The appellant sought reasons for manhandling of his son by the bank staff, copies of statement of witnesses & accused, enquiry proceedings etc. - CIC: Denial u/s 8(1)(j) upheld; PIO cautioned to be careful in future while dealing with the RTI matters
1. The appellant, Shri Harish Chandra Sharma, submitted RTI application dated 25.12.2014 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, Jaipur seeking copies of statements of witnesses and accused; copies of documents relating to proceedings in the enquiry with reference to application made by Shri P.K. Sharma dated 13.10.2014 and reply was given on 18.12.2014.
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 05.01.2014 denied the information under the provisions of Section 8(1) (d), (e) and (j) of the RTI Act, 2005, which was held by the respondents in fiduciary relationship. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal on 23.01.2015 before the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA vide order dated 5.2.2015 while upholding the response of the CPIO, held that the information could be provided to the complainant Shri P.K. Sharma.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the appellant approached the State Information Commission of Rajasthan, Jaipur on 18.03.2015. As the subject matter related to the Central Government organization, the State Information Commission vide letter dated 30.06.2015 forwarded the instant appeal to the Central Information Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that he sought reasons for manhandling of his son by the bank staff. He sought copies of statement of witnesses, which were taken at time of enquiry against his son. The respondents stated that information sought by the appellant related to the complaint of Shri P.K. Sharma, which was denied u/s 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, 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; and (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 as the statements of the complainant/witnesses being third party information were held by them in fiduciary capacity.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission accepts the submissions of the respondents and holds that the information as sought by the appellant related to the complaint made by Shri P.K. Sharma, third party which cannot be provided under the provisions of Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act as no larger public interest or activity was established by the appellant in divulging the information. The CPIO had quoted exemption clause 8(1) (d) of the RTI Act, 2005 in his reply, which is not applicable in the present case. The CPIO is cautioned to be careful in future while dealing with the RTI matters. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Harish Chandra Sharma v. State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur in Case No. CIC/MP/A/2015/001550