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  1. 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.
  2. I asked for enquiry report conducted on complaint against me but SBI RBO denied it saying that it is present in fiduciary capacity of the branch. Sir plz guide me I have filed first appeal against the decision but i know that first applet authority is also going to hide this information. Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using RTI INDIA mobile app
  3. [caption id=attachment_3668" align="aligncenter" width="680] Opinion given by the Legal Officers[/caption] An opinion given by the panel advocate of a public authority can be denied under Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act in view of the fiduciary relationship involved. However, the same is not the case with the opinion given by the Legal Officers / Branch of the public authority. The public authority claimed that the opinion given by the Delhi Legal Branch was not provided as it is an internal document of the bank. The commission stated that "..there was no provision in the RTI Act to deny information on the ground that it pertained to internal documents of the public authority." We have considered the submissions of both the parties. As per the past decisions of the Commission, the opinion given by a panel advocate of a public authority can be denied under Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act in view of the fiduciary relationship involved. However, the same is not the case with the opinion given by the Legal Officers / Branch of the public authority. The commission directed the CPIO to provide to the Appellant the specific information sought by him in his RTI application. The decision is available for download here!: File No. CIC/SH/A/2015/001637 You can discuss further at our forums here!
  4. Hello, I have made a claim on my Bank as an ex employee for promotion. The bank has taken an opinion on the same from their panel lawyer. I have asked for the gist of the opinion as well as copy of the same through an application under RTI act 2005.They have replied that it is the intellectual property not covered under RTI.Is it correct? If not how I do I proceed further?
  5. An article by Vinod Kothari & Aditi Jhunjhunwala in moneylife.in on 01 July 2011: http://moneylife.in/article/disclosure-of-fiduciary-information-under-sec-8-1-e-of-the-rti-act-this-is-the-true-scope-of-the-exclusion-clause/17761.html Disclosure of fiduciary information under Sec 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act: This is the true scope of the exclusion clause No statutory authority is above the Republic of India. In our democratic setup, the people of India are supreme. The exceptions contained in Section (8) are exceptional pieces of information for which disclosure is not warranted or not desirable for a variety of reasons—but the broad spirit of the RTI Act is full transparency The RTI Act is one of the rare legislations that empower citizens and bind the bureaucracy. The rest of the laws do exactly the opposite. However, though the purpose of the RTI Act might have been benign, its actual operation continues to be bogged down by the burden of bureaucracy. At first blush, a PIO (Public Information Officer) hides behind one or the other of the exclusions given under Section (8) of the Act and declines to provide the information under some pretext. The information seeker has the right to file an appeal, but how many people have the time, patience and resources to go for appeals? Section (8) of the RTI Act enlists some special instances when the authorities are exempted from disclosing information sought for. This includes information that would be prejudicial to national integrity, security or economic interests; would constitute to contempt of court of law; would hamper police investigations; would affect commercial interests like trade secrets; would impede the process of investigation; would affect 'fiduciary' relationships and would harm the person physically. One of the common exceptions relied upon by the authorities is that the information being sought is with the regulatory agency in "fiduciary relationship" [sec 8 (1) (e)]. This article explains the meaning of information in fiduciary capacity in Sec. 8 (1) (e) and how, in most cases, the information held by a regulator cannot be said to be information held in a fiduciary capacity. The plea of fiduciary relationship, advanced by several regulatory bodies has not impressed us. Fiduciary relationship is not to be equated with privacy and confidentiality. It is one where a party stands in a relationship of trust to another party and is generally obliged to protect the interest of the other party. While entrusting any information under any Act, rule, proceedings etc., that is no agreement between the provider of the information and the regulatory authority that the information provided is to be kept immune from the scrutiny of the public authority. It is to be kept in mind that the RTI Act is premised on disclosure being the norm, and refusal being the exception. MEANING OF 'FIDUCIARY' The word "fiduciary" has been defined in Black's Law Dictionary as follows: which reads thus: Fiduciary- The term is derived from the Roman Law and means- As a noun-a person holding the character of a trustee, or a character analogous to that of a trustee, in respect to the trust and confidence involved in it and the scruples of good faith and candor which it requires, or a person having duty created, by his undertaking, to act primarily for another's benefit in matters connected with such undertaking. It is evident from the above that a fiduciary is a trustee. In context of information, if the information was reposed with a person for safe-keeping, or a person came to be vested with confidential information, and there is a question of good faith between the information provider or concerned entity, and the person having the information, it can be said that there is a relation of trusteeship. The Advanced Law Lexicon, 3rd Edition, 2005, defines fiduciary relationship as: "A relationship in which one person is under a duty to act for the benefit of the other on the matters within the scope of the relationship. Fiduciary relationship usually arises in one of the four situations: (1) When one person places trust in the faithful integrity of another, who as a result gains superiority or influence over the first, (2) When one person assumes control and responsibility over another, (3) When one person has a duty to act or give advice to another on matters falling within the scope of the relationship, or (4) When there is specific relationship that has traditionally been recognised as involving fiduciary duties, as with a lawyer and a client, or a stockbroker and a customer."
  6. As reported at deccanherald.com on June 7, 2011 In a landmark decision that may make India’s parliamentarians more accountable and help expose unsavoury links between high-stakes business and power politics, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that pecuniary interests of MPs in various companies must be made public. The obvious rationale behind the CIC’s decision of June 3 is to help people keep “a better watch” on parliamentarians with stakes in big business and industrial establishments. The other reason, though not explicitly reasoned out in the CIC’s order, could also prevent lobbying by big business who, as in the Nira Radia case, often times influence MPs’ positions and other policy decisions. The CIC decision came in the wake of RTI application filed by New Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms National Coordinator Anil Bairwal whose plea that he be furnished with copies of statements of all current Rajya Sabha members having pecuniary interests in business houses was initially rejected by the Rajya Sabha information officer and the Upper House’s appellate authority. The plea taken by the Rajya Sabha was that information related to House members with “remunerative directorship, regular remunerative activity, shareholding of controlling nature, paid consultancy and professional engagement” in any company “might not be provided to the public since the information was available to the secretariat in a fiduciary relationship”. The Upper House also held that Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee (members) were not obligated to “provide such information as it was covered under the exempt category under Section 8(1)(e) of the Right to Information Act, 2005”. Yet another inexplicable reason given by the Rajya Sabha to deny information to Bairwal was that “it was personal in nature, the disclosure of which had no relationship to any public activity or interest”. Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra’s order overturned the Rajya Sabha’s stand, saying that the CIC was “firmly of the view that the disclosure of desired information would serve a larger public interest”. According to the commission, “It is the standard practice that people in positions where they can make decisions or influence policies affecting the financial and other interests of companies should ordinarily recuse themselves from such a process, if they themselves have an interest in those specific companies or the class of enterprises, to avoid conflict of interest”. Speaking to Deccan Herald over phone from Delhi, Bairwal said the position taken by the Rajya Sabha, which had rejected his application (first submitted two years ago) twice earlier was “against the spirit” of the RTI Act. “What is ominous is that the Upper House’s Ethic Committee did not want to disclose information that members submit for registration in the Register of Members’ Interest under Rule 293 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States”. Bairwal said that Mishra’s order could go a long way in preventing lobbying by firms in which some MPs might hold stakes or have other pecuniary interests. The CIC’s order would then be in line with the ethics rules of the United States Congress which clearly states that “House Members...should never accept “benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance” of (their) official duties. Besides, the House of Representatives’ Ethic Committee “found that this standard was violated, for example, when a Member persuaded the organisers of a privately held bank to sell him stock while he was using his congressional position to promote authorisation for the establishment of the bank.”
  7. Friends... I am a defendant in the court law. I believe certain files and the notings therein made by the Public Prosecutor ( pertaining to me ) will greatly change the outcome of the case I am fighting against. Is it possible to - under RTI - ask for the files and notings therein ? Thanks.
  8. As reported at ibnlive.in.com on 12 August 2010 New Delhi, Aug 12 (PTI) Citing "fiduciary" relationship, the state-run Alliance Air has declined to give the name of the person who was behind the diversion of its aircraft for carrying an IPL team after pulling out a scheduled flight to Coimbatore early this year. RTI applicant S C Agrawal had asked the airline the name of the person who made a request for such an arrangement along with other details against the backdrop of news reports that "Praful Patel''s daughter pulled out scheduled AI flight for IPL". The reports had also spoke of clear violation of norms if plane was diverted for Poorna. Public Information Officer (PIO) of Alliance Air Arun K Goyal, in reply to the question about the name of the person said, "As per Section 8(1)(e) of RTI Act,2005, this information is exempt from disclosure." The PIO has cited this information "as exempted under section 8(1)(e) of RTI Act which talks about fiduciary relationship. It seems that the PIO neither understands basics of law nor dictionary-meaning of ''fiduciary''," Agrawal said. Fiduciary relationship is limited to very restricted personal relations like between doctor-patient and others and not at all for official purposes. Various verdicts from Central Information Commission are there to clarify ''fiduciary relationship'', Agrawal said. Denying information on this particular question seems to be a deliberate attempt to hide some wrong-doing on part of Alliance Air, Agrawal said today. CPIO has also not furnished details of Appellate Authority as mandatory under section 7(8) of RTI Act, he added.
  9. I have asked for a copy of an inspection report under RTI written by the director of women and child. The inspection was at the request of the chief sec as we are currently appealing the decision of the non-renewal of our licence to operate as a children's home. The reply stated "The Competent Authority is satisfied that the information should not be disclosed in larger public interest" On asking more details they said "the information was declined under Section 8 (e) of the RTI Act" As Section 8 (e) states (e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrents the disclosure of such information; Questions 1. Does Secton 8 (e) 'fiduciary' relate to the Director and Chief Sectretary's relationship in this context? 2. Any suggestions? Thanks
  10. As reported by Krishnadas Rajagopal online at indianexpress.com on Aug 17, 2009 New Delhi : The Central Information Commission (CIC) recently denied a man access to information about his fiancée’s health and the treatment she had undergone at a psychiatric centre, claiming that a patient-doctor relationship was based on trust, which could not be breached. Dipchand Chavanriya, a resident of Ghaziabad, had filed a Right to Information (RTI) petition seeking access to the medical records of his fiancée, Jyoti, from the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science in Shahdara here. The CIC, the apex transparency panel in the country, however, denied the information to Chavanriya claiming that the RTI cannot act as a “detective” to unearth the medical history of a person. Chavanriya had stated in his application on January 2009 that Jyoti’s medical problem and treatment at the psychiatric centre would affect his “personal life” and therefore it was essential that he be provided with the same. His six questions to the Public Information Officer (PIO) D K Chakravorty included ones on the treatment, the “physical problem”, length of treatment and the last date of medical consultation at the hospital. The PIO, however, claimed exemption citing “fiduciary” (bond of trust) relationship between the doctor and the patient, following which he appealed to the CIC. Following this, the Commission dismissed Chavanriya’s appeal on the ground that “it is undeniable that the relationship between a patient and a doctor is a fiduciary relationship hence the exemption appears to have been applied correctly”. “A person cannot use RTI to breach the physician-patient bond of trust for his own personal need. But we (CIC) would consider if the information seeker has applied in public good, for example, if he suspects if the other person has a communicable disease, which will harm the public at large,” Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi told Newsline on Tuesday. “The relationship between a confessor-confessee, lawyer-client, doctor-patient, chartered accountant-client is fiduciary (bond of trust) and exempted from disclosure under the RTI. It is information given by persons placed in an inferior position to another in a superior state, the latter thus has a duty to keep the information confidential,” Gandhi said. Hearing the case, Commissioner Gandhi observed: “The appellant claims the information is important since it affects his personal life. He does not dispute the claim of fiduciary relationship but feels that since it is important for him personally the information should be provided. “A personal motive (however) is not enough to access information exchanged in trust. The applicant has to prove that such information would serve the larger public interest,” Gandhi said. ` Source: Cannot access medical records through RTI: information panel
  11. do the proceedings of enquiry conducted by Crime Against Women Cell (New Delhi) on basis of complaint filed by them comes under fidicuary relationship?Can they deny the respondendt a copy of enquiry proceedings as under Section 8(1) e of RTI Act Act ? Any judgement?/ Do these proceedings can be filed as evidence in court of law?
  12. As reported in howrah.org on 4 August 2008: ?Info can?t be denied to former employees? - Howrah News Service - Latest news and headlines on Howrah and West Bengal ‘Info can’t be denied to former employees’ Aug. 4: The Central Information Commission (CIC) held that a public authority cannot deny information under the RTI Act to its ex-employee on quasi-judicial proceedings like the court martial, citing "fiduciary relationship" — a bond based on trust between him and the government. "An authority has a duty to act in a transparent manner and cannot withhold its reasoning only on the ground that there is a fiduciary relationship between him (an employee) and the government," chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said. The transparency panel said the proceedings before the court martial and the consequential application for pardon under the Army Act are matters, although administrative in substance, which were quasi-judicial in nature. The commission passed its directions while deciding an appeal of Dr Harish Uppal, who was denied information relating to his conviction by a court martial following the Bangladesh War of 1971. It directed the ministry of defence to furnish information to the ex-captain regarding the outcome of his application on his conviction more than 30 years ago. The commission allowed Dr Uppal inspection of the relevant records.
  13. CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION BLOCK IV, OLD JNU CAMPUS, NEW DELHI 110067 F.No.PBA/06/103 September 22, 2006 Complaint No.113/ICPB/2006 In the matter of Right to Information Act, 2005 – Section 19. [Date of Hearing 18.9.2006] Appellant: Dr. (Mrs) Archana S. Gawada Public authority: Employees State Insurance Corporation, New Delhi. Shri C. Sethu Addl. Commissioner & CPIO, Director General, ESIC – Appellate Authority. Present: Shri C. Seth, Addl. Commissioner, ESIC Shri Arvind Kumar, Joint Director. Shri S. Thomas, Addl. Commissioner None from appellant. FACTS: By an application dated 5.5.2006, the complainant had requested for the following information pertaining to recruitment of IMO Gr.ll/Ayurvedic Physician and Dental Surgeon for which written examination was held on 29.06.2003 : Total number of candidates applied for the post of Ayurvedic physician, total number of candidates appeared, called for interview and finally selected; Supply of a copy of the evaluated answer sheets along with relevant question paper in respect of the applicant; Supply of copies of evaluated answer sheets along with question papers relating to the selected candidates. She had also enclosed a draft for Rs.100/- towards the application fee of Rs.10/- and Rs.90/- for the probable cost of providing the information. Her application was forwarded on 17.5.2006 to another CPIO and the appellant was advised to contact that CPIO as he was in charge of the information sought for. By a letter dated 9.6.2006, the CPIO informed the appellant that since she had not furnished her Roll No for the examination, her application could not be located and advised her to send a photo copy of the admit card. He had also returned the draft for Rs 100 requesting her to send Rs.10/-. In response, by a letter dated 19.6.2006, the appellant sent back the DD for Rs 100/ and contended that there was nothing wanting in the application and the public authority should have all records and as such the information sought should be furnished. Since she did not get any response, she filed this Complaint on 11.7.06. Comments were called for from the CPIO. By that time,by a communication dated 2.8.2006, the CPIO furnished the information sought in serial no 1 of the application and declined to furnish the information sought in serial no 2 and 3 applying the provisions of Section 8(1)(j). On receipt of this information,the complainant sent a communication to this Commission dated 21.8.2006, pointing out the inordinate delay in furnishing even the part information and contending thatthe CPIO could not have applied the provisions of Section 8 (1)(j) to furnish the remaining information. She has pointed out that to have transparency in examination matters, evaluated answer sheets should be made available to the candidates. In the comments from the CPIO dated 11.9.2006 and 13/9/2006, the CPIO has stated that in addition to the information furnished on item 1 of the application on 2.8.2006, th eanswer sheet of the complainant had also been furnished to her on 25.8.2006 and that in regard to the answer scripts of the successful candidates, the same could not be furnished in terms of Section 8(1)(j). In respect of the delay, he has submitted that it was due the failure of the complainant in furnishing her Roll No etc. While admitting the delay in furnishing the information and highly regretting for the delay, it is stated that it was on account of this case being the first application received in connection with recruitment process which is normally kept confidential. It is also stated that in collecting and furnishing the information, an expenditure of Rs 167.10 was incurred as against the deposit of Rs. 90/- by the complainant. The complaint was heard on 18.9.2006 with due notice to the complainant and the public authority. Complainant was not present. It was explained by the CPIO that the examination being of objective type, no manual evaluation of the answer sheets is made and the whole exercise is done by the computer which displays only the names of candidates securing marks above the cut off marks. Therefore, since the marking is not done manually, the answer sheet by itself will not display any marks. That is why, the copy of the answer sheet sent to the complaint does not exhibit any marks on the same. It was also submitted that answer sheets of the successful candidates cannot be furnished in terms of Section 8(1)(j). In so far as the delay is concerned, the CPIO expressed his deep regrets stating that since it was the first application under RTI and since, the recruitment process had always been kept confidential, he was not sure whether the information could be furnished or not. He sought for condonation of th edelay assuring the such delays would not occur in future. DECISION: This Commission has taken the view in similar cases of applications for copies of evaluated answer sheets, whether of the applicant himself/herself or that of others, that the same cannot be furnished in terms of Sections 8(1)(e) and (j). In Appeal No ICPB/A-3/CIC/2006, this Commission has decided as follows: “Therefore, we find that in case of evaluated answer papers, the information available with the public authority is in his fiduciary relationship, the disclosure of which is exempt under Section 8(1)(e). In addition, when a candidate seeks for a copy of evaluated answer paper, either of his/her own or others, it is purely a personal information, the disclosure of which has no relation to any public interest or activity, which of such a situation is covered under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act. Therefore, we hold that the CPIO was justified in rejecting the request of the appellant for a copy of the evaluated answer paper. We, as a Commission, are not satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of the information sought for by the appellant to direct the CPIO to comply with the request of the appellant and as matter of fact we are rather of the opinion that furnishing of copies of evaluated answer papers would be against public interest as has been rightly opined by the appellate authority that supply of a copy of the evaluated answer paper would compromise the fairness and impartiality of the selection process.” [Case No. ICPB/A-2/CIC/2006 (available in www. cic.gov.in)] Therefore, the CPIO had correctly applied provisions of Section 8(1)(j) to decline to furnish the copies of the answer sheets of the successful candidates. However, this Commission has also decided that as matter of course, marks obtained by the applicant and the selected candidates should be made available to the information seeker. Therefore, as directed during the hearing, the CPIO will furnish to the appellant the cut off marks prescribed, the marks obtained by the complainant and the successful candidates and also a copy of the key. This should be done within 15 days of this Decision. As far as the delay in providing the information is concerned, since the CPIO has explained that the present application was first of its kind seeking for information which had always been kept confidential, I am inclined to condone the delay. However, since delay in furnishing the information has been established, the amount of Rs.90/- deposited by the appellant shall be refunded to her. Let a copy of this decision be sent to the appellant and CPIO. -sd- (Padma Balasubramanian) Information Commissioner

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