Information sought with regard to marks in Civil Services Exam cannot be directed to be furnished mechanically. Furnishing raw marks will cause problems as pleaded by the UPSC which will not be in public interest.
The Supreme Court has held that raw and scaled marks awarded to candidates in Civil Services (Prelims) examination cannot be revealed under the Right to Information Act and set aside the Delhi high court order asking UPSC to disclose the marks. The Commission contended that the corrections made in the answer book would likely arouse doubt and perhaps even suspicion in the candidate’s mind and this would not only breed grievances, but would likely lead to litigation.
Once the RTI application is filed the records available with CPIO/respondent authority, cannot be destroyed as per the retention and removal schedule.- CIC
CIC recorded that the PIO of Department of Posts without application of mind denied the information on points under section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act. The appellant had sought the copy of all cameras (CCTV) video recording of head post office Bhavnagar.
Since video recording is covered under information as per Section 2(f) of the RTI Act. If the CCTV footage is held by the respondent authority, it is his duty to share it, except when the denial is justified under any provisions of exemptions mentioned in Section 8 of the RTI Act.
Once the RTI application is filed the records available with CPIO/respondent authority, cannot be destroyed as per the retention and removal schedule. In this case, the CPIO denied the information under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, which means they have the CCTV footage with them. Therefore, commission recorded that the respondent authority is directed to provide CD with required CCTV footage and the information sought by the appellant.
The High Court has struck down CIC order that file noting by one officer meant for the next officer with whom he may be in a hierarchical relationship, is in the nature of a fiduciary entrustment, it should not ordinarily be disclosed and surely not without any concurrence of the officer preparing that note.
High Court ruled that "Any noting made in the official records of the Government/public authority is information belonging to the concerned Government/public authority. The question whether the information relates to a third party is to be determined by the nature of the information and not its source."
The reasoning, that the notings or information generated by an employee during the course of his employment is his information and thus has to be treated as relating to a third party, was considered flawed.
Court further stated that "Section 8 of the Act provides for exemption from disclosure of certain information and none of the provisions of Section 8 provides for a blanket exemption that entitles the respondent to withhold all notings on a file."
CIC has earlier made the decision on the basis that when the file noting by one officer meant for the next officer with whom he may be in a hierarchical relationship, is in the nature of a fiduciary entrustment, it should not ordinarily be disclosed and surely not without any concurrence of the officer preparing that note. The file noting for a confidential and secret part would attract the provisions of Section 8(1)(e) as well as Section 11(1) of the RTI Act.
The contention of the CIC was struck down and the court directed CIC to take the decision within 3 months. Earlier, however, Central Information Commission (CIC) in their Decision No. ICPB/A-1/CIC/2006 dt.31.01.2006, has held that “file notings are not, as a matter of law, exempt from disclosure”.
Usefulness of the High Court Order
The above decision is highly relevant for users who are filing RTI to know the Status of their earlier RTI. RTI Applicant can now use following questions in their RTI application
Complete details of file notings made on the above said file number as on date.
Separately the daily progress made in case of above said file till date i.e. when did it reach which officer/functionary, how long did it stay with that officer/functionary and what did that officer/functionary, do during that period on the said letter together with file noting and name and designation of each officer/functionary
List of the officers with their designation to whom before the said file is placed. Also, provide me with the noting made by them on the said file.
New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) The CIC should invite suggestions from various stake-holders including regulatory bodies on temporarily suspending indirect government-funding, such as tax rebate and subsidised offices, to six national political parties which are allegedly not following its order to come under the RTI Act, an activist has said.
It was requested that at least invite comments from all concerned ones including concerned political parties, central and state governments, concerned government departments and other autonomous bodies including CBDT, CBEC, Prasar Bharti, Election Commission and Union Ministry of Urban Development seeking their views on interim suspension of indirect government-funding,
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is yet to pay their dues to Mumbai Police for the security provided in the last 17 matches played at the Wankhde Stadium in Mumbai.
Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali had filed the query under RTI to Mumbai Police asking how much MCA owes to them for utilizing their services. Information provided to Galgali by the police department, raised everyone's eyebrows as amount has crossed Rs 13 crore.
The Public Information Officer and Asst Police Commissioner (Coordination) Tanaji Surulkar provided the information compiled by the Bandobast Division that, including the 3 ICC World Twenty20, Women's World Cup, Test Match, Practice Match & One Day Match, 17 matches were played in Mumbai for which charged amounting to Rs 13,41,74,177, which is still pending for last 62 months.
On top of it, police department has not charged interest to them. The working style of police department not charging interest to MCA has raised several questions.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) admitted in the Rajya Sabha that there is no central monitoring mechanism to ensure implementation of its directive on Right to Information (RTI) Act. Replying to a question whether major achievements, significant developments and important events of every ministry and department are being uploaded on their respective websites, the DoPT said only 13% of the Union ministries are either fully or reasonably compliant with the order issued by Cabinet Secretariat on 23 June 2016.
Section 25(1)(c) of the RTI Act obligates the Central government to require all public authorities under its control to publish accurate information about their activities from time to time. This is a statutory mandate. The CIC and abinet Secretariat’s transparency directives are the right steps in this direction. However, the evidence indicates a deficit of both political and bureaucratic will to ensure compliance with this transparency requirement.
The Central government is not committed to developing a mechanism to monitor compliance despite being reminded twice in the Parliament. Perhaps it is time to move the CIC again to issue a binding direction for establishing such a mechanism under the cabinet secretariat or the DoPT.
RTI used mostly to settle personal scores
The number of people filing RTI applications asking about how government schemes are being implemented has shrunk, and it has largely become a weapon to dig out private details about people to settle personal scores, information commissioner Bimal Julka told state commissioners at a meeting on Saturday.
"It is unfortunate that most of the RTI applications are directed at private interests, matrimonial disputes, knowing salaries and leave records of rivals and settling personal scores. That was not the intent of RTI," a source quoted Julka as telling officials who had come to participate in a meeting of the National Federation of Information Commissioners.
The prison headquarters where the administrative work of the jail is processed receives about two RTI queries every day. As reported by Hindustan Times, in December the prison administration got 70 RTI queries and in January the number was 59.
As per the report, most inmates use the Right to Information to inquire about the number of days left of their sentence, food entitlements and missing facilities.
Some inmates also persist if their initial RTI query is not answered and do not refrain from approaching information commission. A similar incident happened last year in January when an inmate did not get information on prescribed diet.
The idea of ‘Government by the people’ makes it necessary that people have access to information on matters of public concern. It creates a
the condition for ‘open governance’ which is a foundation of democracy.