In case an applicant requires the information which relates to third party, he must provide the correct address of the third party first- Rules the CIC. In a decision delivered on 30.08.2013, the CIC ruled that "The Commission is of the view that in case the appellant requires the information, he may provide the correct address and last posting of Shri Hari Prasad to the CPIO to enable him to comply with the orders of the FAA."
This means that the onus of providing information about the correct address of the third party lies with the applicant. And if the address is not known to the applicant or if the Postal Department returns the notice sent to such third party by CPIO, then as per the section 11 (2) "if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representation under sub-section (2)", the information is liable not to be provided.
Section 11 of the RTI Act states the following:
1. Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information:
Provided that except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party.
2. Where a notice is served by the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under sub-section (1) to a third party in respect of any information or record or part thereof, the third party shall, within ten days from the date of receipt of such notice, be given the opportunity to make representation against the proposed disclosure.
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in section 7, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within forty days after receipt of the request under section 6, if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representation under sub-section (2), make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the information or record or part thereof and give in writing the notice of his decision to the third party.
Correct Address of the third party
"Vide RTI dt 15.2.11, appellant had sought attested copy of Caste certificate of Shri Hari Prasad, retired Addl Commissioner, Income Tax.
AA vide order dt 19.5.11, observed that the CPIO vide his letter dt 8.3.11, had denied information u/s 8(1)(j) as the appellant had not shown any larger public interst. Moreover, the CPIO had observed that due to insufficient information, he had not been able to gather the opinion of third party Shri Hari Prasad. In the appeal, filed on 20.4.11, additional information relating to Shri Hari Prasad was provided. AA remanded the case to the CPIO for taking appropriate action after applying the provisions of Section 11 and Section 8 of the RTI Act and to inform the appellant of his decision within thirty days.
Submissions made by the public authority were heard. FAA submitted that on the basis of information provided by the appellant, a letter was issued to Shri Hari Prasad in Lucknow to seek his views as required u/s 11. This letter was returned by the postal authorities with the remark that addressee was not residing there. AA further clarified that they are not in possession of the Caste certificate and they are also not aware of the last posting of Shri Hari Prasad before retirement. In the absence of the appellant, his views could not be ascertained.
The Commission is of the view that in case the appellant requires the information, he may provide the correct address and last posting of Shri Hari Prasad
to the CPIO to enable him to comply with the orders of the FAA."
In case the notice is served, then there is no compulsion for the CPIO to wait for the response from third party, however, in case the notice cannot be served to third party may be because the correct address of the third party was not found or otherwise, the information shall not be disclosed.
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