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Employee denied information under section 8(h)


vkasbi

Question

I am working as Assistant General Manager in State Bank of India.In the year 2007, departmental proceedings were initiated against me. Enquiry was held and concluded.Charges not proved.Decision of Disciplinary Authority still awaited. I sought from PIO details of my case i.e

1. when the enquiry report was put up by concerned officers to DA

2. what was the noting made by the DA

3. When the case was referred to Chief Vigilance officer of the bank etc.

 

PIO has denied the information under section 8(h) taking a plea that since departmental proceedings are still pending against me and therefore the information sought by me can not be provided.

 

What do I do now

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ambrish.p

Dear Member

 

File first appeal . Please read the threads available here: 8 (1) h of rti act - Google Search

 

Also include:

 

a. It has been made clear by CIC in many cases that mere pendency of prosecution or investigation is not enough to deny info under Sec 8(1) h of the RTI Act. It needed to be proved that how disclosure of info would impede process of prosecution or investigation.

 

b. As per the decision of Hon'ble Delhi High Court in the Bhagat Singh is CIC, the Public authority has to discharge its onus of justifying the denial of desired information under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, by giving reasons to the effect as to how the disclosure of the desired information would impede the process of prosecution. Mere pendency of prosecution not sufficient to deny the desired information. The relevant portion of above said judgment is reproduced below:-

"Access to information under Section 3 of the Act, is the rule and exemptions under Section 8, the exception. Section 8 being a restriction on this fundamental right, must therefore is to be strictly construed. It should not be interpreted in manner as to shadow the very right self. Under Section 8, exemption from releasing information is granted if it would impede the process of investigation process cannot be a ground for refusal of the information, the authority withholding information must show satisfactory reasons as to why the release of such information would hamper the investigation process. Such reasons should be germane, and the opinion of the process being hampered should be reasonable and based on some material. Sans this consideration, section 8(1) (h) and other such provisions would become the haven for dodging demands for information."

 

c. ALso read: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/46314-charge-sheet-whether-can-disclosed-under-right-information.html

 

d. Also refer: How to write First Appeal under RTI? - RTI Guide

 

First Appeal Central Govt. Guidelines: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/blogs/jps50/18-first-appeal-central-govt-guidelines.html

 

regards

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dr.s.malhotra

Such ground for refusal of information is not valid in departmental proceedings - it is true for cases being investigated by the police / law enforcing agencies .

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cleancorruption
Enquiry was held and concluded.Charges not proved.Decision of Disciplinary Authority still awaited. I

 

The PIO was correct. You may not prevail at the CIC. If you see what you wrote - my question is - on what basis you claim that you are discharged of the offense when the decision from the authority is still pending. You may be privy to some hearsay - but you are not out of the woods yet.

 

----

section 8(1)(h) - stops disclosure - when such disclosure will compromise proceedings. There is nothing that says - Police proceedings or disciplinary proceedings - Both are same and are analogous to the context.

Now - high courts ruled that sec 8(1)(h) is for a limited period and that limit ends, when an investigation or inquiry report had been completed. In court cases, the exception ends when police file a charge-sheet.

 

In your case, logically sec 8(1)(h) ends when a disciplinary report is tabled. Considering your case is a court case - then you need to find out - "the phase/stage of inquiry report" - and may be difficult for you to identify. This is the only thin line you have to argue. If final Judgment and inquiry report are the same, the CIC may prefer to wait until the report is complete. You may have ground on sec 8(1)(g) - but that PIO was smart enough to contain you.

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