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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. Section 8: Exemption from disclosure of information (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,— (a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; (b) information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court; © information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature; (d) 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; (e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; (f) information received in confidence from foreign Government; (g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; (h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; (i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers: Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over: Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed; (j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the What is Privacy under RTI of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. (2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. (3) Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), © and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section: Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act. Edit
  3. Can a citizen who is an ineligible candidate and had agitated his grievance before Hon’ble Minister and the CAT but failed to get any relief is disqualified from getting information under RTI? The answer is NO. Can CPIO introduce new reasons for Denial of Information under RTI? Guess what! The CPIO thinks so, but thankfully not the CIC. Once an applicant seeks information as defined in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, the same cannot be denied to the information seeker except on any of the grounds mentioned in Section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act, the Public Information Officer or the First Appellate Authority cannot add or introduce new reasons for Denial or grounds for rejecting furnishing of information. An RTI Applicant who is officiating SDI(P) East Gurgaon and a qualified Postmaster Grade-1 have taken the promotional Departmental exam of IPO-2011 on 15 and 16 October 2011 and reexamination for Paper-III on 29/01/2012 from Haryana Circle, Ambala. He wanted following information related to this: 1- No. of marks obtained by me in each paper. 2- OMR Copy of answer sheets of each papers with key. In nutshell he had appeared in a departmental examination and needed copies of his answer sheets and the marks obtained by him in each of the papers. The CPIO denied the information stating that the he is an ineligible candidate and had agitated his grievance before Hon’ble Minister and the CAT but failed to get any relief. Introduce new reasons for Denial When the matter came before CIC for hearing, a simple query from the Commission under which clause of the RTI Act exemption is being claimed for denying the information the CPIO could not give any satisfactory response. The Commission stated that: The appellant is seeking his own answer sheets and the marks obtained by him in a departmental examination in which he had participated. The CPIO is unable to show any exemption under the stated provisions of Section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act under which the information can be withheld. It being so, there is no ground for denying the information and the CPIO should furnish the same to the appellant within 7 days from the date of receipt of this order. Here are the discussion threads at Forum containing the information about Denial of Information and you can read into many such discussion how CPIO sometimes introduce new reasons for Denial.
  4. For information on Companies don't use RTI instead use Section 610 of the Companies (Central Government's) General Rules & Forms, 1956. The said rules being statutory in nature and specific in their application, do not get overridden by the rules framed under the RTI Act with regard to prescription of fee for supply of information, which is general in nature, and apply to all kinds of applications made under the RTI Act to seek information. It would also be complete waste of public funds to require the creation and maintenance of two parallel machineries by the ROC one under Section 610 of the Companies Act, and the other under the RTI Act to provide the same information to an applicant. It would lead to unnecessary and avoidable duplication of work and consequent expenditure. The above was already ruled by Hon'ble High Court in the matter of ROC Vs Dharmendra Kumar Garg (W.P.© 11271/2009) dated 1.6.2012. The appellant filed an RTI application dated 3.12.2011 seeking information on (12) points relating to Ambuja Cement Ltd. Like no. of employees working in accounts department during the period Jan 1990 to Dec 1990, full particulars of employee of accounts department who have been voluntarily retired/resigned/terminated, details of direct or indirect assistance received from Central/State Govt., documents with respect to registration of Company etc. . The CPIO vide letter dated 12.12.2011 provided a point wise reply to the appellant. Not satisfied with the reply the appellant filed first appeal dated 16.12.2011 which was rejected by the order dated 30.12.2011. For information on Companies don't use RTI The respondent submits that as per the provisions of section 610 of the Companies Act, 1956, the records of the companies maintained by this office is available for physical inspection to any member of public on all the working days of this office in between 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM and also the online inspection of records of the companies is also available on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs www.mca.gov.in. Citing the above High Court order, CIC ruled that "In view of the submissions of the respondent the available information can be inspected as per section 610 of the Companies Act, the Commission finds no reason to interfere with the order of the CPIO and the appeal is accordingly disposed off." Please read the numerous discussions on "Company Information" at our forum and get more information.
  5. "When any public authority denies a fundamental right of a citizen the minimum requirement is that the relevant provision of Section 8(1) should be given with some explanation about how it is applicable. " "The Commission finds that no satisfactory reasons have been provided by the PIO for not disclosing the enquiry report. No reasoning has beengiven by the Appellate Authority as to how Section 8(1) (j) applies. The Commission takes a very dim view of PIOs or Appellate Authorities quoting provisions of Section 8(1) without giving any reasons asto how they apply. When any public authority denies a fundamental right of a citizen the minimum requirement is that the relevant provision of Section 8(1) should be given with someexplanation about how it is applicable. Decision: The Appeal is allowed. " http://rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-04062009-04.pdf if PIO applies 8(1) then he needs to explain how its applicable.pdf
  6. hi to all members, i am here to share my experiences related to rti act presently m presenting second appeal to SIC bhopal facts are- my questions for state bank of india were- 1} how many officers posted at branches/offices at indore whose transfer orders have been issued for more than 5 months but they have not yet been relieved/provide their names along with the date of their transfer orders 2} inform the specific dates on which they will be relieved and the reason for each officers who have not been relieved till now 3} if the transfer order of any one{officer} has been cancelled then give the name of such officer and the reason thereof i was denied information under section 8 (1)(d) and section 8(1)(j) please suggest me what shud i write in my appeal
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