Appellant sought information pertaining to his deceased father which was declined - CIC: respondent’s plea of third party is not legally tenable; directed to provide information subject to condition that there is no any stay order by any court of law
1. Vide RTI application dated 03.01.2013, the Appellant sought information on the 3 issues.
2. PIO, vide its response dated 29.01.2013, not provided the information as pertains to third party.
3. The First Appeal (FA) was filed on 19.02.2013, as the desired information was not provided
4. First Appellate Authority (FAA), vide its order dated 13.09.2013, upheld the decision of CPIO.
5. Grounds for the Second Appeal filed on 20.07.2013, are contained in the Memorandum of Appeal.
Appellant opted to be absent despite of our due notice to him. Respondents appeared before the Commission personally and made the submissions at length.
It would be seen here that the appellant, vide his RTI Application dated 03.01.2013, sought information from the respondents on three issues. Respondents vide their response dated 29.01.2013, denied the required information to the appellant on the basis of Third Party Information. Being aggrieved with the aforesaid response, FA was filed by the appellant on 19.02.2013 before the FAA, who vide his order dated 13.09.2013, upheld the decision of CPIO. Hence, a Second Appeal before this Commission.
2. It is pertinent to mention here that PIO, vide his response dated 29.1.2013, denied the required information to the appellant by taking the plea of third party information. Further, being aggrieved with the aforesaid response, FA was filed by the appellant on 19.02.2013 before the FAA, who vide his order dated 13.09.2013, also disposed of the FA by stating that PIO vide his order dated 06.09.2013 (Copy Enclosed) has already furnished the required information to the appellant. However, this enclosed letter i.e. letter dated 06.09.2013, was stated not to have been received by the appellant as intimated by appellant’s subsequent letter dated 14.10.2013. It was also stated by the appellant that aforesaid FAA’s order was unsigned. It is worth to mention here that appellant has been asking the required information pertaining to his deceased father i.e. Sh. Harbans Lal, who stated to have already expired in 1973.
3. Now Question arises, as to whether the Third Party plea is applicable between the father and son or vice-versa in normal situation. In other words, in case, the equation between father and son or vice versa is normal i.e. not strained one, the plea of the respondents of Third Party could be applicable! On this very aspect, this Hon’ble Commission has already decided in catena of cases viz. (i) CIC’s order dated 21.09.2012 in case of Rabindra Prasad Singh vs. Damonder Valley Corporation, Kolkata, dealt in file no. CIC/LS/A/2012/001121, (ii) CIC’s order dated 02.02.2012 in case of Sanjay Singh vs. BSNL, dealt in file no. CIC/LS/A/2011/002819 (iii) CIC’s order dated 17.07.2013 in case of Kamal Kumar vs. M/o Urban Development, dealt in file no. CIC/VS/A/2012/001038/04051 and Hon’ble Commission has taken its stand that in such cases, the respondent’s plea of third party was not legally tenable and appellants were legally entitled to get the required information from the respondents under the provisions of RTI Act 2005.
4. The Commission heard the submissions made by respondents at length. The Commission also perused the case-file thoroughly; specifically, nature of issues raised by the appellant in his RTI application dated 03.01.2013, respondent’s response dated 29.01.2013, FAA’s order dated 13.09.2013 and also the grounds of memorandum of second appeal.
5. In view of the position above and in the circumstances of the case, this bench of the Commission is also in the entire agreement with views by Hon’ble Commissioners held in above cases. Thus, the Commission is of the considered view that plea taken by the respondents vide their response dated 29.1.2013 regarding of Third Party and the order dated 13.09.2013 passed by the Learned FAA in FA filed by the appellant, both are not legally tenable and deserves to be quashed and set aside. Therefore, these are quashed and set aside. In view of this, the Commission feels that appellant’s second appeal deserves to be allowed in toto, subject to a rider, if there is no court’s stay. Therefore, it is allowed in toto.
6. The respondents are hereby directed to provide the complete and categorical information, issue-wise, to the appellant as per his RTI application, subject to condition, if there is no any stay order by any court of law, within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to this Commission. If need be, Section 5(4) of the RTI Act 2005 be also invoked in the matter. The Appeal is disposed of accordingly.
(M.A. Khan Yusufi)
Citation: Shri B R Seth V. DDA IN File No. CIC/KY/A/2014/000050