When an RTI applicant asked for the Service book of Postal Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) employees, he got the response that there is no service book maintained for the GDS employees. The CPIO informed that “no service book is maintained for GDS as they are part time workers”, although the Hon’ble Supreme Court have held that Gramin Dak Sevaks are holders of civil post outside the regular civil service. As per the Government rules, there is no parity in terms and conditions of employment between the Central Government regular employees and Gramin Dak Sevaks.
The Government treats Gramin Dak Sevaks and regular employees of the Government to two distinct and separate groups. Whereas Government employee works for 8 hours, Gramin Dak Sevak work on a part time basis ranging from three hours to five hours per day and are discharged after attaining 65 years of age. If you have any questions, you can post it over our forums here! Read more ›
Central Information Commission in one of the decision opined that “as far as possible give the appellant including the third party, if any, an opportunity of hearing specially if he so requests, without forgetting that the essence of RTI Act is to provide complete, correct and timely information to the appellant.” You can read the RTI Act here!
CIC further states that “It is needless to say that rendering an opportunity of hearing to the parties is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence. It is conducive to fairness and transparency and accords with the principles of natural justice. An opportunity of hearing to the parties also brings greater clarity to the adjudicating authorities.” Read more ›
Mere pendency of investigation / enquiry is not sufficient justification by itself for withholding the information. It must be shown by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) that the disclosure of the information would ‘impede’ or even on a lesser threshold ‘hamper’ or ‘interfere’ with the enquiry.
“13. Access to information, under Section 3 of the Act, is the rule and exemptions under Section 8, the exception. Section 8 being a restriction on this fundamental right, must therefore is to be strictly construed. It should not be interpreted in manner as to shadow the very right itself. Under Section 8, exemption from releasing information is granted if it would impede the process of investigation or the prosecution of the offenders.
It is apparent that the mere existence of an investigation process cannot be a ground for refusal of the information; the authority withholding information must show satisfactory reasons as to why the release of such information would hamper the investigation process. Such reasons should be germane, and the opinion of the process being hampered should be reasonable and based on some material. Sans this consideration, Section 8(1)(h) and other such provisions would become a haven for dodging demands for information.”