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karira

Can such information be denied under RTI ?

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karira

Came across this very strange case, while going through the CIC orders.

Found i interesting to mention on the forum for further discussion of members.

 

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_WB_A_2010_000446_M_51201.pdf

 

Applicant filed RTI with IIT Mumbai in April 2010 asking for:

 

a) Provide*certified* list*of*committee*members*of* IIT*JEE*2010*representing*each* IIT.*Also

provide*copies*of*executive*order,*if*any,*appointing*such*committee.***Also*indicate*how*the

Chairman*is*appointed.

b) Provide*certified*copies*of *representations*received*regarding*errors* in*paper*of * IIT*JEE

2010. *Also*provide* copies*of *decisions* taken* to*normalize* the*effect * to* such*error * in

publishing/interpretation.

c) Provide*certified*copies*of*file*with*file*notings*where*the*decision*to*delete*any*centre()**as

designated*centre*for*conduct*of*IIT*JEE* *2010*was*taken.* *Kindly*also*provide*copies*of

any*inquiry*conducted*in*this*regard.

d) Provide*certified*copies*of*minutes*of*meeting*of*IIT*JEE*2010*committee.

 

The Public Information Officer, IIT Mumbai replied:

 

a) &*d)*Application*has*been*forwarded*to*IIT*Madras.

b) These*details*can*not*be*provided*as*these*are*personal*information*of*candidates*and*can*not

be*revealed*without*prior*permission.*Decision*by*JAB*on*these*errors*is*pending*as*of*today,

thus*the*information*is*not*available.

c) Decision*to*add*or*delete*any*centre*for*JEE*is*taken*by*Chairman*and*Vice*Chairman*of*JEE

keeping*in*mind*the*logistics,*number*of*candidates*writing*from*that*city,*safety,*security*and

sanctity*of*JEE*operation.**Since,*these*details*are*very*center*specific,*general*reply*can*not*be

provided.**However,*for*any*specific*center*these*details*can*be*provided*on*request.

 

Further, the Public Information Officer of IIT Madras replied (for the transferred part of the application):

 

enclosing*List*of*JIC**members*of*IIT*JEE**2010**.

He*stated*that*the*Chairman*is*appointed*by*the*Director*in*consultation*with*the*Dean*Academic

Courses*and*with*regard*to*point*d*)*he*stated*that*as*the*information*called*for*is*confidential*under*8

(1)*(e)**of*the*RTI*Act**is**fiduciary*in*nature*and*hence*exempted*from*disclosure

 

The representation of IIT Mumbai and Madras, during the second appeal, went off at an tangent:

 

a)The*JEE*examination* is*conducted*on* the*second*Sunday*of *every*April.*The*operations* for* the

same*starts*in*the*first*week*of*August*of*the*previous*year.*For*eg.*the*operations*for*JEE*2011

started*on*first*week*of*August*2010.

b)The* JEE* committees * among* other * things, * discusses * the* detailed* logistics * of * holding* the* JEE

examination.*The*sequencing*and*scheduling*of*each*operation*are*required*to*be*confidential*to

protect*the*security*&*sanctity*of*the*JEE*exam.*

c) The*modus * operandi * regarding * question* paper * setting, * production* – * printing, * proof * correction,

bundling,*packing*etc.,* transport* to*various* Institutes*and*such*other*details*as*associated*with

these*operations*are*a*part*of*the*minutes*as*are*software/server*details*for*result*preparation*and

Counseling.*These*are*highly*confidential*in*nature,*and*other*than*finer*details,*may*not*change

on*a*yearly*basis.*

d)A*public*disclosure*of*these*details*for*any*of*the*previous*year*may*jeopardize*future*conduct*of*the

JEE*examination.*For*example*even* the*dates*of *shipment *of *confidential *materials*cannot*be

made*public.*These*are*currently*part*of*the*JEE*2010*minutes,*and*for*JEE*2011,*as*dates*do*not

change*by*more*than*a*day,*the*same*shall*hold*good.*

e)Similarly, * the * details * of * our * computer * servers * etc * used * for * confidential * operations * and * data

transmission*are*not*to*be*made*public.*These*are*indeed*part*of*the*JEE*committee*minutes.**

f) The*JEE*committee*minutes*are*circulated*only*to*the*committee*members*with*mutual*trust*that*it*is

not*disclosed,*as*if*it*is*disclosed,*everyone*can*be*held*responsible.*

g)The*final*recommendations*of*these*committees,*which*are*necessary*for*public*consumption,*are

made*public*through*the*Information*Brochure,*Counseling*Brochure*and*periodical*updates*which

are*uploaded*on*the*website.**

h) It*may*be*mentioned*here*that*as*observed*in*the*Right*to*Information*Act,*2005,*Sec*8,*pg*39,*para

3,* in* the*case*of*Selection*of*candidates,* that* *"Recommendations*of * the*Committees*may*be

provided*but*not*their*detailed*report*for*they*are*of*fiduciary*nature",*In*the*present*instance*also,

it*is*emphasized*that*the*non*disclosure*of*JEE*Committee*meetings*is*covered*under*Section*8

(1)*(e)*of*the*RTI*Act.*

i) Further,*it*is*also*the*case*that*the*Sections*8*(1)*(a),*8*(1)*(g)*and*8*(1)*(d)*are*applicable*in*this

context,*as*these*are*information

 

and the CIC ordered:

 

The*Commission*on*careful*consideration*of*the* *submission*of*the*Respondent*is*of*the*opinion*that

the*disclosure*of*information* *containing*details*as*given*in* *points*b,*c,*d,*e*is*indeed* *confidential*in

nature,*the*disclosure*of*which*is*denied*under*Section*8(1)(a)*of*the*RTI*Act*as*it**has*the*potential*to

lead*to*incitement*of*an*offence*and*may*also*adversely*affect*the*economic*interests*of*the*state*if

there* *happens* to*be*a* * *breakdown*of * the*examination*system. * * * It * *was*also*observed* that * the

disclosure*has**no*relationship*with*any*public*activity*or*interest.***The*Public*Authority,*therefore*may

not*disclose*the*minutes*of*meeting*of*IIT*JEE*2010*committee*to*the*Appellant.*However,*the*final

recommendations*of*the*Committee*if*the*Appellant*so*desires,*may*be*provided*to*him*by*3*March,

2011.

 

=======

 

How are minutes of meeting "fiduciary" in nature and covered under 8(1)(e) ?

Does the suo-motu disclosure of IIT say under Sec 4(1)(b)(viii) that such minutes will not be disclosed ?

How does 8(1)(a) come into the picture ? What imaginary economic interests of the state are affected by disclosing the information asked by the applicant ?

How does 8(1)(g) come into play when the IIT JEE exam was over and finshed even before the RTI Application was filed ?

 

This decision at least beats me completely.

There is something much more here than meets the eye.

Either someone trying to hide a big blunder or trying to shield a corrupt practice.

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Atul Patankar

As reported at deccanherald.com on 07 February, 2011

 

 

The minutes of meetings for the preparations of IIT Joint Entrance Examination cannot be provided under the Right to Information Act as their disclosure could result in ''breakdown'' of the examination system, the Central Information Commission has held.

 

The transparency panel while hearing the plea of an RTI applicant who sought, besides other details, a copy of the minutes of the JEE committee meetings of 2010 agreed with the argument of IIT-Mumbai that it contained crucial details about 2011 examinations which are yet to be held.

 

"The modus operandi regarding question paper setting, production -- printing, proof correction, bundling, packing etc., transport to various institutes and other such details associated with these operations are a part of the minutes as are software/server details for result preparation and counselling.

 

"These are highly confidential in nature and other than finer details, may not change on yearly basis," the IIT said.

 

The premier engineering institute said disclosure of information of this nature could lead to "incitement of offence", like tracking and disrupting distribution of question papers. It also said the details are intellectual property which could harm competitive position of third party.

 

"The Commission is of the opinion that the disclosure of the information... is indeed confidential in nature the disclosure of which is denied as it has the potential to lead to incitement of an offence and may also adversely affect the economic interests of the state if there happens to be a breakdown of the examination system," Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit held.

 

She also pointed out that disclosure would not serve any larger public interests hence the minutes could be kept under wraps but final decisions should be provided to the applicant

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