REFUSAL OF INFORMATION U/S 8.1.d OF RTI ACT
Section 8.1.d of RTI Act reads as:
“information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;”
To invoke above reason, information should have following characteristics:
1. Information should relate to third party, including public authority.
2. Its disclosure should be harmful for competitive position of third party or public authority.
3. Applicant is not in a position to prima-facie prove larger public interest in disclosure. This cannot be invoked when frauds or scams have been committed with public money.
4. Information should relate to/constitute commercial confidence or trade secret or intellectual property of third party [including pubic authority].
5. PIO provides meaningful justification on how disclosure would harm competitive position of third party or public authority and how it constitutes commercial confidence, trade secret or intellectual property. Just stating sub-section is not sufficient.
Please also note:
A] “Through this Order the Commission now wants to send the message loud and clear that quoting provisions of Section 8 of the RTI Act ad libitum to deny the information requested for, by CPIOs/Appellate Authorities without giving any justification or grounds as to how these provisions are applicable is simply unacceptable and clearly amounts to malafide denial of legitimate information attracting penalties under section 20(1) of the Act.”CIC/OK/A/2006/00163 dated 7 July, 2006.
B] “The PIO has to give the reasons for rejection of the request for information as required under Section 7(8)(i). Merely quoting the bare clause of the Act does not imply that the reasons have been given. The PIO should have intimated as to how he had come to the conclusion that rule 8(1)(j) was applicable in this case.”CIC/OK/C/2006/00010 dated 7 July, 2006.
Refer: CIC/SG/A/2011/003607/17371 dated 10-03-2012