In yet another case Central Information Commission has allowed inspection of documents pertaining to third party citing larger public interest even though third party has said that his file should not be shown to anyone. The RTI applicant argued that the matter was a matter of interest to the public because the railways had indulged in selective decision making and discrimination. The appellant said that the railways had decided differently in the matter of one person, hence the issue was of interest to those who had not been given the same treatment. CIC found the argument of the appellant tenable and allowed inspection of the documents. (If you have any questions relating to third party clause, please go to our forum here and post your query, our experts shall reply to you).
The learning for PIO is that if the third party objects to giving the information, the Public Information Officer must take his objections and see if any of the exemption clauses of Section 8 (1) apply. Even, if any of the exemption clauses apply, the PIO is then obliged to see if there is a larger Public interest in disclosure. If none of the exemption clauses apply, information has to be given. REFERENCE: Mahesh Kumar Sharma v. PIO, Delhi Jal Board Decision No. CIC /A T/A/2008/01262SG/2109
No third party exemption on discrimination
The appellant referred to his RTI application and stated that he wanted to see the file of Shri Deepak Sharma to know the basis on which the case of Shri Sharma was decided. The appellant stated that the Divl. Office, North Western Railway, Ajmer did not allow him inspection of file of Shri Deepak Sharma. During the hearing the representative of Divl. Office, North Western Railway, Ajmer stated that a number of persons were working in the railway station as Commission Vendors and that all the concerned persons were sought to be accommodated in the railways. One of the persons was Shri Deepak Sharma, who had filed a case in the court. The court had given a judgment in his favour. The Divl. Office, North Western Railway, Ajmer stated that the case of Shri Deepak Sharma was decided by the them on the basis of court’s judgment.
Shri Deepak Sharma was asked for his consent so that Railways can allow inspection of file to the appellant. Shri Deepak Sharma replied that his file should not be shown to anyone. The Divl. Office, North Western Railway, Ajmer stated that Shri Sharma did not give his consent, hence he did not allow inspection of file to the appellant.
(This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must read and download the decision from the CIC website)