If public interest so demands, information, even in such a situation, would have to be disclosed, though after taking into account the rights of the individual concerned to whom the information pertains. The CIC ruled that the information should be revealed and PIO cannot take exemption that the information is a personal information in respect and hence cannot be provided as per Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
Vide RTI dt 20.9.12, appellant had sought information on 5 points and inspection of the relevant records relating to departmental action against a person and his exoneration by CAT.
CPIO vide letter dt 23.10.12, informed the appellant that information sought is personal information in respect of Shri Shivaji Ahuja and hence cannot be provided as per Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. AA vide order dt 3.12.12, observed that the information has been rightly denied u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act and disposed of the appeal.
vigilance proceedings against a third party
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Shri V.K.Shad (WP(C)499/2012 and CM 1059/2012 decided on 9.11.12) has held as follows:
“20.4 If at all, a fiduciary relationship springs up in such like situation, it would be when a third party seeks information qua the performance or conduct of an employee. The institution, in such a case, which holds the information, would then have to determine as to whether such information ought to be revealed keeping in mind the competing public interest. If public interest so demands, information, even in such a situation, would have to be disclosed, though after taking into account the rights of the individual concerned to whom the information pertains. A denial of access to such information to the information seekers, i.e., the respondents herein, (Messers V.K. Shad & Co.) especially in the circumstances that the said information is used admittedly in coming to the conclusion that the delinquent officers were guilty, and in determining the punishment to be accorded to them, would involve a serious breach of principles of natural justice, as non-communication would entail civil consequences and would render such a decision vulnerable to challenge under Article 14 of the Constitution of India provided information is sought and was not given.”
Following the ratio of the above judgement, the Commission directs CPIO to provide information sought within three weeks, on receipt of letter of authority from Shri Shivaji Ahuja in favour of appellant and after ensuring that no further prosecution proceedings are pending in the subject matter.
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