperumal "1.The Central Information Commissioner, O/o the Central Information Commission, Block No.IV, 5th Floor, Old JNV Campus, New Delhi‐110 067. 2.The Appellate Authority‐cum‐ Director of Postal Services, O/o the Post Master General, Vijayawada‐520 010. State of Andrapradesh. 3.The Public Information Officer‐cum‐ Superintendent of Post Offices, Gudur Division, Gudur (NL)‐524 101. State of Andhrapradesh" Click
    11 Delhi W.P. (C) NO. 4748 OF 2007 National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. Central Information Commissione & Others Click
    12 Delhi W.P. (C) NO. 7265 OF 2007 Poorna Prajana Public School Central Information Commissione & Others Click
    13 Punjab and Haryana C.R. No. 1051 of 2001 Punjab Public Service Commission Rajiv Kumar Goyal. Click
    14 Bombay W.P. No.4839 OF 2007 Prakash R. Shenai Union of India and others Click
    15 Delhi W.P. (C) 7072/2009, C.M. No.2584/2009 Rajeev Verma Union of India and others Click
    16 Delhi W.P. (C) 5469/2008 Col. Rajendra Singh Central Information Commissioner & Anr Click
    17 Punjab and Haryana Ramesh Sharma and Anr. The State Information Commission and Ors. Click
    18 Delhi W.P. (C) 6226/2007 S.M. Lamba S.C. Gupta and Anr. Click
    19 Delhi LPA No.501/2009 Secretary General, Supreme Court of India Subhash Chandra Agarwal Click
    20 Delhi W.P. (C) 288/2009 The CPIO, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Mark, New Delhi Subhash Chandra Agarwal & Others Click
    21 Delhi W.P. (C) 8396/2009, 16907/2006, 4788/2008, 9914/2009, 6085/2008, 7304/2007, 7930/2009 AND 3607 OF 2007 Union of India Thr. Director, Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pension Central Information Commission & Shri P.L Agarwal Click
    22 Delhi W.P. (C) 6661/2008 Union of India Central Information Commission & Others Click
    23 Delhi W.P. (C) 120/2010 and CM APPL 233/2010 Union of India Balendra Kumar Click
    24 Delhi W.P. (C) NO.10805/2009 Union of India Central Information Commission & Others Click
    25 Delhi W.P. (C) No.154 of 2010 Union of India Sunita Dahat Click
    26 Delhi W.P. (C) No.17583/2006 Union Public Service Commission Central Information Commission & Others Click
    27 Delhi W.P. (C) 7244/2009, C.M. No.2956/2009 (Stay) Vandana Mittal Central Information Commission & Others Click
    28 Kerla and Ernakulam WP(C) No.30963 of 2006(J) V.B. SANTHOSH, AGED 28 YEARS,
    S/O V.N.SURENDRAN, SORTING ASSISTING,
    SUB RECORD OFFICE (RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE, TRIVANDRUM
    DIVISION), KOTTAYAM, RESIDING AT VAZHATHARA,
    KUDAVECHOOR P.O., VAIKOM, KOTTAYAM DISTRICT.
    1. THE CENTRAL PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER,
    OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, KERALA CIRCLE,
    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 033.
    2. THE CENTRAL PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER,
    GOVT. OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS &
    INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, DEPARTMENT OF POSTS,
    DAK BHAVAN, SANSAD MARG, NEW DELHI.
    3. THE CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER,
    CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION, OLD JNU CAMPUS,
    BLOCK IV, 5TH FLOOR, NEW DELHI-110 067.
    Click
    29 Delhi CC No. 158 of 2007 Sh. Surinder Pal Advocate, Public Information Officer,
    O/o Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana,
    Law Bhawan, Dakshin Marg, Sector 37-A,
    Chandigarh.
    Click
    30 Delhi CWP No. 8209 of 2007 H.C.Arora State of Punjab and others Click
    31 Punjab and Haryana W.P.(C) 7474/2007 Jai Kant Gupta Central Information Commissioner & Anr Click
    32 Punjab and Haryana W.P. (C) 8708/2008 Life Insurance Corporation Central Information Commissioner & Anr Click
    33 Delhi WP (C) No.3845/2007 Mujibur Rahman Central Information Commission Click
    34 Punjab and Haryana CC No. 2663 of 2010 Shri Hardev Singh Arshi, Former MLA, The Public Information Officer
    o/o the District Welfare Officer, Mansa
    Click
    35 Gujrat Reliance Industries Ltd. Gujarat State Information Commission Click
    36 Gujrat SPECIAL CIVIL APPLI. No. 16073 of 2007 With SPECIAL CIVIL APPLI. No. 17067 of 2007 Reliance Industries Ltd. Gujarat State Information Commission Click
    37 Punjab & Haryana W.P. (C) No.14161 of 2009 Shaheed Kanshi Ram Memorial College and another State Information Commission, Punjab and others Click
    38 Delhi W.P.(C) 5204/2008 Dr.(Mrs.) Sarla Rajput Central Information Commission & Others Click
    39 Punjab and Haryana Civil Writ Petition No.7289 of 2009(O&M) State of Punjab State Information Officer and others Click
    40 Delhi W.P.(C) 8228/2007 Suresh Chandra Gupta Deputy Commissioner of Police and Anr. Click
    41 Delhi LPA No. 313 of 2007 and CM APPL. No. 6468/2007 03.09.2008 Union Public Service Commission Shiv Shambhu and Others Click
    42 Delhi W.P. (C) 803/2009 Vijay Prakash Union of India and others Click
    43 Delhi L.P.A. No. 9010/2011 Central Board of Secondary Education Shri Anil Kumar Kathpal Click
    44 Delhi W.P.(C) 2651/2012 Union of India G. Krishnan Click
    45 Kerla W.P.(C) 10817/2008 Janil Kumar State Information Commission Kerla Click
    46 Madras W.P. 14692/2012 Prem Anand Commissioner, H.R. & C.E., Chennai Click



  2. #2
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    Dr. S.Malhotra
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    Good effort .
    Plz follow these cases further .

  3. #3
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    HC stays State Information panel's orders
    PTI | 11:07 PM,Jul 31,2012
    Chennai, July 31 (PTI): The Madras High Court today stayed two orders of the Tamil Nadu Information Commission directing the Court Registry to furnish information about subordinate judges and the Court's vigilance machinery. Issuing the interim stay of the two TNIC orders on petitions filed by the High Court Registrar General(RG), a Division Bench comprising Justices P Jyothimani and M Duraiswamy issued notice to the applicants. In a petition filed through advocate S Haja Mohideen Gisthi, the RG said following rejection of information sought from the court by one A Venkatesh under the Right to Information Act, the applicant had moved the TNIC which, by an order of March seven last, directed the court's public information officer (PIO) to furnish the information sought within 15 days. Venkatesh had sent a representation under the RTI Act stating that in view of his complaint to the Registrar (Vigilance) of the Court in May 2009 against two district judges,he required copies of depositions of certain witnesses. The RG submitted that the TNIC's order was legally untenable and was contrary to the RTI Act. The commission was also wrong in entertaining the appeal since the applicant had already approached the appellate authority the same day. The RG charged the applicant with wanting to “hinder the administrative functions of the High Court with some ulterior motive.” By another order of January 10, the TNIC had told the High Court to provide information sought by a city resident K Elango, which included the number of subordinate judges in the state, the judiciary in the State and the vigilance department of the High Court. The Registrar-General submitted that the TNIC had failed to consider the fact that the information sought by the applicant clearly infringed the court’s internal administration. PTI GR BN

  4. #4
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    TAMILNADU INFORMATION COMMISSION
    No,2 Theagaraya Road, Teynampet,
    Chennai 600 018. Tel: 24347590
    Case No.29212/Enquiry/A/2011
    Date of Enquiry :29-02-2012
    Present : Thiru K.S.SRIPATHI, I.A.S.,(Retd.)
    State Chief Information Commissioner
    Petitioner: Thiru A. Venkatesh
    S/o. K.P. Arumugam
    Old No.7, New No.9,
    A, Block MMDA Colony,
    Arumbakkam,
    Chennai- 600 106.
    Public Authority: The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar
    High Court,
    Chennai –600 104.
    *******
    For today’s (29.02.2012) enquiry the petitioner Thiru. A. Venkatesh and Thiru V. Devanathan,
    Assistant Public Information Officer/ Deputy Registrar, High Court Chennai were present.
    The petitioner had sought information on
    “1) the copies of depositions of witnesses CSO-I and CSO-II and witnesses of the Registry if any
    both the Chief and cross examinations of witnesses.
    2) Written statement of defence dated 19.02.2010 submitted by M. Mohideen Pitchai.
    3) Written statement of defence dated 26.02.2010 submitted by M. Mohammed Essath Ali.
    4) Findings dated 16.04.2010 of the Enquiring Hon’ble Judge.”
    The Public Authority had replied that the charges against the two District Judges were not proved
    and they were also retired from service. The Public Authority was asked if there was any bar by the Court
    on furnishing of the information sought for or was it part of any Judicial procedure. The Public Authority
    replied that there was no bar and that it was purely an administrative procedure and not a Judicial
    procedure.
    The Public Authority also submitted that the petitioner was using the RTI Act as a tool to settle
    personal scores and harass the public authorities with repeated petitions seeking information on personal
    matters which have no relevance to the issue or are they of any public interest. During his argument the
    Public Authority lamented that there is no provision for dealing with such petitioners under RTI Act.
    Yet, he requested the Commission atleast to pass strictures against petitioners like the present one for
    misusing a laudable Act for personal gains. In this context, it is observed that this appellant has filed many
    petitions on the same issue, of course differently worded. In fact, he was unable to even identify the
    petitions which were taken up for the enquiry. It was pointed out to the Public Authority that the Commission
    has, on a number of occasions, highlighted the need for proper use of the Right to Information Act, and not
    to use it as a weapon of vendetta against the public authority. It was also pointed out that the
    Commission cannot go beyond the provisions of the RTI Act while dealing with the cases before the
    Commission.
    Coming to the current issue, for the reasons cited in para 2 above the Commission orders that the
    information sought by the petitioner be given under acknowledgment within 15 days from the date of receipt
    of this order.
    STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
    Orders approved on this day 07th March 2012
    Under the orders of the Commission
    ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
    Case No.29212/Enquiry/A/2011
    To
    Thiru A. Venkatesh
    S/o. K.P. Arumugam
    Old No.7, New No.9,
    A, Block MMDA Colony,
    Arumbakkam, Chennai- 600 106.
    The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar
    High Court,
    Chennai –600 104.
    SF/SC HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DAILY CAUSE LIST (For 31st, July, 2012 )
    COURT NO. 5
    HON'BLE MR JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI
    HON'BLE MR JUSTICE M.DURAISWAMY
    TO BE HEARD ON TUESDAY THE 31ST DAY OF JULY 2012 AT 10.30 A.M.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    OSA - FOR ADMISSION
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. OSA.282/2012 M/S.D.KRISHNAN CHENNAI
    C.SRIRANJANI
    FOR STAY
    MP.1/2012 DO


    WP-FOR ADMISSION
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    4. (SPL. ORD.)
    WP.20485/2012 M/S.S.HAJA MOHIDEEN GISTHI CHENNAI
    (Gen. Misc.) S.RAMESH & S.ANANTHA KUMAR
    AND For Stay
    MP.1/2012 - DO -

    5. (SPL. ORD.)
    WP.20486/2012 M/S.S.HAJA MOHIDEEN GISTHI CHENNAI
    (Gen. Misc.) S.RAMESH
    S.ANANTHA KUMAR
    and For Stay
    MP.1/2012 - DO -

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    IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

    DATED: 12.07.2011

    CORAM

    THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE D.MURUGESAN
    AND
    THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.K.SASIDHARAN

    W.A.No.551 of 2010


    V.Madhav .. Appellant

    -vs-

    1. The Tamil Nadu Information Commission
    rep.by the Registrar
    273/378, Anna Salai
    Teynampet
    Chennai 600 018

    2. The Secretary
    Public Department
    Government of Tamil Nadu
    Fort St.George
    Chennai 600 009 .. Respondents

    Appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent, against the order dated 02.02.2010 made in W.P.No.26223 of 2009.

    For Appellant :: Dr.V.Krishna Ananth

    For Respondents :: Mr.Vivek Sriram for
    M/s G.R.Associates for R1
    Mr.M.C.Swamy
    Special Government Pleader
    for R2

    JUDGMENT
    D.MURUGESAN, J.

    The writ appeal is directed against the order dated 2.2.2010 dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant. The facts leading to the present writ appeal are as follows. The appellant made an application dated 12.2.2009 to the Public Information Officer, Public Department, Government of Tamil Nadu seeking permission to inspect the five latest statement of assets disclosure submitted by the ten I.A.S. Officers including the Chief Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu and the nine Secretaries of the Departments of Finance, Industries, Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture, Public Works Department, Housing and Urban Development, Home, Prohibition and Excise, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Revenue. That application was rejected by the Public Information Officer in his letter dated 16.3.2009 on the ground that the information sought was exempt under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Being aggrieved by the said communication, the appellant preferred an appeal to the appellate authority and the same was also rejected on 22.4.2009 with the same reason. Thereafter, the appellant filed a further appeal to the State Information Commission. The State Information Commission held that Section 8(1)(j) is not applicable for the assets details of Government servants. Nevertheless, it found that the information presented in a sealed cover constitutes information that is "held" by the public authority to ensure confidentiality and the assets details of public servants are personal information and since there was no public interest cause established, the information need not be disclosed. The said order was unsuccessfully challenged by the appellant in the writ petition giving rise to the present writ appeal.

    2. We have heard Dr.V.Krishna Ananth, learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr.Vivek Sriram, learned counsel for the first respondent and Mr.M.C.Swamy, learned Special Government Pleader for the second respondent.

    3. Before we consider the issue raised in this writ appeal, we may refer to our own judgment in The Superintendent of Police, Central Range, Office of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption v. R.Karthikeyan and others, 2011 (3) CTC 241, where we have narrated the history and object of the legislation, namely, the Right to Information Act, 2005 and the judgments of the Supreme Court. The relevant paragraphs 7 to 14 of the said judgment read thus:
    "7...... The legal entrenchment of the right to information is drawn from the United Nations, which recognised the "freedom of Information as fundamental human right and as the touchstone for all freedoms to which the United Nations was consecrated." The right of free expression and declaring information has been recognised at the common law many years back, as the fundamental rights of the public to know what the Government have been transacting in their name. Until we adopted our Constitution in 1950, there had been no scope for individual freedom at any time in India's history. After the Constitution, the liberty of thought is the basis of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), which is an essential component of a democratic governance. The right to information is now treated as an invisible integral part of the right of free speech. As information is vital not only for the betterment of the society but also for the betterment of an individual, Article 21 guarantees right to life including the basic right to be informed.

    8. India has adopted a democratic form of Government and no democratic Government can survive without accountability and the basic postulate of accountability is that the people should have information about the functioning of the Government. It is only when the people know how the Government is functioning, they can fulfill the role which democracy assigned to them and make democracy a really effective participatory democracy. Right to information is basic to any democracy. A vibrant citizenry is a prerequisite for survival of democratic society and governance. The quality of life in a civilized society depends upon the quality of exchange of information about the governance and related aspects. It is now widely recognised that openness and accessibility of people to information about the government's functioning is a vital component of democracy. Disclosure of allowable information would lead to better system and it would be in the public interest that a public authority should throw open the process of public scrutiny, which would result in evolving a better system. Disclosure of information would compromise the integrity and efficiency of the functioning of the public authority. In an increasingly knowledge-based society, information and access to information holds the key to resources, benefits and distribution of power. Information, more than any other element, is of critical importance in a participatory democracy.

    9. The Right to Information Act is a rights based enactment more akin to any other enactments safeguarding fundamental rights. As the statement of the object of the Act goes, democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information. The Act encompasses basically two things, firstly, the right of a citizen to seek for information to which he is entitled under the provisions of the Act and the corresponding duty of the information officers to furnish such information and secondly, it leads to transparency in the government functioning.

    10. The use of the Right to Information Act needs no elaborate reference as the very fact that such a right to get information has been recognised as a fundamental right. To put it precisely, the information supplied under the Act brings about transparency and accountability, both of which hold to reduce corruption and increased efficiency in governance and it also encourages participation of the people in a democracy. The need for right to information ensures people's participation, ensures principle of accountability, transparency, limiting the discretion powers given to officials, protects the civil liberties, effective and proper implementation of schemes of government and makes media more effective.

    11. Though the Indian Constitution has no express provision guaranteeing the right to information, it has been recognized by the Courts in a plethora of cases as implicit in Article 19(1)(a), which guarantees to all citizens the right to free speech and expression, and Article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to life in accordance with due process to all citizens. The background of the enactment will not be complete if the contribution of the Hon'ble Apex Court for the legislation is not mentioned. The Apex Court in the decision in State of U.P. v. Raj Narain, AIR 1975 SC 865, interpreted Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India so widely so as to include so many rights within its sweeping shadow. One such right is the right to information. It is observed in the said judgment that "the right to know which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute is a factor which should make wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can at any rate have no repercussion on public security." The Apex Court further observed that "the people of this country have the right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in its bearing." The concept of an open Government is the direct emanation from the right to know which seems to be implicit in the right of free speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a), as observed by the Apex Court in S.P.Gupta v. Union of India, AIR 1982 SC 149.

    12. In the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India v. The Cricket Association of Bengal, (1995) 2 SCC 179, the Apex Court, while considering the freedom of speech and expression in the light of the right to information, has observed that "freedom of speech and expression is basic to and indivisible from a democratic polity. It includes the right to impart and receive information." The Apex Court has also observed that "for ensuring the free speech right of the citizens of the country,it is necessary that the citizens have the benefit of plurality of views and a range of opinions on all public issues and a successful democracy posits an 'aware' citizenry."

    13. The pride for enactment of the Right to Information Act would certainly go to the judiciary as could be seen from certain observations of the Hon'ble Apex Court in some of the judgments. The judgment in Union of India v. Association for Democractic Reforms, AIR 2002 SC 2112 is again a forerunner for recognising the right to information as a fundamental right and the said judgment laid the foundation over which the superstructure of the Right to Information Act, 2005 was built. In Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India reported in (2004) 2 SCC 476, it was observed that-
    "Right of information is a facet of the freedom of 'speech and expression' as contained in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Right of information, thus, indisputably is a fundamental right."
    In another case in Union of India v. Assn. for Democratic Reforms, (2002) 5 SCC 294, it was observed that the right to get information in a democracy is recognized all throughout and it is a natural right flowing from the concept of democracy".

    14. The Apex Court in Indira Jaising v. Registrar General, Supreme Court of India, reported in (2003) 5 SCC 494, also took the same view and held-
    "It is no doubt true that in a democratic framework free flow of information to the citizens is necessary for proper functioning particularly in matters which form part of a public record. The decisions relied upon by the learned counsel of the petitioner do not also say that right to information is absolute. There are several areas where such information need not be furnished. Even the Freedom of Information Act, 2002, to which also reference has been made, does not say in absolute terms that information gathered at any level in any manner for any purpose shall be disclosed to the public."


    4. We may also refer to the judgment of the Apex Court in Bennet Coleman v. Union of India, AIR 1973 SC 60 holding that the right to information was held to be included within the right to freedom of speech and express guarantee under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. We may also add that a line of judgments of the Apex Court cut across the freedom of privacy pleaded on the ground that such information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest. In this context, we may also refer to the judgment of the Apex Court in R.Rajagopal alias R.R.Gopal and another v. State of Tamil Nadu and others, (1994) 6 SCC 632.

    5. Keeping the above object of the Right to Information Act in mind, the issue raised has to be considered. On the one hand it is the contention of the appellant that inasmuch as the assets declaration by the I.A.S. Officers is mandatory in terms of Rule 16 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, the question of placing reliance on Section 8(1)(j) of the Act is erroneous. On the other hand, it is the contention of the Information Commission that the information as to the assets declaration relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest or which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual. It is the further contention of the Information Commission that the information furnished in sealed cover is "held" by the Government, which has no access to such information, and therefore the question of either furnishing the information or making the access to such information is protected under Section 8(1)(j). For deciding the issue raised in this appeal, the following provisions of the Right to Information Act are referable and they read thus:
    "2.(f) "information" means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.

    2(j). "right to information" means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to--
    (i) inspection of work, documents, records;
    (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
    (iii) taking certified samples of material;
    (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.
    8. Exemption from disclosure of information.--(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,--
    (j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information:
    Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person."

    6. The above provisions should be read keeping in mind the laudable object of the Act for which it was enacted. The definition of "information" includes, among other things, any material in any form, records, documents, etc. That definition includes the information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force as well. The information relating to any private body which cannot be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force cannot be termed to be information. By that provision, assets details of the government servants filed before the Government, though in sealed cover, cannot be said to be an information that could not be accessed by the Government. Our attention is not drawn as to any of the rules on this. What is "information which relates to personal information" is also a matter of debate depending upon the circumstances. In the event a member of public requests information about public servants, a distinction must be made between official information inherent to the position and those that are not which affect only the private life. Apparently, the balancing task to find out as to whether a particular information is a public information or an information relating to public duty is not that much easy. The balancing exercise necessarily depended on case to case basis on the following relevant considerations:
    (i)Whether information is deemed to comprise the individual's private details unrelated to his position in the organisation?
    (ii)Whether the disclosure of personal information is with the aim of providing knowledge of the proper performance of the duties and task assigned to the public servants in any specific case? and
    (iii)Whether the disclosure will furnish any information requires to establish accountability or transparency in the use of public resources?

    An information relating to private duty which is not accessible by the public authority is an information as provided under Section 8(1)(j), that is a right of privacy. Nevertheless, if a government servant furnishes assets details to the Government and if he is accountable to file such assets details as required under the rules, such information relating to the assets cannot be considered to be public information which are inaccessible by the Government. Hence, the information relating to the assets declaration of I.A.S. Officers cannot be said to an information which could not be accessed by the public authority, as those informations are either no more confidential or private informations.

    7. Likewise, the definition of "right to information" includes the right to information accessible under the Act which is "held" by or under the "control" of any public authority, which includes the right to inspection of work, documents, records. If both the definitions are read together, right to information is available in respect of information which are accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority that includes the inspection of works, documents, records. In order to apply Section 8(1)(j), (i) the information must relate to personal information and (ii) the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest or which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of an individual. Nevertheless, a power is conferred on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, to satisfy themselves that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information. Therefore, even in case of personal information, in the event the authorities are satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information, the information sought cannot be denied. The right to information which is recognised as a fundamental right cannot be denied on the ground that it is not accessible by the public authority, particularly no restriction for such accessibility is shown to us in the form of a rule. Hence, the reliance placed by the learned Judge on Section 8(1)(j) to reject the contention of the appellant cannot be accepted.

    8. While considering the above, the learned Judge extensively quoted various judgments of the Supreme Court and found that the information sought for by the appellant relates to personal information and the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest and ultimately, dismissed the writ petition. Nevertheless, when it was brought to the notice of the learned Judge that the Central Information Commission has passed an order that the assets details of I.A.S. Officers could be disclosed, it has been observed that as the copy of the order was not furnished, the Court was not in a position to go into that aspect. The learned Judge has denied the request of the appellant for the information on the ground that the information is not accessible to the public authority and therefore the appellant cannot compel the public authority to give that information. This reason shall not hold good, as the details of the assets declaration have already been hosted on the website. Equally the reason that the documents are confidential in nature is no more available for the State to contend in view of the subsequent event which we would be referring immediately.

    9. Rule 16 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 mandates the member of the service to submit a return of his assets and liabilities to the Government. That apart, the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi has issued a circular dated 4.4.2011, which reads as under:-
    "Subject : Submission of immovable property returns by IAS Officers for the year 2010 (as on 1.1.2011)  Placing on the public domain  reg.

    Sir,

    As per Rule 16(2) of AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, all the members of the Service are required to submit their immovable property returns (IPRs) latest by 31st January every year. Vide this Department's circular of even number dated 22nd December, 2010, all State Governments and Central Ministries/Department were requested to forward immovable property returns of all IAS Officers for the year 2010 to the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) latest by 15th February, 2011. Subsequently D.O. letter were issued to all Chief Secretaries by Secretary, DOPT to forward the IPRs of all IAS Officers borne on their cadre latest by 26th March, 2011.

    2. It has been decided that officers who do not submit the property return in time would be denied Vigilance Clearance and will not be considered for promotion and empanelment for senior level posts in Government of India. Government of India have also decided that the annual property return as on January 1, 2011 of members of All India Service and other Group 'A' Central Service Officers will be placed in the public domain.

    3. Against this backdrop, it is once again requested that IPRs all IAS Officers working in the State Governments and Central Ministries/Dept., be forwarded to reach us positively by 5 P.M., on 20.4.2011.

    4. The decisions of Government of India contained in para 2 of this circular may be brought to the notice of the officers concerned and they be requested to adhere to the time line indicated in para 3 above. The names of defaulting officers will be put up on the website of DOPT and action indicated in terms of the decision enumerated in para 2 of this letter. "


    10. Placing reliance on this circular, the learned Special Government Pleader has submitted that as of now, the assets details of the IAS Officers in question are available on the website and therefore there is no impediment for the appellant to access those details and for that reason, the request of the appellant made in his application dated 12.2.2009 requires no consideration.

    11. On the other hand, Dr.V.Krishna Ananth, learned counsel for the appellant would submit that after the order in the writ petition, the Central Government has directed the disclosure of the assets details by the I.A.S. Officers. The information hosted in the website has no authenticity, as such information is liable for hacking. The said information has also no evidentiary value. In view of the above change of circumstances, there cannot be any impediment for the Information Commission to allow the appellant to access the information sought for in his application. We find force in the above submission.

    12. As regards the right of the appellant to seek for inspection of the assets details for the past five years preceding 2009 is concerned, we may point out that the details of the assets furnished, as furnished in the typed set of papers by the respondents, would not clearly indicate whether those assets details are in respect of the five years for the period between 2004 and 2009. The right of the appellant to have the inspection of the assets declaration cannot be now denied on the ground that they are personal informations, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, as the same is no more available in the wake of the subsequent events, namely, the assets details have been hosted on the website. Hence, the order of the learned Judge rejecting the request of the appellant for inspection of the assets details of the I.A.S. Officers made in his application dated 12.2.2009 cannot be sustained. In this context, it must be noticed that the learned Judge refused to take into consideration the directions of the Central Information Commission to the I.A.S. Officers to declare their assets solely on the reason that the copy of the order containing those directions was not furnished before the Court.

    13. The Government has many duties including accountability to the people and showing efficiency in governance. As has been classified, the efficiency in relation to the Government are administrative efficiency, policy efficiency and service efficiency. The administrative efficiency could be achieved only by transparency and access to the assets details documents furnished by its officers including I.A.S. Officers, though in sealed covers, to the applicant on his request. Disclosure of such information under the provisions of the Act will ensure the "culture of openness" rather the "culture of secrecy". If that is followed, a sound administrative system leading to efficiency and effectiveness could be achieved. It would further result in involving a better form of Government.

    14. It also reminds us the following quote of the Father of the Nation Shri Mahatma Gandhi stating,
    "the real Swaraj will come not by acquisition of authority by a few, but by the acquisition of the 'capacity' by all to resist authority, when abused".

    We may also refer to the observations of Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer finding the source of information from Rig Veda. He referred to the following from Rig Veda as saying,
    "let noble thoughts come to us from every side".
    He also quoted the Bible as saying,
    and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

    15. For all the above discussions, we reject the contention that the assets details are held by the Government and cannot be made available to the appellant as untenable. Hence, the relief sought for in this writ appeal must be considered. Though the appellant would be entitled to the inspection of the assets details of the I.A.S. Officers furnished by them in sealed cover to the State Government, the application requesting the information with reference to the office cannot be ordered, as such information should be made with reference to the individual officer with specific request by naming him/her. In the event such request is made, the appellant would be entitled to the furnishing of such information, which includes the inspection of the assets details of the concerned officer. With these observations, the writ appeal is ordered accordingly. No costs.








    ss

    To

    1. The Registrar
    Tamil Nadu Information Commission
    273/378, Anna Salai
    Teynampet
    Chennai 600 018

    2. The Secretary
    Public Department
    Government of Tamil Nadu
    Fort St.George
    Chennai 600 009

  6. #6
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    Default Re: RTI related cases in court


    TAMILNADU INFORMATION COMMISSION
    No,2 Sir Thiyagaraya Road, Teynampet,
    Chennai 600 018. Tel: 24357580
    Case No.10447/Enquiry/A/11
    Date of Enquiry :21-12-2011
    Present : Thiru K.S.SRIPATHI, I.A.S.,(Retd.)
    State Chief Information Commissioner.
    Thiru. T. SRINIVASAN, M.Sc.,
    State Information Commissioner
    Petitioner: Thiru. K. Elango
    S/o. P. Krishnamoorthy,
    No.820, Jeevanandham Salai,
    K.K.Nagar,
    Chennai.
    Public Authority: The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar General
    High Court,
    Chennai-600 104.
    *******
    The petitioner was absent. Thiru. Devanathan, Assistant Public Information Officer/Deputy Registrar,
    O/o. the Registrar General, High Court, Chennai had attended today’s (21.12.2011) enquiry before the
    Bench. The petitioner Thiru K. Elango had sent the letters to the Public Information Officer and the
    Appellate Authority, O/o. the Registrar General, High Court on 01.11.2010 and 20.12.2010. The
    Commission also issued a direction in Case No.10447/O7/2011 dated 23.03.2011. The Registrar (Admn) /
    Public Information Officer had sent an interim reply dated 27.04.2011 to the Commission stating that
    required information will be furnished shortly. But within two days i.e., on 29.04.2011 the Registrar
    General/Appellate Authority, High Court had sent a letter stating that the matter pertains to internal
    administration of the High Court, hence the same cannot be furnished. In the mean time, the petitioner
    appealed again to the Commission on 05.09.2011. Hence the Public Information Officer, O/o. the Registrar
    General, High Court was summoned to appear before the Bench of the Commission on 21.12.2011.
    A perusal of the appeal and the replies furnished by the public authority shows that the appellant has
    only asked for details relating to the number of subordinate Judges, employees, complaints of bribe and so
    on in the subordinate Judiciary. He has not asked for details of anything which could be termed as
    Judicial proceedings or part of the Judicial process. During the enquiry it was also confirmed by the
    Assistant Public Information Officer that these details are received and collected by the Registry of the High
    Court routinely. Section 4 of the RTI Act very clearly defines the obligation of the public authorities. Most
    of the information sought for by the present appellant seem to be covered in this section. Such being the
    case the Hon’ble High Court, Madras, being a public authority, requires to provide access to these
    information unless expressly prohibited by a Competent forum or exempted as defined under various
    sections of the RTI Act. It is also observed that the appellant has asked only for statistical details and not
    names of individuals. Therefore the argument of “un warranted invasion of privacy of individuals” is
    very weak and hence not acceptable.
    Infine, the appeal is allowed and the public authority shall furnish the details within 15 days from the
    date of receipt of this order.
    This judgement was pronounced in the open Court by the State Chief Information Commissioner.
    STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
    Orders approved on this day 10th January 2012
    Under the orders of the Commission
    ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
    Case No.10447/Enquiry/A11
    To
    Thiru. K. Elango
    S/o. P. Krishnamoorthy,
    No.820, Jeevanandham Salai,
    K.K.Nagar,
    Chennai.
    The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar General
    High Court,
    Chennai-600 104.
    SF/SC

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    Default Re: RTI related cases in court


    TAMILNADU INFORMATION COMMISSION
    No,2 Theagaraya Road, Teynampet,
    Chennai 600 018. Tel: 24347590
    Case No.29212/Enquiry/A/2011
    Date of Enquiry :29-02-2012
    Present : Thiru K.S.SRIPATHI, I.A.S.,(Retd.)
    State Chief Information Commissioner
    Petitioner: Thiru A. Venkatesh
    S/o. K.P. Arumugam
    Old No.7, New No.9,
    A, Block MMDA Colony,
    Arumbakkam,
    Chennai- 600 106.
    Public Authority: The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar
    High Court,
    Chennai –600 104.
    *******
    For today’s (29.02.2012) enquiry the petitioner Thiru. A. Venkatesh and Thiru V. Devanathan,
    Assistant Public Information Officer/ Deputy Registrar, High Court Chennai were present.
    The petitioner had sought information on
    “1) the copies of depositions of witnesses CSO-I and CSO-II and witnesses of the Registry if any
    both the Chief and cross examinations of witnesses.
    2) Written statement of defence dated 19.02.2010 submitted by M. Mohideen Pitchai.
    3) Written statement of defence dated 26.02.2010 submitted by M. Mohammed Essath Ali.
    4) Findings dated 16.04.2010 of the Enquiring Hon’ble Judge.”
    The Public Authority had replied that the charges against the two District Judges were not proved
    and they were also retired from service. The Public Authority was asked if there was any bar by the Court
    on furnishing of the information sought for or was it part of any Judicial procedure. The Public Authority
    replied that there was no bar and that it was purely an administrative procedure and not a Judicial
    procedure.
    The Public Authority also submitted that the petitioner was using the RTI Act as a tool to settle
    personal scores and harass the public authorities with repeated petitions seeking information on personal
    matters which have no relevance to the issue or are they of any public interest. During his argument the
    Public Authority lamented that there is no provision for dealing with such petitioners under RTI Act.
    Yet, he requested the Commission atleast to pass strictures against petitioners like the present one for
    misusing a laudable Act for personal gains. In this context, it is observed that this appellant has filed many
    petitions on the same issue, of course differently worded. In fact, he was unable to even identify the
    petitions which were taken up for the enquiry. It was pointed out to the Public Authority that the Commission
    has, on a number of occasions, highlighted the need for proper use of the Right to Information Act, and not
    to use it as a weapon of vendetta against the public authority. It was also pointed out that the
    Commission cannot go beyond the provisions of the RTI Act while dealing with the cases before the
    Commission.
    Coming to the current issue, for the reasons cited in para 2 above the Commission orders that the
    information sought by the petitioner be given under acknowledgment within 15 days from the date of receipt
    of this order.
    STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
    Orders approved on this day 07th March 2012
    Under the orders of the Commission
    ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
    Case No.29212/Enquiry/A/2011
    To
    Thiru A. Venkatesh
    S/o. K.P. Arumugam
    Old No.7, New No.9,
    A, Block MMDA Colony,
    Arumbakkam, Chennai- 600 106.
    The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar
    High Court,
    Chennai –600 104.
    SF/SC

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    Default Re: RTI related cases in court


    TAMILNADU INFORMATION COMMISSION
    No,2 Sir Theyagaraya Road, Teynampet,
    Chennai 600 018. Tel: 24357580
    Case No.32570/Enquiry/A/11
    Date of Enquiry :21-12-2011
    Present : Thiru K.S.SRIPATHI, I.A.S.,(Retd.)
    State Chief Information Commissioner.
    Thiru. T. SRINIVASAN, M.Sc.,
    State Information Commissioner
    Petitioner: Thiru. Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya
    C/o. Conservator of Forests
    Dharmashala Forest Circle,
    District, Kangra, H.P.
    Pin 176 215.
    Public Authority: The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar General
    High Court, Chennai-600 104.
    ******
    All these petitions (32570, 39940/11 & 41616/11) have one common point namely the procedure
    to be adopted by an appellant while seeking copies of documents from the public authorities under the RTI
    Act, 2005. They were therefore taken up as a batch and heard by the Bench of the Commission on
    21.12.2011. It is also made clear that where issues other than this one have been raised such appeals
    were also heard separately and decisions taken by the Commission. Appellant Thiru. Ashwani Kumar
    Upadhyaya was absent and Thiru. Devanathan, Assistant Public Information Officer, O/o. the Registrar
    General, High Court, Chennai was present for today’s (21.12.2011) enquiry before the bench.
    The appellant (Thiru.Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya,) in this case filed a petition under the RTI Act
    seeking a copy of judgment/order/direction issued by the High Court, Madras in a particular writ petition.
    The Public Authority namely the Deputy Registrar (RTI Act) /Assistant Public Information Officer, High
    Court, Madras had informed him to apply for a copy by way of filing a copy application as per Order XII
    Rule 2 of the Appellate Side Rules, if the appellant was a party or Order XII Rule 3 if he was a third party.
    The appellant therefore came before the Commission on 2nd appeal.
    The issue before the Commission is whether the RTI Act will take precedence over rules/laws
    etc., which were already in operation before the enactment of the RTI Act. All the appellants who were
    present were of the unanimous view that Rule 22 of the RTI Act has overriding powers. Rule 22 of RTI Act
    reads thus- “The Provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith
    contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (Act 19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or
    in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.”
    While arguing the case the Assistant Public Information Officer mentioned that there is no
    inconsistency between the two Acts namely the existing procedure which has been codified by the
    Competent Authority as defined in the RTI Act, as appropriate Government or Competent Authority. In this
    case, the High Court which is a creature of the Constitution has already formulated details of procedures for
    obtaining copies of documents whether a party in the case or third party and has also prescribed specific
    fees/charges to be paid by the parties. He further argued that the RTI Act does not abrogate these rules.
    The Appellants who were present argued that there is a lot of time delay in getting copies and that
    the RTI Act gives the citizen freedom to approach the public authority for getting the copies of the
    documents. The documents as defined under section 2 (f) of the Act will also include copies of judgements,
    as also other accompanying records including case diaries, docket sheets and so on whether the party to
    the case or the third party which were used by the concerned public authority to arrive the final judgement.
    It was also argued by one of the appellants that the citizen has a right to choose a mechanism by which
    one could obtain information from the public authority. Under the RTI Act a fee of Rs.10/- has been
    prescribed whereas the copy application procedure as laid down by the High Court indicates higher
    charges. The appellant has the right to choose the procedure when more than one procedure are
    available. The Assistant Public Information Officer argued that the prescribed authority had also notified
    the charges to be paid for taking copies at different rates depending upon whether it is a hard copy or soft
    copy and therefore affixing Rs.10/- does not necessarily mean that the appellant has a right to get
    whatever he need free of cost. In fact section 7(1) of the RTI Act provides for payment of fees representing
    the cost of providing information.
    Preamble to the RTI Act reads thus “ An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to
    information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to
    promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”
    It is amply clear that the purpose of the RTI Act is mainly for providing transparency and accountability in
    governance and thereby develop a responsible regime. The basic intent of the RTI Act is to contain
    corruption in Public Authorities and get the citizens informed about the use of funds at the disposal of
    public authorities. It is not the purpose of the RTI Act to reduce the revenues of the public authorities. It
    was also argued by the Assistant Public Information Officer from the High Court that the Courts invariably
    give certified copies, which are legal documents, whereas photo copies normally given under the RTI Act
    are mere copies and therefore do not necessarily have the same legal status as that of certified copies.
    So the procedure will definitely be different from that of mere photo copying procedure. He also pointed ut
    that the RTI Act does not envisage giving certified copies.
    Going by the above arguments the Commission comes to the following conclusion:
    That the main purpose of the RTI Act is to ensure accountability and transparency in governance with a view
    to containing corruption is amply clear from a mere reading of the Act. The RTI Act also has enough
    provisions for the competent authority to prescribe procedure for obtaining information, copies of documents
    as also the charges to be paid if any, for such purposes. The Commission upholds the views of the Public
    Authorities that when there is a “prescribed” procedure, the citizen seeking information or copies of
    documents shall adopt those procedures only so long as these are not inconsistent with the RTI Act. In all
    these cases it was found that the Public Authorities concerned had not denied information nor did they
    withhold information. They had indicated the procedures to be adopted and therefore they are absolutely
    within their right to take the stand they have taken.
    However taking into consideration the presence of a large number of illiterate, semi literate population
    as also a literate population who do not always have easy access to such laws and rules, the Commission
    observes that it is but fair that the Public Authorities indicate the cost of providing copies of various
    documents sought for by the citizen. That the citizen has a right to know the law or rule by which he is
    governed needs no emphasis. It is also necessary that the public authority in its communication to the
    petitioner clearly indicate the procedure of depositing the cost along with the head of account if any. Failure
    to do so will definitely be a lapse on the part of the public authority under the RTI Act.
    With these observations these petitions are disposed of.
    This judgement was pronounced in the open Court by the State Chief Information Commissioner.
    STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
    Orders approved on this day 10th January 2012
    Under the orders of the Commission
    ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
    Case No.32570/A/Enquiry/11
    To
    Thiru. Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya
    C/o. Conservator of Forests
    Dharmashala Forest Circle,
    District, Kangra, H.P.- Pin 176 215.
    The Public Information Officer
    O/o. the Registrar General
    High Court, Chennai-600 104.
    SF/SC



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